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Deborah
Posted on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 03:42 pm:   

Hey, Lucius, when did you say Jailwise was going to be up at SciFiction?

Do you want to tell us anything else about it?

Enquiring minds...

:-)

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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 04:51 pm:   

Hi, Deborah...
I think Ellen's running it next week, the first of 4 parts. It's an off-beat fantasy set in a super maximum security prison in Northern California. You might call it a neo-Gothic piece that looks at the criminal's function within society in rather a non-traditional way. I'm not sure how much I can say about the plot without giving something away, but the prison, Diamond Bar, is kind of an interesting place.



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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 07:43 am:   

For anyone interested, the first section of my novella, "Jailwise," is up at SCIFI today.
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Ellen
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 11:47 am:   

Yup, it is. I've announced it in my topic too but no one's come by :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 12:58 pm:   

Well, I'll have to herd some strays over to yer corral...

:-)
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 06:50 am:   

Like the set up so far, and I can't wait to see where the story goes. In many ways as a reader at this point, I feel like I'm in the literary Diamond Bar waiting to see what I'm supposed to do next. As I said over in the SCI FICTION post, I'm refraining from speculating too much about where it's going. You always surprise me anyway. I see here that it's going to be in four parts. Very cool. Any plans of doing a print edition? (this is probably mentioned elsewhere on the board, I'll find it in the next post I go to I'm sure...[grumbling at my inadequacy])

Just picked up the Four Walls JAGUAR HUNTER. It's in my list of 10,000 books I have to read !now! once I finished the Hugo reading.

JK
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jeff ford
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 08:13 am:   

Lucius: Great start to "Jailwise." Will be looking forward to see what develops. That first paragraph, itself, is beauty.

Best,

Jeff
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 09:49 am:   

JK,

I don't know if Jailwise is a "surprising" story; it's more an attempt at reasoning out certain issues, setting up a continuum in order to do that. But I'm pleased you liked the beginning. And I hope you have fun with the Jaguar Hunter.

Jailwise will be in my collection next year from Pete Crowther.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 09:50 am:   

jeff, that's high praise coming from you. I much appreciate it.
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Gullivar
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 08:18 pm:   

Great story, Dad,
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 08:50 pm:   

Gullivar? Call me, you creep! Where the hell have you been? Seriously...call me.

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Ellen
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 08:59 pm:   

Gullivar,
Hi. I think we met once in the UK or somewhere a few years ago...

Have you read the whole thing (in ms?) or just this week's installment?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 09:06 pm:   

Ellen, chances are that's all we'll hear from the lad for the next several time units. He''s a shifty sort. Been in Cleveland or Pittsburgh or Buffalo, pursuing some architectural eidolon, no doubt...
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 07:37 am:   

Lucius:

Is any of this story inspired by "The Simpsons" episode where Marge starts teaching painting at the local jail?

Also, can someone provide me the etymology of the phrase "Hell you getting at?" (paraphrasing the story) Is this a colloquiolism? I realize that it's missing the 'What the...' from the front, but I don't know if I've ever heard anyone say it, but I've read it that way many times.

JK
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 09:38 am:   

JK,

No, it''s not inspired by a Simpson's episode. If truth to be told, it's inspired by six weeks in the Brooklyn House of Detention, where a couple of things in the story came to my attention, and by a friend of mine, the husband of SF writer, Michaela Roesner, who taught painting at the prison in Tehachapi, CA.

"Hell you gettin' at," "Hell you sayin'," etc, is something I hear all the time from people I talk to -- uneducated people, mostly. Hobos, rednecks, et al. Hell, I say it myself sometimes, especially after hanging out for a while in certain circles.
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me
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 09:52 am:   

"Hell you getting at" sounds like a shortened version of "What the hell are you getting at?" to me. . .
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 09:55 am:   

I didn't figure the story came from "The Simpsons" episode, I just made the mental leap myself as one of Marge's students at the school was extremely talented but had major authority issues. He eventually got hired to paint a mural on the side of the grade school, which obviously has disastrous results. With today's part of "Jailwise" dealing with the main character's mural painting, the connection came to mind again.

As for the 'Hell you gettin' at....' I've seen it used many places, but don't hear it spoken. But perhaps it just isn't something that occurs in either Midwestern WI speak (where I'm from) or in New York City area (where I live).

Thanks for the clarification.

JK
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 10:03 am:   

You don't travel in the right circles, JK. :-) You were in Detroit, you'd be hearin' it all the time.
Or down South, or hangin' out under a bridge with a bunch of liver-damaged tramps.

