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Way back in the Seventies, Gary Trudeau skewered this in a series of strips featuring his musician character Jimmy Thudpucker. "Why do I have to include a dues song? Why does every musician have to whine about what it's like to be at the top?" "Because it's in your contract. One dues song per album. You want your fans to think you're shallow?"
Yep. I ran smack into this when I sat down to write my pirate novel. People like the idea of pirates because it's an idea of freedom, of not having a boss. Books on pirates often stress the cooperative, egalitarian nature of pirate crews. They skim over the parts regarding just what those crews were egalitarianly cooperating to do-or what it must have been like to be living in a small Caribbean settlement when all these men with guns landed.
Transbalkania being, of course, a reference to Avram Davidson's fantastic Dr Eszterhazy stories. I didn't realize that as a 17-year-old poring over Conklin's. -D*
A fascinating glimpse into the malls of my youth. In Malone, we didn't think anything of driving an hour to go to the mall in Plattsburgh. It didn't even count as a trip, even during a blizzard.
"Temporarily Franklin County?" Except for Burke. Burke always has been and always will be. Burke is eternal.
"But that's not what audiences want. Clever things make people feel stupid, and unexpected things make them feel scared. People don't want anything original, they want to see the same thing they've seen a thousand times before." -Futurama But the thing is that you people do get tired of the same old thing, and they do want something new. It just has to have some point of contact with the old to make it accessible. That's a tough line to straddle.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2011 on Genre and Plot at Just The Caffeine Talking
I have many memories of getting cider every fall at Pytlak Orchards out to the Tom Miller Road. I hope it's still there.
It depends: is William's Cyberspace world the setting for R Talsorian's original Cyberpunk game or not? Technically not, but I've seen Gibson say in interviews that he was in talks with a gaming company to make a Cyberspace game, but they fell through. I suspect he was referring to Cyberpunk. Apparently the problem was that Gibson couldn't give them enough background information to make a game; he hadn't developed the world past what he immediately needed for the novels. Which is what gives the trilogy their brilliance, the visceral tangibility of the world, the way it was so close to our own, the feltedness of it. It was completely unabstract, totally concrete. That's why I've loved it.
Austen and Dickens are still on sale at BJs. And Trollope *should* be among their number. He's better than either. -D*
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2011 on More Moby Blogging at Just The Caffeine Talking
"Between crimefightin' Jesus and using the Stations of the Cross in a time-travel story, I guess I'm pretty much guaranteed a seat in Hell." As I said before, I think it more likely it would make people think you were Christian. If I didn't know you, that would certainly be my first assumption. You didn't actually insult Jesus or the disciples at all. After all, we live in age where Rob Liefeld, as an act of devotional literature, has made a comic where Jesus beats up the Greek gods. -D*
"It's a time-travel story -- or rather, it's a story set in a world where time travel is as common as air travel is in our world." Interesting. The featured story in the very first MF&SF I ever read (Jan '79, which I picked out of a trash heap in Ocean Grove, NJ), had the same theme. " (If anyone is offended by this . . . it's just a short science fiction story. Christianity has survived greater threats.)" I think it's pretty cool myself. It seems that if anyone was going to notice and complain, it would be a PZ Myers type calling you a crypto-faithhead.
"Why doesn't Glinda just take over and then look for Mombi? Because then the story would end too soon, and Baum still has his word length to worry about." I think this is a use of the dream-logic of the folk tale. Jinjur is establishing a taboo, and potent one at that: night is evil's time. Glinda is powerful, but even she has to bow before the taboo. Everyone has their limits.
"Out of pure vanity I may put it up on this blog at some point." Do it! "So, I thought -- what if H.P. Lovecraft had written King Kong?" My gut reaction answer to this is: 'He did, in 'Arthur Jermyn', and his take on it was "Forget gorillas, what's *really* scary is miscegenation."'
"Society and law still have not really grappled with the implications of a mechanistic universe." That's true, but by the same tack, we might not be able to. The same subconscious biochemical processes that we call "thought" seem to resist the idea. It's interesting to note that this phenomena seems disconnected from religion. To the best of my knowledge, there's no more movement in secular societies such as France or the Scandinavian countries to change laws according to cutting-edge neuroscience than there is here. The liberal secular ideal also relies on the idea of the autonomous rational subject. "Unless you believe you have an immaterial, immortal soul distinct from your physical body, you have to face the fact that what you think and how you feel can be manipulated if someone tinkers with your brain. " Even if you do believe in a soul, you still have to face that fact. You can go in a variety of directions with it, but I don't think most traditional Christian theology would posit a soul completely distinct from the body. Otherwise the creed would say "the exultation of the soul" instead of "the resurrection of the body." If you go too far in that direction you end up with gnosticism or Christian Science.
This is a pleasant surprise. I look forward to reading, particularly on the first topic. -D*
Toggle Commented Sep 10, 2010 on A Fresh Pot at Just The Caffeine Talking
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Sep 10, 2010