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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

"It's Worse Than That--It Sucks, Jim"

To borrow part of a phrase from my friend Marie, I've come to the conclusion that I can't write science fiction to save my life.


Here's an excerpt from a story I wrote about ten years ago and, shockingly, never saw publication:

Sherrie’s computer was programmed with an illegal text-literate option that had belonged to her great-great-grandmother, dating back to well before the Freemind Revolution. Greatmam Hilly had been sure to teach all her kin how to read and write, and she had taught them to scorn the audio-visuals that lulled people into thoughtless bliss.


The concept was okay, but it's also one that's been done way to death: In the FUTURE (cue menacing organ chords), no one can read, so everyone becomes so stupid that sand fleas are considered the superior life form. Of course, it was all a vast Government Conspiracy (boo, hiss). Etcetera, ad nauseum, insert pithy Latin phrase here.

So, my science fiction, not so much. Thank God for fantasy and horror. To this day, my mother can't understand why the supernatural fascinates me and why I have such a macabre sense of humor. Once she asked me, "Why can't you write about bunnies?" And I immediately thought about killer bunnies, a la Monty Python.

See, it's not that I'm warped. It's that I watched too much television and rented too many movies.

Book Buzz of the Day
Phobos by Ty Drago. This, my friends, is good science fiction. It's actually more of a futuristic thriller/mystery hybrid. Call it what you will, it's a damn fine read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am eagly awaiting the sequel. (Ty, if you're reading this: hop to it, man! Chop chop!)

Jackie's submission update
Boo hoo, yet another agent has taken a pass. Actually, two -- one for The Lorn, one for Charles. What's the etiquette here -- do I give real names on blogs? Huh, better not; brutal honesty could come back and bite me in my thong-clad tushy. (The "thong" part was just in case Loving Husband is reading this. Mooches smooches, honey!) Okay, so, no real names. I'll call the chick-lit agent who took a pass on my query and synopsis "Girly." Yeah, so Girly e-mailed me today to say that she didn't think it worked for her. Here's what she actually wrote:

I don't think this one is for me. Something about the plot just doesn't appeal to me.

Maybe it was all the vibrators.

Onward. Sent out two more queries to fantasy agents today -- snail mail, alas, but hey, one never knows. Hope springs eternal, and all that crap.


At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Jim said...

Funky coincidence time: I work with Ty's cousin. I'm told Phobos didn't do as well as they had hoped, but I don't know what this means for a sequel, unfortunately...

Sympathy on the agent-passes. Maybe if you resubmitted it with 50% less vibrators?

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Keith Cronin said...

Maybe I should hook you up with one of the agents who rejected me. "I liked the story, Keith," she wrote, "but think it could use more vibrators."

Oh, and I can't write scifi either. Then again, the same could be said for whoever wrote Star Trek movie #5.

- Keith Cronin

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Jackie said...

Jim: Wow, that is kinda funky! Ty's working on the sequel, but whether it would be published by Tor is still in the Magic 8 Ball end of things. And I think the vibrators are a good selling point. Shows I'm familiar with the ins and outs of the business, and that I understand the possibility of getting f***** over. ((grin))

Keith: Ooh, yes. That agent and I would work well together! (See above about the ins and outs of the business.) ((Er, Loving Husband, I'm really just joking. Hello? Honey?)) And Keith, based on your blog, I'm positive you could write science fiction if you wanted to. As long as there are no sprouts, that is. If you wanted to write about sprouts, that would have to be horror.


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