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JTS
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 05:36 pm:   

I have just noticed Lucius has a new story upcoming at SCI FICTION called the emperor, any hints on what type of story this will be, Lucius.
the title made me think of high fantasy though I doubt that's what it will be though :-)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 07:00 pm:   

Since Lucius is traveling today, I thought I'd respond. It's an sf novella of about 24,000 words.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 07:01 pm:   

It's near-future scifi, set in a strip mine covering ten thousand sq miles of Alaska, involving lots of machines and a civilization composed mainly of violent slums.
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JTS
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 07:46 pm:   

Thanks Ellen, Lucius.

Seeming on how it's a novella, will it be published over a period of 2-3 weeks, or will it come out all at once.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 08:26 pm:   

All at once, I think...
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 09:50 pm:   

There's no time to do it over 2-3 weeks. It will be coming out in one shot December 14th.
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Roger
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 07:55 pm:   

Are you going to place "The Emperor" in the PS Iron Shore collection?
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 08:00 pm:   

I think so, but am not absolutely certain....
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - 08:01 am:   

It's just gone up today at:
http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/originals/
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PM
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 04:00 pm:   

Packed with Lucian goodness!

Still trying to get to page two...
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PM
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 09:33 pm:   

I made it :-)

But what of McGlowrie and the rest of the world?

Will the story be expanded?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 09:55 pm:   

It's what called an ambiguous ending. After all, it's McGlowerie's story I was telling, not the world's. Let's say the world has a shot whereas before it didn't. Expand? Who can say?
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PM
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 10:28 pm:   

No complaints here regarding the ending.

It stands on its own.

Perhaps it's greedy to want more. Seems to be plenty of opportunity to add some more before and after.

--Who can say?

The AI is putting in a request for more :-)

Just curious as to whether after finishing this your inclination is that you're done with it and not really interested in returning. It seems to be written in such a way that it could provide any number of launching points for additional stories, etc.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 11:03 pm:   

I don't like writing science fiction as much as fantasy, but that said, I like the world --- there's a chance I might revisit from another angle.
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PM
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 08:00 am:   

In terms of fantasy more Borges less elves.

Though I suppose it's only a matter of waiting before someone drudges upon us pirates battling undead elves.

McGlowerie=Shepard.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 08:27 am:   

Less elves, for sure.

Nothing wrong with a pirate/elf extravaganza...
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 08:53 am:   

Just finished part one. Really enjoying it so far. I also prefer fantasy in general, especially the dark sort, but I like scifi at times, as well. It almost seems like dark science fiction to me.

So in the blurb, it says this takes place in the far future. But you say it's near future, which makes sense to me. So around how far would you say?
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 09:26 am:   

Ok, based on part two so far, I figure it takes place around 3000..?
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 09:26 am:   

Whoops, I mean 2100...:-)
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 10:02 am:   

It takes place in 21-something. Early 22cd.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 11:15 am:   

Suicidal AI, a native gone cybernetic, free will/determinism, artistic flourishes, all this plus Sonyland.

One imagines singing children asking how to get to Sonyland...

Lucius, do you feel pressure, internal or external, to brighten your stories?

From bleak hearts come bleak stories.

Seems to me that McGlowerie's story should end horribly. Not because of any lack of sympathy for him but reasonably it's a no-win situation.

And that's the question for me is how/why so many writers in fiction/film when discussing the future either arrive at:

a. post-apocalpytic nightmare or
b. antiseptic utopia

and then (especially in film) drag out an unrealistic happy ending.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 11:59 am:   

No pressure, PM, of any kind. Seems to me this is kind of a happy ending. At least the world has a shot, though I doubt McGlowrie comes through unscathed.
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 12:04 pm:   

Because as the world stands right now, and as people stand -- human nature, whether it's our brutal nature, the selfishness that society breeds, or a combination of both -- the future doesn't look bright. But that doesn't mean we can't hold a torch to find our way through the darkness...

It's called being realistic.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 03:14 pm:   

The story is well told and time well spent.

My outlook is optimistic but my preference would either be for:

a. the story continues and McGlowerie dies a horrible death later most likely by other means.

b. if the story doesn't continue then it ends with the HK killing him.

