Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

While I was away...

While I was away, and I'm not saying I'm back on-line or anything, (because I'm slogging through copyedits and grinding through a game project right now) but while I was away, I seemed to have attracted the attention of one very curmudgeonly John Clute at Strange Horizons, who will probably not be happy if I don't get back to work on the edits of the sequel forthwith.

So, it has come to my attention that John Clute is watching me, now, while I work, from the timewarped delay dreamtime way readers are always watching writers work.

The write-up ends on a strong upswing:

"... this could mark the beginning of something very good indeed from a genuine hard puncher. So please. Keep shaking us like this."

You know, as a total aside, I do happen to like the books that walkabout. In fact, my favorite books are almost entirely walkabouts (Like Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjiang). Plot is so boring. (The hero gets the girl, then she dies, and he is emo forever. Hey, there's a TWIST! and then the friend is the enemy. Oh, noes, everything that can go wrong does but the hero invents a way to save the day, hooray for Dr Who!) I want to wander the space stations of tomorrow, not blow them up or chase ships around. I want to wander art museums, not just dart in for a few postcards from the gift shop. I want to feel like I'm moving where my curiosity as a reader leads me, not where some machinery dictates movement.

Literary Walkabout is a good thing. It is a beautiful thing, when done well.

Eh, I'm just glad people are reading my books.

1 comment:

Preita said...

Huh, I guess that is a different way of reading books. I'm all about the plot. I love unique characters no matter how vile. I love books that I don't know if I like them till the very end. I love books that give me a sucker punch in the last chapter, where I'm hit by a car when I should have been looking both ways. I get lost in too much description, to much wandering. I gave up on Robert Jordan for just this reason.