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Ellen
Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 11:47 am:   

Continuing the conversation...
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JeremyT
Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 11:54 am:   

Excellent. So, regarding the new story, "You Go Where It Takes You";

This is the kind of thing I love to buy for the Fortean Bureau, so obviously, I really liked it.

The ending packed a lot of punch. The character made a very unpopular decision, and I too will be interested to hear from anyone who disliked the story. It gives the story a sharp edge to it that I very much like. I step away from it somewhat unsettled, and that I can appreciate.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 02:49 pm:   

Tim, Jeremy, thanks so much for your feedback. I was very nervous about this story, and frankly I still am. That probably comes as much from my being a new writer -- this is my second professional sale -- as from any animosity the story might stir up. My first readers were very polarized regarding the end, so I'm quite curious to see how it's received.
And Jeremy, forgive my ignorance, but what is the Fortean Bureau?
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Tim Akers
Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 06:58 pm:   

www.forteanbureau.com

It's a webzine. Good reads.
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 09:57 pm:   

Nathan,

You've got balls, my friend.

Congratulations on one of the best stories I've read all year. Out of curiosity, where was your other story published? And do you have anything in the pipeline?
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M.K. Hobson
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 06:41 am:   

Nathan:

Couldn't you at least have parked a nice busload of Lutherans at the rest stop? Had some grandmothery ladies in flowered dresses milling around?

Oh well ...

That was a really spectacular story. I read many passages twice just to appreciate the craftsmanship. Sure, I did not like the ending at all. But I can't think of a different that would have served the point of the story so admirably.


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T.C.
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 07:04 am:   

Hi Ellen,

Would you ever consider publishing a short geared toward young adults?

I ask this because I've just such a story that I'd like to send to you -- a soft near-future SF piece that, although not juvenile in the least, *might* be seen as more YA than adult -- but I don't want to waste your time if you don't consider YA stuff.

Thanks!

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Tim Akers
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 07:25 am:   

Hey T.C., if I may suggest a market, pending Ellen's answer. Cicada magazine takes sci-fi, and their target audience is high school/college. Don't know if you were thinking more YA than that.
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Ellen
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 07:35 am:   

T.C. It's impossible to judge without reading the story. I've published at least one story by Terry Bisson from a kid's pov that I still felt was an adult story--so as I say it's hard to judge.

Just send it to me and let me see.
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T.C.
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 07:49 am:   

Thanks, Ellen! I'll do that, then.

And Tim, thanks for the tip.
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JeremyT
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 08:14 am:   

Hey Tim, thanks for posting our URL! And congrats on your story, Nathan. Very well done. I will be watching for your future publications.

Speaking of YA markets, I sold a story recently to a new YA magazine called Just Weird Enough. I'm not sure if they have reopened to submissions yet or not, but check their information on ralan (http://www.ralan.com/) if you're interested in YA fiction and look for them to open again. I've been working with them on the galleys and just got a the link yesterday to the illustrator's site. They're a top notch operation so far, and I'm really looking forward to seeing their first issue. And not just because I'm in it.

Anyway, back to SCIFICTION-- I meant to mention last week's story. I found it kind of muddled and hard to follow, but I might have just been tired. I preferred Lucius's story, but I did enjoy it.
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Ellen
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 08:20 am:   

Jeremy,
You might want to try the Prill again when you're not tired. It's a wallop of a satire. Not at all like Lucius's take.
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NStanifer
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 09:36 am:   

I join M.K., Chris, and others in applauding "You Go Where It Takes You." [Disclosure: I know Nathan personally. We trade drafts -- and drafts -- at the pub where he works. But I think anyone reading the story can overlook my bias.]

We need more like this in genre writing -- a psychological snapshot a less courageous writer wouldn't have offered. Toni's decision is played cold, and it left me squirming.

And the economical prose perfectly matches the subject matter. No extra words means no place to hide. The last five paragraphs go in clean as a bullet and lodge next to the heart. And not a speck of saccharine. Bravo.

Nice choice, Ellen.
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 09:56 am:   

I felt like I got socked in the gut at the end of the story. The whole piece has the same air of menace to it that I feel when I watch much of Lynch's film work (particularly LOST HIGHWAY). While I read I could hear the low drone of Badalamenti's score. With an ending like this, I find it hard to say that I like the story, since I do not agree with nor understand the main character's decision (although I think it fits her character). But it's so well written, and I think the reaction I get upon the end shows that Nathan has talent. A lesser writer wouldn't provoke such a strong reaction.

Here's a non-linear connection. When I watched the movie CHASING AMY, I had an almost instant aversion to it. Sorry to ruin the film for anyone, but in a nutshell Ben Affleck plays a guy who falls in love with a lesbian who falls in love with him. Affleck believes that he is this woman's first man--she even says this at one point--but he later finds out that this is a lie. The girl was more than a little wild in her youth. I found myself agreeing, emotionally, with Affleck and his anger towards her, but disagreeing, mentally, with Affleck. It made me uncomfortable that my rational self, when posed with a 'real' situation, did the exact opposite of what I professed. Kevin Smith's script is brilliant. It made me uncomfortable. It made me question myself.

Nathan's story makes me uncomfortable. I know what I think while I sit in my office, eating my lunch, typing this message, but what would I do in reality? What would I do if I was in the main character's situation?

The most awful thing about the ending (and by awful, I mean frightening) is that we have no idea if anyone comes out OK.

Great job. This'll be in my head for weeks.

JK
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JeremyT
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 10:18 am:   

Oh, scratch what I said about Just Weird Enough. They Just Folded.

I'll have to read the Prill story again sometime when I'm not depressed.

-JT
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Tim Akers
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 10:43 am:   

Enlightment is not found on some mountaintop, in clouds and rocky heights and sunlight. Enlightenment, freedom, change...these things are found in the basement of a burned out house, in the collapse of our carefully maintained puzzlebox lives.

