Jan 242014
 

After not updating for more than 6 months, I want announce some accomplishments.

2014 opened with two fiction publications:

The first is a short story, An Angel Has No Memory, published by Inkstained Succubus as a standalone ebook.

“Angel” began as a piece of fanfiction for Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse TV series. When I learned about a project called Filed Off, an anthology of fanfiction edited to be commercially saleable (like a certain bestselling trilogy). As a long shot, I did a find-and-replace on the character names and a few other terms and submitted it. The anthology didn’t get enough submissions, but the publisher decided to publish it stand-alone, though with substantially more edits. I accepted.

This proved to be more difficult than I thought. Fanfiction assumes the reader is familiar with the source text. To “de-fanfiction” it, I had to add a lot more exposition of the setting and description of the future technology. Also I had to shift the setting from the present to the near future, which presented another character problem. The protagonist is a closeted lesbian, and even in the present day I had to justify why this character was so fearful about being found out. Most people assume the future will be more culturally liberal, with less need for homosexuals to live in the closet, so I had to justify that even more in this new version.

The other publication is my short story “Upgrade” in the Circlet Press anthology Jacked In: Transhumanist Erotica

It’s a story of a casual encounter on the eve of a transhumanist singularity/apocalypse.

I didn’t finish a draft of my history book, as I pledged, but I did make significant progress by completing a few chapters, and I have a better understanding of the path ahead. I hope I can complete a draft by the summer.

The Master-slave history book I’m editing has shifted into a new phase of editing the contributions. I always thought of editing as a position of power, something I’m not comfortable with, though in actuality a lot of it is figuring out the difference between “imply” and “infer”, and the like.

The last big creative project I’m working on is a shared science fiction novel, or more accurately a series of connected novellas, with my writer’s workshop. No details on that for the moment.

 Posted by at 12:08
Jan 262012
 

I turned up an hour early  for William Gibson’s talk at the library, promoting his new non-fiction collection Distrust that Particular Flavour. Gibson was, as usual, an interesting speaker, ranging from why he thought he would never be a non-fiction writer (too much of a perfectionist to deal with journalistic deadlines), how science fiction ages (more like milk than wine)  and his views on intellectual property and piracy.

During the question session, a female fan asked why this event, which filled the Alice McKay auditorium, was so well attended by women. She compared it to a Neal Stephenson reading which had one women in a sea of guys. Gibson said that when he was getting serious about writing, the most innovative science fiction in the USA was feminist science fiction, so this informed his earlier work.

Local literary figure Carellin Brooks introduced him as a “science fiction writer”, and I wondered if he still considered  himself that. There’s a long, long route from Molly Millions to Cayce Pollard. Has he turned his back on his earlier work? This topic was on my mind during and after my David Cronenberg essay, as there are certain similarities in their career paths. Both moved from low genres like science fiction and horror to high genre like literary fiction and costume drama.

During the autograph session afterwards, I asked him if he still considered himself a science fiction writer. He said that he still considered himself a science fiction writer in the same way he still considered himself a Virginia boy:  they were his roots.  I think Gibson’s answer was pretty good, reflecting his evolution as a writer and the evolution of his work. Pattern Recognition still feels like Gibson, even if it is set in the immediate past.

(I wish I’d had a chance to see him sign somebody’s Kindle or other ereader, which according to his Twitter feed, he does sometimes.)

 

 Posted by at 01:15