Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
February 12, 2004
Category: Miscellany

Okay, just a brief one. Things have been going pretty slowly on SC -- only 47 unique visits yesterday, a couple of which were probably me 🙁 -- so be sure to visit and give the content over there a look. (You can click here, or simply use the link at the top of the side menu.) I'm thinking the April piece will go up on Saturday evening, if not sooner. Sunday at the latest.

I wrote a page more of the story today, which is good. Like I said, it's a short one, so hopefully I'll sit down tonight and finish it -- it only needs a page or two more. If not, it'll definitely be knocked off by the weekend. The hand-written version, that is; then I'll need to type it up, adding the little parts I omitted and editing others. Who knows when that'll happen, but that's the easy part -- the hard part is getting it down on paper in the first place. And staying put long enough to make sure that happens. But soon that'll be out of the way with this story. I think/hope.

Apparently Hannah's not mad at me, so that's good. (If you're reading, Hannah, I'll get back to you shortly -- I want to knock off this story before I delve into a long e-mail. :)) Her recent posts about speculative fiction have been kind of interesting, and I'll have to ask her a bit more about the genre, specifically its character. Since "speculative fiction" is a collective term for science fiction and fantasy writing, it would seem that my stories fit into the genre, and yet I haven't been able to come across any writing that calls itself "speculative fiction" that's at all similar to the stories I write, in tone or aim. (That would partly explain all of the rejections that I've gotten -- even if my stories would seem to fit, given the "mission statements" of the magazines and the descriptions of the genre, my stories still probably "aren't for them.") So I'm thinking maybe there's more to it. Hannah writes about cliches here -- for my part, I can think of maybe two so-called speculative fiction stories that struck me as at all original, and with one that was only regarding its initial premise (as opposed to the execution of it). That one was Tim Pratt's "Living With the Harpy", which had a woman rooming with the mythological creature. This in itself was kind of neat, I thought, and the story had lots of interesting details, like odd smells, feathers being strewn about, blood here and there -- but the action of it was almost entirely predictable, until it ended with the roommate and her lover looking up to the sky as feathers fluttered down on their heads (cf. the typical ending with someone standing in a meadow and looking up at the bright sunlit sky). Which isn't to say that I didn't like the story -- it was a nice diversion, and, as said, I thought the details were pretty clever -- but once I'd finished reading it, it was over. Of all of the stories I've read on Strange Horizons, it's one of the few that I remember, but again it's namely the premise that's responsible for that -- I even remembered Pratt's name, though that could also be because I stop by his blog from time to time -- but as far as the plot goes, almost every speculative fiction story that I've read has followed it, albeit with slight variations from time to time.

But maybe I just haven't found the right publications. Hopefully I'll make a few contacts among the genre writers who will be willing to give my stories a look and make suggestions, and perhaps one of them will say, "Ah! I know where you should send this!" Websearches for "philosophical dream narrative fiction" yield no results, but perhaps somebody out there knows where my fiction would be accepted.

Whenever I get my personal page finished, I'll have brief excerpts from some more recent stories, and I'm planning to post one of the older ones (written in 2001, I think) in its entirety. And expect me to post one of my older "poems" for a Valentine's Day entry.

Oh, and Amanda's got a post up on "Self Defense in the Home" and "when one is justified in shooting an intruder" -- which I didn't read, because I don't care. In fact, I wonder how many people really do care about something like this, and I'm not even sure she cares -- much of her content, as I've said, seems to center around inviting debate and controversy (and about making herself look smart) without any regard for farther-reaching truths. But she's got 135 comments on the post so far, so maybe people do care. Or maybe they're just more inclined to contribute to the discussion since she's got her cleavage so proudly displayed in one of the pictures above it.

Sigh. Back to work.

-posted by Wes | 11:35 pm | Comments (0)
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