I'm not a big Simpson's fan so I'm think I'm pure on this story. I actually wrote the first draft of it when I was a student at Clarion and let it lie for twenty years.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 11:39 pm:   

hey lucius-

i read the final bit of 'jailwise' up at sci-fi.com, and enjoyed it a fair bit. there was something a bit familiar about it when i was reading it that i couldn't quite figure out until today, which was that the narrator voice reminded me of jack henry abbott's voice and his book IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST.

odd, huh?

anyhow, i did indeed like it. i hope it'll see printed form one day, as i've never fully enjoyed the act of reading fiction of a screen.
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 06:49 am:   

Lucius:

Another wonderful story from you. I felt a little unsure of the ending, but I was reading on my lunch hour and may have rushed the ending as I ran to a meeting. I intend to read it again, in one fell swoop, so I can get the full impact of the story at once, rather than over the course of a few weeks.

Beautiful, beautiful prose, as always.

JK
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 06:56 am:   

Hi, Ben...I have had thusfar four comments on influence as regards Jailwise -- they list the Simpsons, Norman Mailer, John Henry Abbot, and Delilo. The Mailer-Abbot connection is kind of strange, but I never read BEASt and the last Mailer book I read was his book about Gary Gilmore, and I hate the Simpsons, and...why beat around the bush. I'm a Simpson-loving, Mailer-Delilo-Abbot freak. I don't know. I started writing the story in 1980. It was based on a stretch I did for stupidity in the Brooklyn House of Detention when I was a kid, and I've been messing with it on and off ever since. So whatever it is, it is, Maybe all prison testaments reference the same spiritual channel. That would make sense in terms of the story. AT any rate, I'm very gratified you enjoyed it. It's gonna be in my collection from PS Publishing out next year.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 07:20 am:   

JK..

Glad you liked it. This is kind of a personal story, not in the sense that it's marginally informed by autibiographical detail, but in the sense that its sub-text (not so sub, in this instance) involves ideas I've been thinking about for a very long time. Ideas about the place of the criminal in society. I've spent a lot of years in the company of marginal types and I hate the way they are -- generally -- handled in fiction. So, like I said, this one meant more than usual.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 07:23 am:   

lucius--

you could be right about the prison testaments referencing the spiritual channel. it could be, that perhaps the american ones share that spiritual stretch moreso? it'd be interesting to see if it was a cultural thing, but i've got to admit that my prison reading isn't that wide. (i'm sure that if i wake up still thining about this tomorrow, i'll be able to track done someones work on prison writing and fictional prison writing in america. them academics cover all ground, i reckon.)

however, i'm glad it's going to have paper home. i'll be sure to look for the collection, though i'm expecting it to come with a sideshow bob-mailer-abbot-delillo introduction now :-)
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lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 07:51 am:   

Ben,

Only jails I've been in in countries other than America are a couple of short stays in Latin American jails and a stretch in the stockade in Ceuta, Spanish Morocco (mistaken identity). Those were different, although the social dynamic had similarities. I've heard that some of the larger prisons in Britain and Australia have a similar vibe to that of ours, despite movies like GREENFINGERS. There is a good bit of prison writing, but for some reason I've never been drawn to it. Having been there myself, albeit briefly, and having since played in bands at prisons and taught a few writing classes, I guess I've formed my own opinions and don't want them messed with.

As to the intro, China Mieville is doing it (which is favor that I greatly appreicate), but I'll see if I can get him to do a few Sideshow Bob trips. :-)
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 07:12 pm:   

lucius--

about four or five years back, when I was doing my honours thesis, part of it was about the nature of punishment and what it meant in relation to society, and that's where i went though the prison books that i did. (it probably also explains my added interested in 'jailwise' since usually i don't say much to authors about their work.) the way i figured at the time was that there wasn't much room for that big a diverse social dynamic throughout prisons, but it was never my focus at the time (and never ended up becoming so) so it's entirely possible that it's ignorance on my part.

however, it has been interesting hearing you talk about the things surrounding jailwise, even briefly, and i was wondering if some of the themes about punishment/criminals and the such will be appearing in the book you've got coming out? (from memory it deals with someone who starts in prison?) it's an aspect of your work i think i would like to see more exploration of, at any rate.

i look forward to seeing china mieville juggling and prat falling for the introduction now. i hope there's photos.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 10:24 pm:   

Ben,

there's quite a diverse social dynamic in prison. If you haven't read it, STONE CITY, by Mitchell Smith lays out the interior life of a prison better than any other novel I've read. It's also a great thriller. It's OP, but you can find cheap copies online. "Jailwise," in my view, wasn't so much about prison as it was about _prisons__. In other words, prisons with and without walls. But there was some realistic detail involved.

A HANDBOOK OF AMERICAN PRAYER doesn't really treat the subject. It's about an ex-con, but the prison stuff is minimal, though you might find what's there of interest. I'd like to do something else with prison, but I'm not sure what yet. It'll come, I suppose.

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