Sunday, June 6, 2010

my writing week 3 (22)

Hi all,

Last week I finished reading the short stories nominated for the 2010 Hugo awards:

Spar by Kij Johnson - Anyone who says sex never occurs in science fiction should read this story as it is one long sex scene where an alien and human trapped in an alien lifeboat repeatedly penetrate each other. It is more of a moment of time than a story, with no clear conclusion and meaning, other than how strange the interactions between humans and aliens might be.

The Moment by Lawrence M. Schoen - Different groups of aliens visit humanity's first steps into space, a footprint on the moon. The story is difficult to read because of the language and invented terminology used, which is appropriate considering the point of view characters are aliens. The aliens are interesting imaginings. It's an optimistic story of humankind's expansion into space.

The Bride of Frankenstein by Mike Resnick - The only nominated author I had heard of before. This is the story of Frankenstein (the scientist, not the monster) told in diary entries from the point of view of his wife, where she records the monster humanising her resentful and emotionally closed life. The story had a tongue in cheek feel to it.

Non-Zero Probabilities by N.K. Jemisin - Set in modern day New York where bad luck is rife because of bad vibes. More of a fantasy than science fiction. I didn't really get the story on the first read because I misread a line and, never having played craps, I didn't equate snake eyes (two ones on rolled dice) with bad luck.

Bridesicle by Will McIntosh - Easily the best of the stories. A woman is cryogenically frozen after death and is periodically brought back to life for dates with men who, if she agrees to marry them, will pay for her rehabilitation back into a functioning human. But wait, there is more, yes two ideas, something that doesn't happen a great deal in science fiction short stories. The dead also hitch rides in the brains of the living, with their consciousnesses downloaded into the minds of willing relatives or friends. The two ideas create a thrilling murder-suicide love story. The story is very easy to read.

My vote has to be in by July 31 so I will easily have time to read the nominees for best novella and novelette, but I don't expect to have read the novel nominees by then.

Instead of spending time writing, I wasted a lot of time last week debating people on blogs and mailing lists on whether ebooks will destroy the publishing industry and make it much harder for writers to make money out of writing. I hoped for some arguments or data that would convince me that this would not be the case, but most of the counter arguments seemed to be more wishful thinking than anything else. See my previous two blog posts if you are interesting in having a go at changing my opinion.

With the dust settling on the above debate (writers very close to nil, consumers winners but than losers), I hope to spend a substantial part of this week writing.



Anthony J Langford said...

Id love to read a couple of those.. can you post a link?

I'm still not prepared to read a screen for anything longer than a short. It would have to go a long way before I would choose an ebook over the real thing.

Graham Clements said...

Hi Anthony,

I only have access to the stories because I have become a member of AussieCon 4, which is Worldcon in Melbourne in September this year. All worldcon members get to vote in the Hugo awards, we were given a link and password to download all the stories, novellas, noveletes and novels nominated for this years Hugo awards.

Perhaps you can access them online from the publication they appeared in, which are:

* “The Bride of Frankenstein”, Mike Resnick (Asimov’s 12/09)
* “Bridesicle”, Will McIntosh (Asimov’s 1/09)
* “The Moment”, Lawrence M. Schoen (Footprints; Hadley Rille Books)
* “Non-Zero Probabilities”, N.K. Jemisin (Clarkesworld 9/09)
* “Spar”, Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld 10/09)