Tachyon tidbits featuring Cory Doctorow, Nick Mamatas, Joe R. Lansdale, Peter Watts, and Daryl Gregory
The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
On his PLURALISTIC blog, Cory Doctorow announces his induction into the Canadian SF/F hall of fame.
I just got an email asking if I could be free on August 15 for Canvention, the annual Canadian national science fiction convention, because I am being inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association’s Hall of Fame.
Needless to say, my answer was a very enthusiastic yes.
CSFFA administers Canada’s Aurora Awards and the Hall of Fame, a juried prize that I am unbelievably stonked to be receiving.
This year’s Canvention is
BEFORE WE BLOG interviews Nick Mamatas.
You’ve written a lot about the importance of short fiction, and your love for it. If you were trying to hook people unfamiliar with your work with some of your short fiction, what would you recommend?
I’d recommend my recent collection THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING, which collects the “best” (I guess!) of my last decade of short work.
In addition to your fiction, you’ve written a lot of writing advice—some at LitReactor, some collected in your book Starve Better, and elsewhere. I appreciate that your advice is never the overly reductive advice found elsewhere. You also run plenty of creative writing classes. What do you enjoy about this? What are the concepts you hope the students learn?
Ultimately, I’m a formalist, and so I have a knack for seeing structures that undergird plots and themes. I’m not a very commercial writer, but I have good commercial instincts as an editor, and so I teach as an editor. I’m very prescriptive. Cut those first three pages! Make sure your protagonist is always doing something and not just being pushed around by the universe! Learn that words have connotations as well as denotations! People almost never scream dialogue, but they may shout it. Those words are not synonymous. Stop typing BANG! when a gun goes off in your story, and stop writing sentences about eyes doing things, e.g., “His eyes hopped around the ballroom, looking for the punch bowl.” That sort of thing.
I want my students to learn that the ego is always the enemy, whether it says “I’m great!” or “I’m awful!” Many people sign up for creative writing classes out of a need to be punished. It’s bizarre. Just stay home. I also want my students to consider the possibilities that language isn’t a poor substitute for direct brain-to-brain communication, but can be deployed with sufficient dexterity that even the shortcomings of language can be used to make something more interesting. Think of a rock song that keeps the buzz of a guitar being plugged into an amp, and the squeal of feedback, to add sonic information to the song even if those sounds wouldn’t be transcribed on sheet music.
When I drove over to the nightclub, Leonard was sitting on the curb, holding a bloody rag to his head.
Along similar lines, Shilpa Garg on A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE! offers 10 eXtraordinary Book Titles.
WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE by Daryl Gregory
Oh, I’m worried already, and I don’t even know who all are in danger. Why are they telling me they are okay? Clearly they’re not okay. They should tell me about it. This is a brilliant book title which will make you dive into it right away.