Friday, September 28, 2007

Only planning to read one science fiction story this year? Read Good Mountain by Robert Reed. For me, it's the best story I've read since "The Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang.

This is ironic for me, because I always think of "Story of Your Life" as Ted Chiang does Robert Reed. It's a great story because Chiang is a great writer who gets all the details right and puts the plot puzzle together better than almost anybody, but it follows a Reed-like story arc, leading to a Reed-like impact (only better).

The irony? Oh yeah. "Mountain" reads to me like Robert Reed does China Mieville. Reed writes better than Mieville in my opinion and he brings the strength of his punch-in-the-gut story impact to the project, but the world is (almost) bizarre enough and full of some of the world-building details that evoke Mieville. So, too, is the world so dark black it's practically blue. Of course, this world isn't as dense as Mieville would make it. Reed didn't quite get to Mieville-like levels of world building density genius, but he's definitely got the bleak down. And, in truncated form, the general shape of a Mieville story.

I can say all of these things because (1) no one actually cares what I think - hallelujah! - and (2) No one's going to read this blog anyway. Ah, the freedom of anonymity!

Anyway, "Good Mountain" deserves Hugos, Nebulas, etc. but won't get them, I suspect. Why? I think too many of the members of the SF community think of Robert Reed as basically a Journeyman. A negative consequence of his volume of work, in part. And also a result of writing many many very good but not necessarily any of those few standout great stories that define years. He's the Don Sutton of SF short story writers, to borrow a phrase from baseball. Other than GD, most insiders don't give him full credit for his talent and accomplishment (IMHO).

I could be wrong. I hope I am.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

By the very fact that you are reading this, you should assume the space-time continuum was spared (and thus my feline was not).

If you're curious, Kye's been walking for a month and a half now. No shiny new website for you. (Also, my computer crash ate the Baker Signet font, thereby screwing up all of my covers from time immemorial. I'm thinking about just signing over all future paychecks to Adobe and being done with it.)

Writing. Should I do nanowrimo? Would you? If you were my wife and kids, would you ever talk to me again? Ah, the imponderable questions.

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