Yeah, I'm sick. But I liked the ending.
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Ellen
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 11:08 am:   

John K,
re: Chasing Amy.

From a woman's pov I disliked Affleck intensely and was really angry at him for being such a hypocrite. Granted, I saw the movie a few years ago and don't remember every detail. But it occurred to me at the time that for this guy-- who I'm sure screwed around a lot-- to be angry at Amy for having had other lovers (male or not) before him was the height of a very particular type of male hypocrisy. I didn't blame her at all as she knew he would behave just the way he did. Like a jerk.
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 11:31 am:   

You are completely right, she kept quiet because he would not be able to handle the truth. But, by letting him live in his own reality, when he comes into contact with actual reality, he explodes. By putting off the inevitable, the conflict becomes worse. However, I do not believe that Affleck's character had the wherewithal or strength of ego to live in a relationship that wasn't exactly what he (and only he) wanted.

I had a lot of trouble with this film as it made me confront my own sexual morality. I have had only one sexual partner, and for me, it was important that she also only have one. I know nearly 100% of America would not agree with me, but it was important to us. So, the film put me in the place of, what if she revealed to me that I was not the only one? How would I react? To my horror, I found myself understading his reaction. It made me sick. I didn't want to agree with an asshole. I didn't want to take his side. I had been able to have a hypocritical view on the subject since my own sexual life had worked out the way I wanted it to...but what if it hadn't? Should that matter? Again, my brain says no, but I couldn't count on what my emotions would do. But then I think of all these fantastic years I've lived with this woman that I would have missed. And that's what's important: what we have together, now. Not what we had as individuals before. Your past is important and can't be ignored, but it's also something you cannot change and can't waste time worrying over.

Sorry this is so much off topic. Obviously people making difficult/unpopular choices is something that makes me stop and think and contemplate how I am living my own life.

JK
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 11:36 am:   

More thanks to everyone (and Neal, you get a free beer tonight!). I'm relieved that the story is getting positive reactions.

Chris, you asked about my other story: it's called "She Found Heaven" and it was published in F&SF back in 1995. After I sold it I stopped writing until last year. The story itself was okay, but I'd lived kind of a weird life up until my twenties and I didn't know shit about anything. I did know I didn't want to base a career writing things like "She Found Heaven": that is, airy fantasies about nothing much in particular. So I knocked around the country several years, did some questionable things, befriended some questionable people, and felt like I finally had a little more to offer. You can find it in the archives of Fantastic Metropolis if you're interested.

As for what's coming down the pike: I have a short piece in the forthcoming Thackery Lambshead disease guide; other than that, just some short stories I'm still working on that haven't hit the market yet.

Thanks for asking.
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Christopher Barzak
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 12:49 pm:   

"You Go Where It Takes You" was absolutely horrifying. I was captured between two different states of being--revulsion and attraction--which surely are the two qualities a story must contain to be truly horrific, I think. Ellen, you mentioned on the way to Readercon that the story reminded your copyeditor of Raymond Carver. It does remind one of Carver, but in character only--the waitress in the dead end job, particularly. But as soon as Nathan writes the story into the section beyond the waitress taking the stranger home, it becomes something altogether different. Quite scary indeed.

I'm not sure how to feel about it, other than it was a fantastic read, although really disturbing. We hear about these things on TV in little bites, but never fully realize the drama of these events.

Congratulations on making such a great story, Nathan.

Chris Barzak
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Ellen
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 01:06 pm:   

Chris,
To be fair to the copy editor he did say Raymond Carver if he wrote horror --and then he corrected himeself and said--he does write horror, kind of.

Yes, the power of the story is that its most horrific aspects are totally believable, if we can judge from what we read in the news daily.
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JeffV
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 01:39 pm:   

Nathan's a brilliant writer--it's a great story. His FM story can be found at:

http://www.fantasticmetropolis.com/show.html?fn,heaven,1

He also has a stunning piece called "The Malady of Ghostly Cities" in the forthcoming Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases.

Jeff
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Friday, July 18, 2003 - 03:37 pm:   

Jeff is right. I read a draft of "The Malady of Ghostly Cities" prior to its submission. If you enjoy Borges, Calvino, and Garcia Marquez, check this one out. Quite a trip.

Oh, and the Guide also features some other promising writers. Gaiman and Moore seem to have some potential. I look forward to this one.
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Michael Kelly
Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 08:13 am:   

Let me add to the chorus of praise for You Go Where it Takes You. Brilliant stuff! The somewhat detached viewpoint packs a powerful punch. I've just now recommended the story for a Bram Stoker Award. Hopefully it will prod some people to read it. Also went over to Fantastic Metropolis and read She Found Heaven. Good stuff there, as well. Dreamy and melancholic, it makes a good point without belaboring it.

Nathan, keep up the great work.

-Mike
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 01:59 pm:   

I really appreciate that, Mike. And I'll do my best.
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Rick Bowes
Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 02:46 pm:   

'Go Where It Takes You' makes a dozen different turns, each one completely natural, not one of them expected. And all done so quietly. If this isn't one of the best of the year then it will have been an amazing year. What's the word count?
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Ellen
Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 06:16 pm:   

Hi Rick,
I count it as 4700 words.
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rick bowes
Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 06:35 pm:   

The site's got it up as 7/2/03.
For the neb I said 7/16.
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Ellen
Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 06:47 pm:   

Uh oh. Let me check the site. It went up the 16th. I've contacted my producer and the error will be fixed Monday.
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JeremyT
Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 07:23 am:   

I really liked "Daughter of the Monkey God." The setting and feeling of place was really strong, and the characters were very sympathetic. Good work on the part of Hobson.
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Ellen
Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 09:14 am:   

Jeremy, she'll be very pleased as it's her first professional sale.
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Tim Akers
Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 10:59 am:   

First sale? Wow, very good stuff.
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Ellen
Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 11:58 am:   

Well, first professional sale. I don't recall her bio but it probably mentions where else she's been published.
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Bob
Posted on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 03:38 am:   

