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bear by san

March 2017



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rengeek skinhead fortinbras

you think you've got problems doctor?

You know, it's only just occurred to me that I'm totally not interested in writing what most of science fiction's narrower old-school critical audience seems to me to be reading for, which is the quote unquote big idea SF.

I'm interested in science fiction as a vehicle for literature, which is to say, I'm interested in using its tropes and metaphors and structures to talk about people, and tell stories. 

That's a nice thing to realize, actually. Very freeing. 

And now, back to the goddamned coal mines.



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Bear, sweetie, I'd have told you that sooner if I'd known you didn't know already. And the new-school readers? We lurves you.
One too many reviews comparing me unfavorably to Larry Niven. *g* At which point I found myself going "But I don't want to write Larry Niven novels. Who the fuck wants to write Larry Niven novels?"

Well, except for presumably Larry Niven.

Gotta stop with this subscribing to other people's expectations thing. Especially the expectations of The Man.

It only ends in tears.
This is why I have a reading list of Prestigious Science Fiction Books that's a chore to work through, while I read your books because I like them.

Or, well, it's one of the reasons. In a lot of classic science fiction I keep getting annoyed that the ideas are getting in the way of reading about the darn characters.
I *am*, however, kind of interested in finding out what happens when you put a medieval romance and a Gothic novel in a blender with an SF novel...

Funny, my favorite sci-fi, including my favorite "old school" sci-fi, has *always* been about people. Heinlein and Herbert seemed to concern themselves with people an awful lot. I wonder if people complained at them for not writing more like Niven?
Maybe they got away with it because they were boys?
Oh, no! You're trying to commit literature! All this time I thought you were writing books for people to read instead of books for professors to abuse undergraduates with.

Oh, the horror!
Well, the easy solution to that is not to take English classes...
I've no idea who Larry Niven is but I think Big Idea SF is why I haven't read much of it.

I am much more interested in people and good stories - please feel free to keep 'em coming.
Is anyone comparing you to Ted Sturgeon yet?
Now THAT would be a way to make me die of happiness.

Nope, though I've gotten Zelazny and Poul Anderson, both of which fill me with glee.
Now this... This I agree with :)

Re: Morning Thoughts

Historically, women will vote for African-americans, and African-americans will not, in return, vote for women.

There's another inequity for you.
I like to think of it as the literature of testing things to destruction.

"Things" can include technology, societies, planets, ecologies, sciences, and people.
This is something I had to realize about my own writing, when I got all paralyzed, paralyzed, paralyzed in the middle of a story because it didn't have any BIG IDEA in it. (Also no plot, but that is my constant problem, my bad back, my ever-present migraine, my writing-asthma)

Now, I like you're writing just fine (well, more than just fine, as you probably know). And I like some of those "big idea" books just fine, too. But I don't really like very many big idea books that don't ALSO talk about people and tell stories. I do, however, like stories about people even when there is no apparent big SF idea.

In other news: Puppy and I are nearly done with Season 1 of CM. AND Puppy backed the car out of the driveway today. It was terrifying, and surreal, and took him ten minutes.
Big ideas have their place, but frankly I've found too many scifi books that have the BIG IDEA and are lacking everything else. And this annoys me. The big idea is terrific, but if it's missing a definitive storyline with believable characters interacting in it, it's dry.

So frankly, this realization of yours is a good thing. Keep it. It makes for a more interesting read, IMO.
I've always thought your books had really neat ideas -- don't know if they count as Big Ideas, but they got me thinking. The fact they also had interesting characters that I liked reading about made them even better.
Thank you.

I like neat things. I like thinking about neat things, and then breaking them to see what's inside.
My two cents. Considering you are a person who rates "The Last Unicorn" as an all time fave, i can't see you doing much else. I just hope you blow up the odd planet every once in a while.

Literary SF is a good way to escape the ghetto, from "Fahrenheit 451" right on down. "Clockwork Orange", comes to mind. I hope it pays better than the hard-core stuff.. It would just about have to, ja?

I don't know, or want to know who thinks you should be Niven. They must be male pattern idiots, and should be forced to read Orson Scott Card for eternity.

I see "Yiddish Policeman's Union" was a best seller and nominated for Hugo. Not a very well written book, even i could tell. Great fun though. And it had lit'ry pretensions and escaped the SF ghetto.

So why should anybody think a Thirty Something woman should write like a sixty year old man?

As my old hippie buddy Peter the Pirate said, "Do what you do do, well."
You gotta be the very best you you can is be.

Or something.
I'm interested in science fiction as a vehicle for literature, which is to say, I'm interested in using its tropes and metaphors and structures to talk about people, and tell stories.

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