Nothing against an ambiguous ending. It's just McGlowerie is fucked and he'll go out fighting...
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 01:17 pm:   

Finished the story. It's probably my favourite science fiction story of the year. You did a good job of making an unsympathetic asshole, somewhat sympathetic, if not likeable. This is achieved mostly near the end, when McGlowrie undergoes some realizations. Although, doesn't he let himself off the hook for his actions, which essentially get the women he loves killed (if indeed she is truely dead) a little easy? So we're left off with a barely human megalomaniac who'll either attempt to restore the world or destroy it.

With Peck, he seems to me to be a variation or twist on the magical negro, which King is notorious for. But instead of earthly magic, his magic is techno.

Something that doesn't make sense. McGlowrie repeatedly mourns the death of Saddler, holding resentment towards Bromley because if it. Yet on different ocassions he considers killing Denise, the women he has some sort of love for, in cold blood. Albiet, one time his motivation is to spare her pain. That he would consider murdering her makes sense once we find out near the end that he has become almost more machine than human, losing his empathy in a cold and hard world and through possible AI induced brain damage or alteration. So why would he carry such a soft spot for a guy he liked, but wasn't really that close with? Especially when he seems to get over the lose of Denise in short order. Which, I guess could be explained through the even more dehumanizing changes he undergoes at the end, just when he seems capable of redemption... but this is well after he considers killing her.

Anyway, aside from that, there's some great writing and world building here. The HKs may seem a little too reminiscent of The Matrix, but I'd happily revisit this world.

Comparing this to Abimagique, which leaves off with an even more cliffhanger style ending for me, there's a similarity of theme. They both deal with the end of the world. And they both end ambiguously, leaving a lot of room for a sequel.
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 01:53 pm:   

Oh, and I noticed a typo, if you're interested in clearing that up for future. Or Ellen...
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 05:02 pm:   

I should add that it's not like I didn't like McGlowrie or that you didn't do a good job with the characterization. You did. That one aspect just seemed a little inconsistent.

I like anti-heroes, and I don't mind the hero being a bit of an asshole. I think that's a strength of yours, being able to tackle characters which other writers probably wouldn't and some readers may not want to read about. Especially in the SF community.

I didn't find exactly where the typo was, but I know it's in part three near the beginning of a paragraph, probably midway through. The error being an n at the beginning of a word instead of an m. Just thought you might like to know...
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 05:37 pm:   

Stephen,
If you can find the typo before the end of the year, I can probably get someone to fix it. After that, the area will no longer be "active" and I don't think my former producer will have time to spend on it.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 05:40 pm:   

Found it:
Next tine your balance sheet might say
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 05:43 pm:   

That's it. I knew it was an n.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 05:43 pm:   

Thanks. That seems to have been missed by Lucius, me, our copy editor, and our proofreader. Arghhh!
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Stephen
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 05:47 pm:   

No problem.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 05:54 pm:   

Section three has a sentence that begins: "When he had done,"

Shouldn't "had" be "was"?

Seems like I recall some other typos and comma attacks but wasn't sure if perhaps I should let it slack...off.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 05:58 pm:   

Yeah, I thought the HKs were somewhat Matrix-like but what can one do?

Does anyone want paragraphs of HK exposition in order to describe something heretofore unknown?

There's a place for it I suppose but in this 'short' story I'm more than willing to take the gloss rather than toss less worthy material.

Granted the robotic predators of the future will be ducks :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 06:00 pm:   

Thanks, Stephen...

As for your caveat about McGlowrie, he's a sentimental monster. In Seattle, I hung out with some Russians. They were really sentimental about women. They'd talk shit like, My girlfriend, she's so beautiful, it break your heart. Then they'd go home and beat the crap out of them. Yet they were sincere as to what they said.

McGlowrie's that way. He can be sentimental in one head, yet when in survival mode, he's cold.