Yup. Nice bit of writing, that.
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Ellen
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 03:22 pm:   

A classic in our August schedule has been switched and so here is the latter half of our August schedule again and our September
schedule. Second story is always a
classic. If you see anything that looks wrong, let me know.
Ellen

August 20
A Walk in the Garden by Lucius Shepard
The View From Endless Scarp by Marta Randall

August 22
Michael Swanwick's Periodic Table of Science Fiction-Hassium

August 27
Like, Need, Deserve by Robert Reed

August 29
Holiday for the elements

September 3
Greetings by Terry Bisson novella Part 1
It Walks in Beauty by Chan Davis

September 5
Michael Swanwick's Periodic Table of Science Fiction--Meitnerium

September 10
Greetings by Terry Bisson part 2

September 12
Michael Swanwick's Periodic Table of Science Fiction--Darmstadtium

September 17
Greetings by Terry Bisson Part 3
classic tk

September 19
Michael Swanwick's Periodic Table of Science Fiction--Unununium

September 24
Greetings by Terry Bisson Part 4

September 26
Michael Swanwick's Periodic Table of Science Fiction--Ununbium


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Laird Barron
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 06:27 pm:   

Dear Nathan,

A belated congratulations on You Go Where It Takes You.

Creepy, visceral, knockout ending. Thanks for a great read.

Regards,
Laird
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 03:09 pm:   

Laird,

Not so belated! The story's only existed for a few months. And thanks so much for the kind words. They really do mean a lot to me.

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John Klima
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 08:23 am:   

Just to alert readers of SCIFICTION. PS Publishing will be putting out an edition of Michael Swanwick's PERIODIC TABLE OF SF early next year.

Here's the link:

http://www.pspublishing.co.uk/cat/ptsf.htm

JK
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Tim Akers
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 06:53 am:   

Enjoyed THREADS. I'm always fascinated with stories like that...the essence of what we are as people broken down into technology, looking for the subtle line between personality and programming. Fun. Echoes of THE WINTER MARKET, I think.
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Ellen
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 08:26 am:   

Tim, I'll try to get Jessica Reisman, the author on the BB to comment. I'm sure she'll be delighted.
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Tim Akers
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 08:55 am:   

Yeah, I was looking for a way to contact her directly, try to let her know I liked the piece. Wasn't able to come up with anything. Anyway...
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Jessica Reisman
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 10:34 am:   

Thanks, Tim! I'm very glad you liked "Threads." I appreciate your comment--I'm not sure if I was looking for that subtle line or just trying to dance on it.
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Michael Kelly
Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 08:33 am:   

Ellen,

Really enjoyed Hirshberg's Flowers in Their Bridles, Hooves in the Air. A deeply effecting work of melancholy. I have yet to be disappointed in a Hirshberg piece. His stories have a great sense of the "every day" about them, whether they are about love, relationships, abandonment, or all those things combined. Great stuff!

-Mike
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Ellen
Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 08:53 am:   

Mike,
I agree. I love most of Glen's work. Wait till you read "Dancing Men" in The Dark (and also in his collection). It's incredibly creepy.
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Michael Kelly
Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 01:18 pm:   

Ellen,

The Dark is on my "must have" list. Looking forward to that one. Alas, still haven't come across YBFH #16 up here in Canada. Soon, I hope.

-Mike
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Michael Kelly
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 12:36 pm:   

Okay, success. Today I have my copy of YBFH #16. Great job, Ellen!

-Mike
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Ellen
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 03:27 pm:   

Ha! Mike--how can you say that when you haven't read it yet? :-)
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Michael Kelly
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 04:26 pm:   

Oh, I know, Ellen. I just know. :-)

-Mike
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Steve Blaisdell
Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 11:55 am:   

"A Walk In The Garden": Great story. I was a Seaman First Class during the Gulf War and served on a carrier with a marine contingent. Shepard does that culture nicely. Was he in the service? Whatever, the story does sort of sum things up, doesn't it?

I haven't seen much military sf on the site. Are you open to seeing more?
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Tim Akers
Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 02:44 pm:   

Great story. Lucius really has something going on in his head about blue collar men with the inner dialogue of philosophers finding themselves in as situation imposed on them by social or economic constraints or the constraints of duty. They go on to enlightenment at the hands of bizarrity, if that's even a word. Good stuff.
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Ellen
Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 10:09 pm:   

Steve and Tim,
Glad you like it. Lucius says he just reread it and enjoyed it himself :-) something he doesn't usually do.

Steve,
I'm not into military sf per se, I just like good stories. I'll ask Lucius to come by so he can respond to your question about the service.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 10:33 pm:   

Steve,

No military service, but I did correspondent work during a couple of actions, so I've had the chance to see soldiers of various stripe in combat and non-combat situations. I'm pleased you thought it had some authenticity.

Tim, what can I tell you, man? I live in a city populated by blue collar guys who read Jacques Lacan over coffee. :-) I'm very glad you enjoyed the story.

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John French
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 05:22 am:   

Being a newbie and hoping to sell my stories, I don't want to tick anyone off, but...are there nothing out there but left-wing POV stories about Iraq? "A Walk In The Garden" works as a story--it's a really good story--but the steady barrage of left-wing scifi gets to me sometimes.
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Tim Akers
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 06:38 am:   

I'm entirely unclear of what constitutes "left wing" in that story. Maybe I'm just inured to it.

Seriously though John, in my experience the artistic community as a whole tends to be more liberal than conservative. I'm a hardline moderate myself, so I spend most of my time getting called a nazi by serious liberals, a commie by serious conservatives, and a fence sitter by all parties involved.

