Books

I Was a Teenage Playwright

Really, a collegiate playwright, but that doesn’t make the same stale pop-cultural reference.

In any case, one of the ways I spent my days in university instead of exercising or learning how to talk to girls was writing one-act plays. Some of them were bedroom-type farces, some had theological and/or philosophical pretenses. All were silly. But when I come back to them, I have the same enjoyment as when I first typed them out. They still have a cheeky charm.

Two of them are out on Amazon.com, and the rest should be by the end of the month or so.

sendintheclowns         clinical insanity

 

Click the images for the Amazon link.

William Gibson’s Source Code: An Interesting Mini-Memoir

He covers all the basics in a short period of time.

This struck me:

Brian Aldiss believes that if you look at the life of any novelist, you’ll find an early traumatic break, and mine seems no exception.

Because I think everyone can examine their childhood and find moments of sublime clarity, when reality takes its mask off and murders the idyll in front of you. So I don’t know that such is restricted only to novelists. Perhaps novelists access it fastest.

This amused me:

Google me and you can learn that I do it all on a manual typewriter, something that hasn’t been true since 1985, but which makes such an easy hook for a lazy journalist that I expect to be reading it for the rest of my life.

Journalists are the laziest bastards on the planet. They find a hook, and then stuff everything else through that hook like it was a funnel. A plague on their houses.

Read the whole thing, if you’re a Gibson fan and you’ve never hit up his web site before. It has an archaic, Geocities-ish design that’s almost charming.

1985 is a Thing

Way before I’d ever read 1984, I’d heard of it. I don’t know if I had heard of it during the year 1984, as I turned eight that autumn, but somewhere along the way I heard that particular year spoken of in that way that conveyed symbolic significance. When I did read it,that significance finally took shape.

In between the realization that 1984 was a book, and reading that book, I also somehow digested the notion that someone had written a response to it, and that someone was not George Orwell (if I knew who Orwell was at the time, which seems unlikely). I was aware, at some point, that there was also a book called 1985.

Today, in a lonely impulse of delight while pursuing Goodreads, I confirmed that reality.

Anthony Burgess. Of course.

As a sidebar, The International Anthony Burgess Foundation has a nice historical summary of the dystopian genre. I never would have realized that Brave New World was written before 1984.

The term ‘utopia’, literally meaning ‘no place’, was coined by Thomas More in his book of the same title. Utopia (1516) describes a fictional island in the Atlantic ocean and is a satire on the state of England. The English philosopher John Stuart Mill coined ‘Dystopia’, meaning ‘bad place’, in 1868 as he was denouncing the government’s Irish land policy. He was inspired by More’s writing on utopia.

Something fitting about “Utopia” being about England and “Dystopia” being about Ireland. Always thus, I suppose.

In any case, I look forward to reading it.

A Message I Think Many of Us Self-Published Could Use.

At the end of a re-posted Sarah Hoyt Human Wave “manifesto”

You shall not spend your life explaining why your not-boring is better than your fellow writers not-boring.  Instead you will shut up and write.

 preach

There is nothing lamer, sadder, and more pathetic that author-on-author hate. Does anyone imagine that J.K. Rowling gives one tu’penny fark how many people slag Harry Potter? Of course not, which is why I stopped hating on them years ago. I still haven’t read them, because I don’t care, but good for her. Seriously. Another person’s success is not my failure, no matter how mystifying I find things.

I have never published anything that sold in quantities I want. That’s, well, it’s not okay, but whining about it accomplishes what? Grumping about people who didn’t like my work accomplishes what?

Aside from making you an entitled ninny and pseudo-aristocrat, I mean?