November 15th, 2006


Writing Bits and Pieces

Today's mail brought copies of Fantasy Magazine #4 and Phantom.

A quick flip through both reveals them to be pretty cool, and with a lot of fiction in FM for the six bucks. The dialogue sections in 'Mono', my story in Phantom, however, are fucked, and so therefor it's kind of difficult to make sense out of what the characters are saying. It appears that in the layout stage, someone has just gone, left, right, left, right with the justifications, and so the voices all switch sides and get confusing. The blame is really my fault: I should have triple checked it when the pdfs came round, but I was concerned about other formating issues. Anyhow, if you got Phantom, and you found my bit confusing there, email me at and I'll send you the straight version. It's my fault and I apologise for that.

Publishing dialogue is actually a bit of a bitch, you know. Anything that switches out of that paragraphing style of writing prose has got to be watched really closely. All the stuff Deb Layne (deborahlive) and I had to keep an eye on in Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth was the dialogue sections--and there's heaps of that in there, but none of it, I assure you, switches sides. It's all good.

In other news, it looks like I will be running a one day Experimental Fiction workshop at the NSW Writers Centre early next year. February, I think. Should be fun. It'll be advertised in the next brochure, apparently.

Now, to return to writing the things I've promised I would write.
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Wednesday Night Bag of Fun

Below is, apparently, the Time's most significant SF novels between 1953-2006.

The meme part of this works like so: Bold the ones you have read, strike through the ones you read and hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put a star next to the ones you love.

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester *
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman*
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Trooper, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

Fuck, hey?

Obviously, I haven't read all these books, and a whole bunch I never finished because, well, they were just shitty and boring. Who was influenced by these? Old people. Fucking old people, that's who. I bet they made this list, too, pulling out all their bad childhood favourites. Who gives a shit about Heinlein? Honestly. About the only thing of interest in Asimov these days is that he died of AIDS, but this was not revealed at the time, due, I think, to his family not wanting people to think he was gay. Or something like that.

How's that for some casual inflammatory? The Times makes a list and of course, it is, by and large, white, male, and fucking boring!


Fuck you Times! Fuck your important list!

Truth is, the authors I haven't bolded here, I've read other bits of their work. Arthur C Clarke is hideously boring. Orson Scott Card I refuse to because of his anti-homosexual stance, and fuck it, you gotta have some moral stand in here. Gay people rock. Orson Scott Card does not. And I could go on and on and on, and maybe I will. Did I already say that Heinlein was boring? Theordore Sturgeon was like eating week old bread. I think I had some kind of style death while I was there. When they found me I was quoting Asimov.

Now, don't get me wrong: there are some books on this list that I want to read, but you know, just because they appear here, I think I will never ever not once, no, I repeat, I will never read them.

Such is the power of the Time's List.
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