But if you don't like what you perceive as the political agenda of the writing community, the best thing you can do is write quality fiction that you do agree with. Unless it's wildly offensive, I think most editors are open minded enough to accept it, even if they don't agree with it. I don't think Ellen would condone child abandonment, but she did publish YOU GO WHERE IT TAKES YOU, quite possibly one of the best stories at scifiction this year.
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Bob
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 07:08 am:   

John,
Er? Having been described, myself, by one of my best friends -- a raging liberal, let me tell you -- as "a virtual member of the John Birch Society", and as a veteran of GW I, I've got to ask you where you got the idea that story was 'left-wing POV'.
I thought one great attribute of the story was its total and complete honesty and authenticity. The characters thought the same thoughts I did when I was there, wondered what line of bullshit to swallow, what rumor was true, and most of all, why the fuck we were there. And let me tell you, there are no politics in war, not from a soldier's POV, which was really how this story was written. When the bullets fly over your head often enough, left and right-wing politics really becomes code for "die by the bullet or the bomb", respectively.
But hey, think what you want. Lucius is actually a Birkenstock-wearing, granola eating, WTO protesting tree-hugger. He drives an electric car but only charges it once a month to save on power and he keeps his own herd of goats which serve the dual purpose of keeping his lawn nicely trimmed and supplying the entire neighborhood with a healthy alternative to dairy milk -- which Lucius himself doesn't partake of, him being a Vegan and all.
Me, I haven't seen anything even approaching this good in the military skiffy field since Lucius's SALVADOR, but that's just me....
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Ellen
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 07:38 am:   

John,
Not to jump on you but I agree with Bob that the story doesn't seem left wing to me particularly but neutral toward the war itself --from the pov of an American grunt. (granted that I don't know that pov firsthand).
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Tim Akers
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 07:39 am:   

Military scifi is a fascinating topic, for me. There's a lot of really bad, dull, bombs 'n' bullets military scifi out there. But in my mind, the military paradigm is a great way to get at some really great topics. Same holds true for hollywood. The rambo series and their ilk are excellent examples of how wrong war stories can be told. But Platoon, FMJ, and Apocalypse Now? Come on, tell me that's not deep stuff. So, while most of my writing is distinctly not military in nature, I do write the occassional military story, but not for love of guns and grenades.
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Bob
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 08:00 am:   

Actually, Tim, I found the first FIRST BLOOD pretty deep. When it was made -- in fact it still remains somewhat current -- there was a blind eye being cast at the deep wounds that war can inflict on even the most dedicated soldier.
John Rambo, the character, was a metaphor for all the returning heroes of the Vietnam Conflict who were reviled for their exploits and whose psychological conditions -- PTSD, feelings of betrayal and abandonment -- are still, to some degree, being dismissed as nothing more than guilt and psychosis.
Rambo was the first action hero I ever saw that DIDN'T come looking for the fight, but rather wanted nothing more than to be left alone with his demons. He wasn't trying to save anyone, wasn't there because he'd heard about someone else's plight, wasn't judge and jury. None of that. He just wanted to go from point A to point B. I still find it a highly enjoyable flick.
Now, if you want to talk about the sequels...oi.
And as for FULL METAL JACKET, it would have been much, much better if they'd cut it off and made the Private Pyle's suicide the last scene and just summarized the rest. Everything from then on, including the sniper scene, seemed like anticlimax compared to that.
Another great soldier story you might check out is TIGERLAND.
Anyways, that's my take.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 08:03 am:   

John, "The steady barrage of left-wing scifi?"

This strikes me as bein akin to suggesting, in the face of MSNBC and FOX, et al, that the television media has a liberal bias. Man, there's tons of right wing military SF out there, from David Drake on out, so I can't buy that left-wing scifi dominates.

As for this particular story, as has been suggested, I was doing a soldier's POV. Soldiers in combat are used as political pawns, but they themselves are fairly apolitical...or, more precisely, their politics is reactive to military structure. They tend, in dire straits, to become centrist, and their real politics is the politics of survival. In the story, Charles Newfield is a political innocent. He hasn't worked it all through, not really -- he's still carrying his daddy's opinions around, as do many young soldiers who find themselves in the shit. That he doubts the rightness and/or effectiveness of his purpose, is not leftist sentiment, but merely human.

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Tim Akers
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 08:55 am:   

Ah, my youngishness showing through. I grew up in the age of the sequels, and have never actually seen First Blood. Bad Tim. Will look into Tigerland, probably after Torcon sometime.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 09:09 am:   

Tim,

if you haven't done "The Thin Red Line," that's a winner as to the mind of the combat soldier.
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Tim Akers
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 09:16 am:   

I was actually told to *not* see that movie, but the person that said that to me had some weird opinions militarily. Is "Band of Brothers" any good?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 09:53 am:   

In my view, as regards the states of mind of combat soldiers, Line is less impure than Brotehrs, which has a good deal of implicit flagwaving...plus the writing in Line is way better.
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Ellen
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 12:14 pm:   

Lucius,
FYI, Trish Macomber mentioned that she really liked the story on the HWA BB. I told her to come by and let you know but if she doesn't, just wanted you to know.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 12:28 pm:   

Thanks, Ellen. Of course I;m pleased she liked it.
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Martin C
Posted on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 07:50 am:   

A Walk in the Garden rules!

Seriously, the internal voice of the soldier is great. Wonderful story.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 08:03 am:   

I just finished "A Walk in the Garden" last night. I second Martin's applause for the protagonist's internal voice -- nicely realized and never oversold. But what really blew me away was the power of the images -- the brass trees, the fields of flowers, and especially that magnificent Sylvester-and-Tweety privacy screen on the dead soldier's helmet visor. Wow. I think I read that passage four times.

As for the alleged liberal slant... Um, yeah, whatever. I suppose for a "moderate" view, we'd have to confine ourselves to the SF of Newt Gingrich?

Anyway, fine work, Lucius.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 01:51 pm:   

Thanks, Martin and Neal....

Yeah, I was kinda happy with the Tweety-Sylvester thing. There's always seemed something terribly appalling about that cartoon in my view...