At least that's how I saw it. People aren't consistent.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 07:48 pm:   

PM, "When he had done" is correct.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 07:57 pm:   

Hmmm...seems awkward. When I read the sentence I immediately punched in "was".
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Lois Tilton
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 07:31 am:   

If he -was- done, it would have been time to take him out of the oven.
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 08:45 am:   

That's a good point about McGlowrie. I didn't mean it as a caveat, really.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 09:22 am:   

No worries. I was just clarifying,
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 09:28 am:   

Lois, isn't this story about getting out of the oven?
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 02:40 pm:   

Here's a review if you haven't read it,

http://www.tangentonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=646&Itemi d=264
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 08:18 pm:   

I already sent the link to Lucius.
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 02:16 pm:   

Oh, okay Ellen. I check the reviews every now and then, wasn't sure if Lucius bothered.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 10:32 pm:   

Stephen,
I'm sure he doesn't, but _I_ do :-) --religiously.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 10:32 am:   

Rib, I don't like writing science fiction as much because I'm not comfy with the technical aspects; because in a scifi story you have to use more space on developing the plot, setting the plot more forward in the story than you do in fantasy; because I don't especially believe in the future and so my stories tend to be dystopic. With fantasy, for whatever reason, I feel free from constraints and able to have more fun with the work.

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rib
Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 08:26 pm:   

Understood, Lucius, thanks. I try to be optimistic about the future, but I seldom manage it.
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Bruce Chrumka
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 10:17 am:   

Great novella, Lucius.

...and now, a few questions, if you would!

Any publication dates set for Softspoken, The Iron Shore and Christmas in Honduras?

ToC for 'The Iron Shore'?

Any updates on 'Unknown Admirer' and that long poem you've had brewing for a few years?

Are you contractually able, or interested, in revealing your pseudonym[s]?

'Weapons of Mass Seduction 2?' I'm still chuckling over your evisceration of the last Harry Potter.

Cheers, Bruce
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 11:12 am:   

Things are up in the air a bit because of my health and Iron Shore has been pushed back to 07. Thus no firm TOC, but I'm certain it will contain Limbo, Emerald Street Expansions, Liar's House, and new stories, Dinner at Baldassaros, The Iron Shore, a short story tentatively called The Norther, The Smoke....

Christmas in Honduras will be at Christmas, and I think SOFTSPOKEN will be in the fall.

UNKNOWN ADMIRER will have to wait till O7
The poem has been cannibalized.

No admissions as to pseudonyms. No WOMS 2.
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Bruce
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 12:08 pm:   

Thanks, Lucius!

Glad to hear that you're completing 'The Smoke' [formerly titled 'The Off-Season' if my recollection is accurate.] Will 'Abimagique', 'Radiant Green Star' and 'Ariel' make the cut? Hell, I've been hoping for years that you'd reprint 'Skull City' but I seem to remember you weren't so happy with that novella in hindsight. It's still excellent an excellent read, though! 'Jack's Decline' too.

A small request. I'd also hoped you'd reprint 'White Trains', 'Pictures Made of Stones' and 'Challenger, As Viewed From the Westerbrook Bar'. Speaking of poetry, cannabilized or otherwise was some of it included in 'A Handbook of American Prayer?

I'm sure I speak for dozens of others on this board that trust your health improves quickly.
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Bruce
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 12:14 pm:   

That would be one too many excellents, sorry.

...and lastly, how about the long version of 'The 'Veld'?
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 02:18 pm:   

The Velt maybe next year.

Radiant Green Star is in The Jaguar Hunter frorm 4Walls 8 windows.

No, none was in American Prayer.

I can't even remember Skull City. As to the rest, we'll have to see.
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Stephen
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 02:24 pm:   

Hey, were you writing romance novels or somthin'? Is that why it remains unknown?:-)
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 02:54 pm:   

Nope. Just one psuedonym.
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Stephen
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 03:19 pm:   

Hmm, that's good. Do you like what you wrote under the psuedonym?
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 03:25 pm:   

Sure. It's a little different, but it's okay.
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Stephen
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 03:29 pm:   

So why don't you want people to know about it?
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 03:45 pm:   

It's an obligation.
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Stephen
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 03:51 pm:   

Ah
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Bruce
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 04:14 pm:   

Thanks, Lucius.

'She smelled of violets and derangement'. Always reminded me of my first wife. Fine story, 'Skull City'.

Shoot, I have the 1987 Kerosina 1st edition of 'The Jaguar Hunter'. At least it has 'Solitario's Eyes' another fine story!
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 04:35 pm:   

Well, you could always use another copy. :-)

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