News & Notes (x-posted to Mundane SF blog, which has another post on fear)

Online SF Workshop with James Gunn!

If you want to write SF, this is an important first step for at least two reasons: 1) You'll go through winnowing an idea to something workable. 2) You'll learn what makes a scene. This workshop flops for a number of writers because they either don't write or don't follow the exercises. Some writers start with the story first and worry about the science later. That's cool, but just try at this method and you may find it expands your horizons.

Gunn is of a newer old school cut, but that doesn't mean he doesn't mean he's incapable of reading your work. After all, he's studied under Caroline Gordon [and Allen Tate, I think] if that name doesn't ring any bells, consider that Gordon critiqued most of Flannery O'Connor's work.


Escape Pod

Since I do a lot of jogging, Escape Pod is perfect to catch up on a few of the less well-known writers I should have read by now--bless the editor's heart for taking on the project. I'll be reviewing the podcast stories available over there soon. I had to grit my teeth when the editor said that some wanted SF to be [M]undane and unambitious. Through reviewing the stories, I'll be able to demostrate how the editor is mistaken and misinformed.

The most effective story so far for their format has been Ben Rosenbaum's "The Death Trap of Dr. Nefario," but Tim Pratt had the most solid speculative work available in "Lachrymose and the Golden Egg."