Gingrich SF, huh? That would be the "Contract With America," right...?
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Ellen
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 03:39 pm:   

I happen to like Tweety and Sylvester--always felt sorry for poor Sylvester as Tweety is such a monster!
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 08:51 pm:   

I like T and S, too, Ellen, but I've always felt there was a twisted concept underlying the canary's innocence....
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M. Bishop
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 04:40 am:   

Sorta like the crocodile's smile....
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 07:02 am:   

Lucius -- Clearly, Tweety was the classic Tease stripped to its basics as the socially-enforced denial of a natural appetite. [With school starting back tomorrow, I'm trying to get back into academic-duckspeak mode.]

Much worse, however, was that damned Roadrunner. Sublingual and hyperkinetic trumps patient and innovative? Where's the justice?
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Ellen
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 07:40 am:   

Oh yeah. Tweety was never truly innocent. He/she deliberately baited poor Sylvester constantly.
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JeremyT
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 08:10 am:   

This thread has turned surreal in a way that absolutely delights me.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 08:33 am:   

Mike --Yup.

Neal, I don't know man, I always hated Tweety more than Roadrunner because of T's cutesy voice.
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Deborah
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 09:44 am:   

Ditto everyone's comments about the coolness of the T and S helmet thing in the story, but what I really liked was the way the soldiers wrote their own post-combat-death press releases that would be automatically uploaded in the event of a newsworthy demise. That was soooo creepy.

The Ten Things Wilson Wants You to Know gave me chills.

Good stuff, Lucius.
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Matthew
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 10:24 am:   

Roadrunner was a far better actor then most cartoons. When he said "Beep-beep", you felt like you meant it.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 10:35 am:   

Ellen, I think the episode where Tweety does the Jekyll-and-Hyde number should have been the biggest tip-off. Nothing with an Id like that is ever innocent.
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Ellen
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 10:59 am:   

oooh. Neal, I never saw that one. I don't suppose you've got a tape. Although I can kind of almost imagine it ...
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rick bowes
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 11:05 am:   

Lucius

A very delayed reply on THIN RED LINE

The novel was astounding. The movie (both the movies) just seemed kind of beside the point.

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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 11:17 am:   

Not to me, man. Actually I thought the novel was rather pedestrian. The Malick film was, I thought, quite brilliant in overall effect and as to several of its devices. The voiceover, for instance -- the interweaving of voices both ghostly and living was a breakthrough in film narration...Hell, in narrative form in general.

Afraid there's no point of agreement here.
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rick bowes
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 12:14 pm:   

Nope. Looks like it's war! And my old man and my uncles always told me that the ones fought over aesthetic principles are always the nastiest
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 12:24 pm:   

War? Huh! What good is it for?
I don't really see the need for a war -- I'm sufficiently satisfied with my view of the matter
so as to have no need either to defend or promote it beyond what's been stated...still, if you insist....
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paulw
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 12:48 pm:   

Boys, boys! No need to cross that thin red line! Allow me, as the disinterested third party, to cast the deciding vote.

Bribes accepted at the usual paypal account.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 12:54 pm:   

The vote--and the war--are irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. What, I'm gonna change my mind?

I don't think so.
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rick bowes
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 12:55 pm:   

Isn't the answer to your musical question, "Absolutely Nothing"?


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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 01:40 pm:   

I thought it was. Glad you think so.

:-)

Cheers.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 01:49 pm:   

Ellen, no I don't have a copy of the ep. Wish I did. Along with every other Warner Brothers cartoon ever made, including Tiny Toons, which I will defend unto my own dismemberment and the drawing of my molars, if necessary. Trans: "Heh heh, Babs is hot." :-)
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rick bowes
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 02:20 pm:   

Lucius

I'm relying on memory. Lyrics to old songs are the one thing the student help doesn't know.
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Ellen
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 07:41 pm:   

Neal, have you seen the old Betty Boop cartoons? Where she still has dog ears? Film Forum showed a bunch of them a few years ago. They were amazing. Betty and Cab Calloway...
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 08:21 pm:   

D'oh! I never saw any of those, not even in clips. I have Boop all over my fridge (my wife has gotten in lots of smirking practice since she met me). Boop with dog ears? (pant, pant) I'll look for them.

I did manage some time ago to pick up a couple of Tex Avery collections. Love that wolf, and I adore Red! Holly Would and Jessica Rabbit are just sad imitations, I'm afraid.

Neal the Incurable Cartoon Geek
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 08:26 pm:   

Rick and Lucius,

Yep, it's "War... Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa... What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again."

Sorry, I had to get that in as a form of therapy. I teach freshmen, and while I love them to gelatinous schrapnel, they have no cultural memory whatsoever. When I mention vinyl, they think of upholstery.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 08:42 pm:   

Neal, you left out the "Y'all" and the "Good God!" :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 09:29 pm:   

"When I mention vinyl, they think of..."

JLo, probably....
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rick bowes
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 11:07 pm:   

Neal and Lucius

Thank you. I'd forgotten the whoas and the "Good God!"

A few years ago I stunned a group of Chinese American high school students by telling them that when I was their age Kennedy was elected president. Kind of as though I'd told them I helped Noah build the Ark.



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Ellen
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 12:05 pm:   

Neal,
Yup. Betty was originally a pooch until she gradually mutated into a full-human.
There are Betty Boop sites
http://www.bettyboop.com/
http://www.heptune.com/betty.html
http://www.betty-boop-cartoons.com/
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Snock
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 01:35 pm:   

Does anybody know if the creation of Betty Boop pre-dates the career of model Bettie Page? I always thought that the cartoon was created as a kind of homage to Page. (Of course, Page could have been intended as an homage to Boop as well). The resemblance is striking...
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 02:59 pm:   

Ellen -- Thanks for the sites. Very cool.

Snock -- Boop predates Page. And while we're at it, Page predates all the Babybats1 who dress up as Page and carry Betty Boop lunchboxes for purses.

