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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Lady luck will pass you by and she will never say yes--

ellen_kushner mentioned at Readercon that she thought the genre could stand a lot more discussion of and privileging of aesthetics.

This is something I am now pondering.

Because fantasy and SF totally have room for beauty; beauty of storytelling, beauty of language, beauty of fine plain craftsmanship.

There are all these lines to walk.

Progress notes for 9 July 2006:


New Words:  951
Total Words: 82,958 / 96,250
Pages: 385
Deadline: August 1
Words per day to meet deadline: 163
Scenes left / scenes myrtilized (notecards, if I were using notecards this book): 7/11
Reason for stopping: Well, unless I get very, very clever on behalf of the less-bad guys, the really-bad guys just won. The genocide goes forward, and Enron rules the universe.

And one for the Dark Lord upon his dark throne.

Now, this means I've complicated the plot sufficiently and raised the stakes high enough. But it also means I now need to figure out how to put a stop to their nefarious plan.

Stimulants:  coffeeeeee
Exercise: Gothercise
Mail: My god, how the cookies roll in! More reviews from the blogosphere.

Eagle's Path reviews Hammered, with mixed but generally positive emotions. A really thoughtful and detailed review.

Today's words Word don't know: cartoonishly, helmetless, extratropical,
Mean Things: pending genocide
There's always one more quirk in the character: Closs turns out to be more of an ass than I expected. And I expected a lot.

Books in progress:
Martin Cruz Smith, Stallion Gate; Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice

Don't tell me you don't know what love is
When you're old enough to know better
When you find strange hands in your sweater
When your dreamboat turns out to be a footnote
I'm a man with a mission in two or three editions

... Everyday, everyday, everyday I write the book


I don't know about priviledging of aesthetics, but it could use a lot more emphasis on beauty. Especially given the beauties it tries to invoke, betimes.

Although of course, I run a horse this race:
And there is nothing that's gratuitous of Grace.

It's almost as if there's a perception that beautiful writing is a bad thing. (And by beautiful, I don't mean purple prose.)

I think I fall on your side of the argument.

And even plain prose can be lovely.
Such as Le Guin's plain prose.

Er--what would you say "privileging of aesthetics" is?
Caring about and paying attention to?
I've noticed that over the years I've come to care less and less about plotting in fantasy in particular, and more about aesthetics.
They're not mutually exclusive, however.
No, I don't feel they're in opposition to each other, but I can enjoy a novel with great aesthetics and a problematic or weak plot, and recommend it on that basis alone (with full warnings as to what i'm recommending it for) whereas I can't remember the last time I thought a book was worth recommending for the plot.
fair enough. Ideally, I like to see both. *g* And good characterization, and powerful emotion, and kick-ass thematic elements...

...I think I'm a hardcase.
Yes, characterization is the other element that sustains genre novels for me. I remember reading a book recently and thinking "really, I could read a book of these two going shopping at the mall."
Yeah, Good characters will keep me going forever, plot or not plot.
As someone who regularly reads that Eagle's Path site (I really like eir reviews), I just wanted to mention that 8 of 10 is an *extremely* high rating over there. So anyone who reads that page will know that the reviewer was quite impressed!
thank you!
Russ Allbery (Eagle) is geekosaur's cousin, and someone I remember fondly from long-ago USENET days. For fun, check out his reviews sorted by rating.
Cool! Thanks for the link. I hadn't noticed that page.