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Re: [mythsoc] Ellison

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  • Max Rible
    ... The only comparable book I can think of is Ian McDonald s _Desolation Road_, which is a novel about the colonization of Mars done in a magical-realism
    Message 1 of 29 , Feb 3, 2003
      On Mon, 2003-02-03 at 08:46, David S. Bratman wrote:
      > Some of Swanwick's short stories are clever, and he's written some
      > halfway-decent fantasy criticism, but a few pages of _The Iron Dragon's
      > Daughter_ sent me away determined never to return. A few people were
      > trying to promote that as the next great genre-defining fantasy. It didn't
      > really take that role, but if it did, count me out.

      The only comparable book I can think of is Ian McDonald's _Desolation
      Road_, which is a novel about the colonization of Mars done in a
      magical-realism style.
      %% Max Rible % slothman@... % www.amurgsval.org/~slothman/ %%
      %% "Before enlightenment: sharpen claws, catch mice. %%
      %% After enlightenment: sharpen claws, catch mice." %%
    • chris.
      Ernest: Ernest Potlatch, that s local, isn t it? I mean, local to me, here Ernest in Seattle, at least part of the time; maybe it jumps around Ernest the
      Message 2 of 29 , Feb 3, 2003
        Ernest> Potlatch, that's local, isn't it? I mean, local to me, here
        Ernest> in Seattle, at least part of the time; maybe it jumps around
        Ernest> the West Coast. At least, I remember or think I remember it
        Ernest> met once at a hotel in Wallingford.

        Potlach is, indeed, a migratory West Coast con.
        [http://www.potlatch-sf.org/%5d Potlach 9 (2000) was in Seattle, as was
        Potlach 11 (2002). That is, according to the Potlach website they
        were. I've never been, having found out about it about a wk after
        last yr's con.

        Looks like Potlach is in San Francisco this yr.

        [ mail : wrdnrd@... ]
        [ news : sff.people.wrdnrd ]
        [ web : www.wrdnrd.com ]
      • Ernest Tomlinson
        ... From: David S Bratman To: Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2003 10:53 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Ellison [on
        Message 3 of 29 , Feb 4, 2003
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "David S Bratman" <dbratman@...>
          To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2003 10:53 PM
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Ellison

          [on the prospect of getting insulted by Harlan Ellison]
          > Somehow I've never considered tongue-lashings to be pleasurable
          > experiences, even long afterwards.

          Who said anything about pleasurable? Memorable, I said. And great currency
          at parties; a flaying from Ellison is probably worth ten stories about car
          accidents or digging through the dumpster for my retainer in junior high

          > And a great shame, too. Pre-1980s Asimov is by far my favorite of all the
          > SF writers of his generation (the ones who arrived in the 1937-49
          > Campbellian period). Yes, I like that old Foundation trilogy, but it was
          > the first book-length SF I ever read, at age 15.

          The problem--one of the problems--with the Foundation stories is that
          Asimov, often unable or unwilling to _show_ us the resolution of the crises
          he has set up, resorts to long conversation scenes in which we're told,
          rather than shown, that the crisis is resolved. The last story in the
          original _Foundation_ provides one of the most egregious examples: Hober
          Mallow invites his enemy Sutt over for tea and tells him, and us, at length
          that he's solved the latest Seldon crisis--and that's that. Also, Asimov
          has a rather strange idea of psychology.

          > Is it fashionable to deride _Neuromancer_? Not anywhere that I've been,
          > but perhaps I don't get out much.

          I'm thinking mostly of r.a.sf.written, where I don't think I saw a single
          positive comment about _Neuromancer_ in three years. Gibson was universally
          derided for his computer illiteracy and his inability to follow up on the
          success of _Neuromancer_.

          > Nor did I find the prose too memorable...

          I'll never forget many of the scenes from _Neuromancer_, particularly Case's
          dream of knocking down the wasp's nest, and seeing the Tessier-Ashpool logo
          embossed on the side. (I'm not sure why that scene is the one I can least
          forget.) You're right, _Neuromancer_ is more style than story; individual
          scenes work, but the whole is less than the sum of its parts. But compare
          _Neuromancer_ to _Snow Crash_--urgh, there's a _bad_ book.

          > Do you like classical music? I gathered from an earlier post of yours
          > mentioning it that it had been stuffed down your throat by your parents
          > you wound up disliking it.

          Not disliking it, just not liking it as much. About half my LP collection
          is classical music, though these days I listen more to rock. I'll elaborate

          > You beat me, then. I didn't give up on popular music entirely until I was
          > about 27 (which was 1984, so it's hardly comparable), took immediately to
          > pocket calculators and electric typewriters (neither of which were
          > available, at least to me, when I first could have used them), and prefer
          > FM radio to AM because there's more classical music on it.

          I liked the Selectric; that's a good typewriter, and I'm convinced that I
          can type about 20 wpm faster on it than on any other machine. I also own a
          "Coronamatic" or similar Smith-Corona electric, with manual-style typebars
          and shifting, but I don't like it as much. Word processing, though, has
          probably defiled my writing habits permanently, and it would be hard for me
          now to return to typewriting.

          Perhaps we can meet someday at Potlatch. Probably not this year, because I
          have no money to travel to San Francisco.


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