Rick -- The best way to compensate for feeling old is to force young people to go on the defensive. I like to throw terms like eight-track and three-on-the-tree into random conversations, just to watch faces scrunch.


1. Babybats = Adorable little Gothkids who define individuality as "dressing up like my spooky friends."
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Saturday, August 30, 2003 - 12:02 am:   

Big thumbs up to Robert Reed's "Like, Need, Deserve." I normally hate all-dialogue stories, but this one really held my interest. With stories like this one and last year's "Coelacanths", Reed seems to be turning into one of the best "big idea" writers in the field today.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Saturday, August 30, 2003 - 07:40 am:   

Re: "Like, Need, Deserve."

I liked the all-dialogue approach Reed used in this story. I don't think any other approach would have delivered the same philosophical/theological punch. The reality of the world and the people he describes is in question -- "Are you real?", "pseudosouls" -- and grounding the dialogue in corporeal reality would have undercut that, as would physical description of the speakers.

Reading this story was a little like reading Sartre's No Exit for SF fans. But Reed's offering is more an argument about the origins and purpose of vice, rather than the ineffible crappiness of one's neighbors. As such, its proposition is perhaps just as misanthropic, but more darkly humorous.

I liked this effort far more than I did "The Majesty of Angels" (F&SF, Sept. '02), which also played with theological concepts. I think the Unknowing aspect of "Like, Need, Deserve," along with the sense of abandonment and foreordained damnation, was so much chewier than the angelic rescue squads in "Majesty."
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Snock
Posted on Sunday, August 31, 2003 - 04:00 pm:   

Neal. Thanks. I'm sort of relieved that the Boop/Page connection is not a twisted association of my own :-).
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Ellen
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 09:48 pm:   

Neal,
Just back from Toronto---so what is three-on-a-tree? I'm not familiar with that expression.

Neal and Chris: Delighted you like "Like, Need, Deserve." I was worried since it is an odd one.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 03:29 am:   

Ellen -- "Three-on-the-tree" was the term used for three-speed column-shift transmissions. The gearshift was mounted on the steering column rather than in the floorboard as in the case of "four-on-the-floor." The first time I got behind the wheel of one of these monstrosities, an old all-metal station wagon that looked as though it were made to penetrate bunkers, I had a horrible flash image of myself throwing the car into reverse while trying to signal for a turn.

I'd be willing to bet "shift-on-the-fly" will sound just as odd (and perhaps somewhat vulgar) to young people ten years from now.
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Ellen
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 06:19 pm:   

Aha! That's why it meant nothing to me-- I'm not a driver. Phew! I thought it was a secret password I missed out on.
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Lou Antonelli - East Texas, USA
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 08:15 pm:   

To Neal and Snock -

Betty Boop was a ripoff of Clara Bow circa the 1920s. Bettie Page was the pinup girl for the '50s. The resemblance was coincidental. Page was a natural brunette, one quarter Cherokee from Tennessee. She combed her hair in bangs to conceal her high forehead. One of her most famous photographers was Irving Klaw, the grandfather of Rick Klaw a sci-fi writer of some note and past fiction editor of Revolution Science Fiction.

A 1998 biography, "The Real Bettie Page", featured a foreword by Harlan Ellison entitled "The Queen of Guilty Pleasures".

Page got religion in 1959, became a Christian, threw away the whips and chains and leather and has lived ever since unobtrusively as a private citizen. At last report she is an octagenarian living in LA.

Not that you asked, but I happened to be working on a story where she is a character; it's about illicit cloning.
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Ellen
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 09:07 pm:   

Lou,
She may have been a ripoff of Clara Bow but she came with dog ears that later evolved into human ears. What was her creator thinking?

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Lou Antonelli - East Texas, USA
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 04:33 am:   

I surmise he thought that, legal precedents at the time being so tenous regarding unauthorized use of a celebrity's image*, that pretending the character was an anthropomorphic dog would allow him to skirt the issue.

Even today, you see all the time where cartoon characters are obviously intended to caricature some personality - but they have enough difference to allow deniability.

After a while, I'm sure Betty Boop became enough of a "character" herself to allow the creator to forgoe the minimal pretense.

Today, someone looking over the cultural history of the '20s might have trouble telling who came first - the Bow or the Boop.

*Eventually codified into what's become known as the "Buddy Holly" law.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 05:40 am:   

Lou: "Betty Boop was a ripoff of Clara Bow circa the 1920s."

I had always thought this as well, and I guess I still do. The similarities are too close for coincidence. One of the websites Ellen sent me, however, has Boop descending from Helen Kane, with whom I'm much less familiar. Something to think about, anyway.

Lou: "Not that you asked, but I happened to be working on a story where she is a character; it's about illicit cloning."

Okay, now THAT, I want to read. (Um, by "she," you do mean Page, right? Or Bow?)

I've been noodling away recently on a story of my own in which an artist models/reconstructs Marilyn Monroe in self-tutoring analog AI, and accidentally produces Norma Jean Baker.

Anyone else cloning anyone famous. :-)
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 05:48 am:   

Ellen: "She may have been a ripoff of Clara Bow but she came with dog ears that later evolved into human ears. What was her creator thinking?"

I went to the sites you recommended and saw the ears. I had seen them before, but I always assumed they were just earrings (which they later became) or quirky human ears. Thoughts of the canine never entered my head.

According to her "biography," she was originally supposed to be the girlfriend of Bimbo the Dog, but like a growing number of women of her age, she just wasn't content to remain someone else's bitch. I wonder why we've never seen Boop in a Virginia Slims ad? Or why "lose the dog ears, sister," has never become a slogan of female empowerment and independence?
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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 08:24 am:   

Neal,
Thank you for the laugh of the morning.
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Lou Antonelli - East Texas, USA
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 05:33 pm:   

Neal -

While Boop's look may have come from Clara Bow, you're right that it was Helen Kane who sang the song "I Wanna Be Loved By You" where she ad-libbed the "boop boop e-doo". So I guess you could say Betty Boop is a composite.

