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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Graham Sleight On Alfred Bester's Two Classic Novels

In LOCUS Magazine, Graham Sleight discusses Alfred Bester's two landmark novels THE DEMOLISHED MAN and THE STARS MY DESTINATION, their content, and their impact on the science fiction field:

Yesterday's Tomorrows: Alfred Bester

Required reading! (I still count those two novels among my SF favorites.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Traducción al español: "CONVERSACIONES TELEFÓNICAS"

The Argentinian webzine AXXON has published a Spanish translation of my satirical short "Telephone Conversations."
This means "Telephone Conversations" has now appeared in English, Swedish, Chinese and Spanish -- my most translated story so far. Genial!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Dumskalle!

Den nya svenska bloggen Sajberspejs har publicerat min (mycket) korta novell "Dumskalle!"

TRANSLATION: Hurdi gurdi murdi Cyberspace Hardi murdi gurdi sturdi "Dummkopf!"

James Nicoll: "Readers are not owed anything by the writer"

When you're blogging, the comments to a post are what make it interesting.

Such as this blogpost by author James Nicoll: "What Readers Are Not Owed By Writers".

Now, Nicoll is expressing frustration with how the writer-reader relationship can go sour, when a reader becomes increasingly demanding.

Do I expect readers to treat me with awe, to scrape and bow before me and offer nothing but praise? Nah. It'd get boring. All I ask for is the Golden Rule: Treat me as you would like me to treat you.

But it seems people get confused about the author-reader relationship. It is not as simplistic as this:

Author=Producer
Reader=Customer

But then again, it's not really like this either:

Author=The Waiter
Reader=The Customer (Is Always Right)

Or like this:

Author=Soul Mate
Reader=Soul Mate

Some (deluded) persons see it like this:

Author=Evil Overlord Oppressor Who Claims "Copyright" Of Characters & Story
Reader=Loving Fan Who Writes Erotic Fanfiction With Author's Characters, And What's Wrong With That?

Or like this:

Author=God-Like Creator Of Immortal Art
Reader=Author's Slave

Not to sound overly cynical, but apparently nothing sours the author-reader relation like success. The more books a writer sells, the more readers start to think the author "owes" them something or other.

Alix Amnamáre puts it this way:

"I think all this can be boiled down to one thing: readers are not owed the fulfillment of their expectations. That is, readers can expect whatever they want, but if those expectations are not fulfilled, they cannot place the blame on the writer."

Author S.L. Viehl weighs in; much commentry ensues.

(See also my post on how critics expect things and get disappointed when expectations are not met.)



Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Robert Silverberg's "When We Went To See The End Of The World" (Podcast)

A treat: an audio reading of Robert Silverberg's short story "When We Went To See The End Of The World" (Note: large MP3 file).

Other such sci-fi podcasts are available at escapepod.org

Monday, January 01, 2007

Short Story "Nobo" In SURPRISING STORIES

My short story "Nobo" has been published in the webzine SURPRISING STORIES.

"Nobo" is both a satire of today's modern world, and speculation about a possible near future. Its ending will not come as a surprise... but the ending alone is not the point of the story.

When you write short fiction, the important thing about the ending is not that it's "shocking", but that it makes sense: everything in the story builds up to the ending and connects to it.

(If only the ending mattered, why not write only the ending and skip the story? ;-))