2.23.2004

Think I better dance now!

Sorry. Tom Jones gets in my head and that's it....
So, since it was brought out in the comments section of a couple of posts ago, I guess it's fair game to blog about it: What am I doing besides talking about it?
Well, unfortunately, not much. In the last year I've begun putting the pieces together for the unveiling of a new fantastic literature reading series here in Portland, OR. We're basing it on Ellen Datlow's KGB series and she's been good enough to give us advice and smacks on the head when called for. "We" being a group of Portland writers and publishers whose names I do not have the permission to disclose, excepting perhaps Jason Williams who has already mentioned this somewhere else in the distant past.
I'm also still pushing for Bob Sheckley's installment as SFWA Grand Master. I think this is more important than it looks on the face of it because, one, it's a clear, reasonable goal, and two, it shows that we're not just a flash in the pan "movement", whatever that means, but a divergent, self-aware branch of fantastical literature with a history and an honest to gawd purpose. I think anyone who loves SF/F/H of a literary bent owes Bob a huge debt for helping identify and overcome the trend toward juvenilia and escapism that marked the genre pre-1951. It's not much, and it's not enough, but it's something.
And then there's the most concrete difference of all: My own writing. Yep, I'm a writer. Even worse, I'm a writer who's completely aware of the fact that writing will never support my family. Therefore, I'm a writer who writes stories with all the honesty and frankness that I can. I've got no audience to lose and no career to destroy, so I can do that, I can write about death and racism and misogyny and I can write those stories with all the harshness and passion that I feel for and against these things. Even better, I've got friends who've taken the time to help me get along, even if it's to say that I've got a long way to go.
I know there's been a lot of hot air and hype blowing through this blog, and not a small portion of it's been mine. But the thing is, even if we never get anything done at all, at least we're not sitting on our asses in the shadows laughing at anyone else who tries, right? This thing may never accomplish a single thing, though I think that's unlikely. Maybe the most we'll ever do is sell some books by authors who deserve it. But maybe that's enough to justify our existence right there.
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