The story I refer to is based on the premise that a rich old man would have a pin-up from his youth cloned to be his concubine. Bettie Page is still alive, and so he has her attacked and a tissue sample stolen. The LAPD recognizes the attack for what it is and when the FBI is called in, an agent who is a micro-biologist is sent to track down the culprits.

The trail leads to Texas (where else?) where police corruption and the extensive cloning technology already in place for cloning livestock has been tapped for the illicit project.

That's about as far as I should go. It's a mystery and so I shouldn't give more away.

The story is at RevolutionSF, but if you'd like to read it personally, I'd send it to you via e-mail.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 07:13 am:   

Serendipity... Opening my mail today, I found a brochure from Modern Fiction Studies which contained an interesting inset illustration.

Boop-philes should go to http://www.fujikoisomura.womandmade.net

Look for "The Story of Veranda -- Nusumigiki."

Cheers, all.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 07:19 am:   

Oops, sorry. That link seems to have died. Try this one instead. It worked three seconds ago.

http://www.artinwisconsin.com/biennial/artists/iso.html

Apologies to any Quick-Draw McGraws out there.

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ellen
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 10:40 am:   

Neal,
That is a very bizarre illustration! Thanks for sharing...;-)
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Richard Parks
Posted on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 09:35 am:   

Wow. Utamaro meets Fleischer.
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Mark Shiney
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 07:34 am:   

Ellen, do you ever publish slipstream at SCIFICTION? The reason I'm asking, I've almost completed a near future mystery/thriller short story.
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Tim Akers
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 07:49 am:   

I don't want to answer for Ellen, Mark, but if you go look at the site you'll find an overwhelming amount of slipstream. Research, my boy, research.
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ellen
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 11:09 am:   

Mark,
Tim is correct, although I would prefer more sf right now than fantasy or science fantasy.

I truly dislike the term "slipstream"--to me it's meaningless and less precise than the term "cross-genre" which is what I use. But yes, I have and do buy cross-genre work.

By the way, if a story is futuristic it's not what anyone would describe as "slipstream anyway." It's sf.
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Mark Shiney
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 06:08 pm:   

Ellen, sorry, maybe I've confused the term. What exactly is slipstream?
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ellen
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 06:28 pm:   

by now there are probably lots of definitions but when Bruce Sterling wrote his essay using the term he meant fiction published or perceived as mainstream that has fantastic elements in it. And he created a huge list that readers added to over time.

Here's the original article and a list of "slipstream" works:
http://www.eff.org/Publications/Bruce_Sterling/Catscan_columns/catscan.05
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Mark Shiney
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 07:55 pm:   

Thanks, Ellen. Interesting article about fiction categorization. Tim--my boy? Ah, to be a callow youth again. ;-)
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 11:12 am:   

I actually retyped Bruce's article into a slightly easier-to-read format here. I didn't alter the text, but just made it clear where the italics and bolds are supposed to be. And put in paragraph breaks.
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John Borneman
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 10:11 am:   

I didn't study this whole thread so maybe this has been discussed.

I just finished the last installment of Terry Bisson's "Greetings."

Terry's stories run hot and cold with me. He sometimes gets a little too heavy handed with his poitical message in some stories (IMHO).

BUT. "Greetings" was excellent! As I read, I found myself wavering back and forth in my opinion of right and wrong w.r.t. the treatment of the aged, self assisted suicide and even 'old age homes.'

Terry seemed to be firmly in the driver's seat, taking us first to one side of the issues and them back to the other, and then back again, all the while, telling a good story.

Congrats on getting this story for scifiction. I see that, with stories like this out there, I have some tough competition ahead of me in my personal writing career. But hey! The challenge will do me good.

John
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John Borneman
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 03:02 pm:   

Re: Slipstream
For reference and for a "13 years later" look at slipstream, ideomancer, one of the few mags that list 'slipstream' as a category, has an article by one of their past editors called "Defining Slipstream."

http://www.ideomancer.com/ft/DeGuzman-Slipstream/DeGuzman-Slipstream.htm"

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Alan DeNiro
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 03:20 pm:   

I can't stand the term "slipstream" either, Ellen. In fact Mr. Sterling meant it pretty much as a joke. I'm not exactly sure, seeing as the essay is pretty clear that the term is a parody, just at what point it entered the lexicon.
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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 09:38 pm:   

John,
Glad you liked "Greetings." I think it's one of Terry's best short works. He has the perfect mix of humor/anger/pathos. I hope it gets a lot of attention.

Alan --a lot of things that start as jokes by wiseasses in the genre are then embraced seriously, unfortunately--eg. cyberpunk and splatterpunk are perfect examples.
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E Thomas
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 10:52 am:   

Hmmm...thought I would mention a few weeks ago I read Davis' "It Walks in Beauty." I really enjoyed it, although I never read the original heavily edited version so now I must admit to curiousity about the differences...I should try to track the other version down someday.
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ellen
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 12:14 pm:   

You can only read the edited copy in the original publication of the story. The ending was much more downbeat than the one Chan wanted and which we restored--the guy decides to "forget" anything he got from his experience and return to the status quo--and if I recall correctly, his friendship with Paula is finished.

Chan's version certainly isn't very upbeat but it provides the possibility of change.
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Peter O'Sullivan
Posted on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 07:45 pm:   

Ellen,

I'm friends with some up and coming Canadian writers and a few are curious about something. How do American editors in general and you in particular feel about British spellings of words, such as the ubiquitous U in words that here would contain OR, such as colour?

Some writers, such as Robert Sawyer, impress upon younger writers to submit americanized manuscripts to American markets. I personally feel this saps some of the flavor (flavour) from a writer's voice. Do you have thoughts on this?

---Peter
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ellen
Posted on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 08:14 pm:   

Good question Peter.
I admit that I don't receive or buy much fiction from Canadians but I do publish a number of British writers. If a story takes place in the US then I feel the author must use US spellings and word usage. But if a story takes place in the UK I prefer to keep the original spelling and the usage as long as it can be understand by a US readership in context.

I don't think that Canadian writing is as different from US writing as UK writing is. So for me, I'm afraid, the use of Canadian spelling would probably just jump out at me and say "notice me" without added any flavor.

I just realized that I've got a story by Michael Libling coming out in a couple of weeks. He changed the spelling to the US on his own although I'm not sure I would have changed them.

Some writers feel "grey" and "gray" convey different shades. I have no preference so I let the authors do what they want if they feel strongly about it.

In some magazines there's a house style that's hard to go against. I'm pretty open to the author's wants as long as it doesn't get in the way of the reader's comprehension.
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Tim Akers
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 12:18 pm:   

Well, I got a little behind in my reading, and somehow missed River of Bees till just now. Loved it. Part of that may be that my German Shepherd has just started that long descent into arthritis. Even though she still has the playful heart of a puppy, she bounds less enthusiastically of late. And now I have to go home and play ball with her, in the dark, cuz I'm all sad and stuff. Damn you, ellen datlow, and your depressing story selection! Seriously though, great story. I have to say that of all the magazines out there, I am most frequently pleased with scifiction. F&SF, asimovs, et al, I'll usually like one or two stories, but easily 90% of what I read in scifiction is pleasing unto me. Yea. Verily.
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ellen
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 09:57 pm:   

Tim: I'm sorry. I know it's a heartbreaker. I love animals and can barely read anything about when they're hurt or dying.
However...I'm delighted that you like what I've been publishing on the site :-)

Now, I have to extricate one of my cats from the unpacked garment bag on my bed (just got home from visiting the folks in Florida for a few days).
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ellen
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 10:06 pm:   

Upcoming fiction:

December 24
Nutball Season by Kristine Kathryn Rusch 7500

December 31
holiday

January 7
Peregrines by Suzy McKee Charnas
The Prize of Peril by Robert Sheckley

January 14
House of the Future by Richard Butner

January 21
Inside Outside by Michaela Roessner
classic tk

January 28
Scoutís Honor by Terry Bisson
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JeremyT
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 11:35 am:   

I knew Kristine Kathryn Rush was a robot! The 7500 series was a particularly devious one...
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jeff ford
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 04:02 pm:   

Ellen: I've read that Butner story. It's a really good piece. I look forwared to seeing it in its finished incarnation.

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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 05:06 pm:   

Jeremy--oops. That's the word length. I usually remove it for each story, I obviously missed one :-)

Jeff: I don't know how different it is from what you read earlier but it's a very neat story.
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JeremyT
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 07:42 am:   

Sure, Ellen. Cover up for your robot overlords...

(At this point, I'd make some joke about the Battlestar Galactica remake that your parent company is shilling, but... I just don't have the heart.)

;)
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Michael Kingsley
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 11:23 am:   

Has anyone else besides me been having trouble in opening up scifiction webpages lately? I have trouble with no other site other than scifi.com
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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 02:20 pm:   

I don't...Have you changed computers/browsers lately?
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 03:49 pm:   

Actually, I've been having problems too. It's very bizarre.

IE works fine, but when I navigate to SciFiction, the browser window shrinks down to about an inch wide and whenever I try to click on the maximize button, the window jumps around the desktop, but never changes size. It appears to *try* to maximize the window, but then it shrinks right back again.

I mentioned this to my friend who works tech support and he'd never heard of such a thing. And when he tried it on his PC, nothing strange happened. His functioned normally.

Is that the same thing yours is doing, Michael?

And to answer Ellen's question to Michael, in my case, I have not changed computers or browsers lately.
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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 06:12 pm:   

Ok. Michael and John --if you don't mind please give me a rundown of problems after the New year--no one is in the office much over the next week. I'll alert
someone at SCIFI.COM to see if they can figure out what's going on.

I use netscape and now have 7.0 and no problems.
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Evan McClanahan
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 06:19 pm:   

sounds like a javascript type problem. there should be a way to stop IE allowing JS to resize the window, or you could just move to Firebird, which does that by default. (www.mozila.org).
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Evan McClanahan
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 06:21 pm:   

err... http://www.mozilla.org/products/firebird/
tabbed browsing rocks.
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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 07:35 pm:   

Thanks Evan. John, please let me know if that helps--or doesn't :-)
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 07:44 pm:   

I tried disabling javascript in my browser, but that didn't help (I use IE 6, btw). I'm not going to bother installing a new browser because I just ordered a new computer the other day. In any case, this weird error only happens at SciFiction, so I don't think I need to get a whole new browser.

But I can wait til after the new year. This isn't urgent or anything.
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Michael Kingsley
Posted on Thursday, December 25, 2003 - 06:54 am:   

The problem John Joseph Adams describes is exactly what I experienced on Wednesday. This oddity only happened very recently on my computer. And no, I have not changed browsers or PCs, either.

I also can wait.
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Michael Kingsley
Posted on Thursday, December 25, 2003 - 06:56 am:   

The problem John Joseph Adams describes is exactly what I experienced on Wednesday. This oddity only happened very recently on my computer. And no, I have not changed browsers or PCs, either.

I also can wait. However, I went to Kinko's this morning and experienced no problems whatsoever (IE 5.50).
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Saturday, December 27, 2003 - 05:18 pm:   

Ellen,

That weird browser problem I was having when visiting SciFiction seems to have stopped happening. So it works fine now and I didn't even do anything to try to fix it. <shrug>
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ellen
Posted on Saturday, December 27, 2003 - 06:18 pm:   

Whew. Thanks for letting me know, John.
Michael K-let me know if it stopped for you.

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Michael Kingsley
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 06:03 am:   

Same with me. I tried it Friday morning, had the same problem as before. Now it's all hunky dory again.
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ellen
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 09:49 am:   

Good news. No explanation. There might have been a coding glitch on the site.

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