Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Better Than Literature

This morning I saw a snippet, posted online by a contact of mine, off a school anthology book. Now, school anthologies are often the first impact with literature for a lot of kids. They know fiction through movies, and comics, and cartoons, but especially these days, the written word, the textual storytelling, may come late in a kids life.

And this snippet made it clear that (i quote from memory)

one must distinguish between serious literature and the simple fiction whose only purpose is to amuse and entertain

… and from there it went on to explain to the out-of-luck kid that might chance to read this sort of crap, that basically…

  1. if you like it because it’s fun then it’s gotta be rubbish
  2. if it’s prop’r litch’r’chure you should not have fun reading it, and you’re not smart to get it anyway

This sort of nonsense makes me SO angry.

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The Bradbury-Heinlein Method

So, to recap: Ray Bradbury said you should write a story per week, for one year, because nobody can write 52 stinkers in a row. On the other hand, Bob Heinlein said you should finish what you start writing, and send it off to a publisher, and keep posting it until you sell it, no matter how many times it bounces back.

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Writing: at night, every day, in public

The bit about using Google Docs and sharing the link for people to watch is turning into something interesting.
So interesting, in fact, that I plan to do this at least three nights a week, starting this week.
Tomorrow.

No, OK, I know, I know… I’ll start tomorrow…

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But I will. Continue reading


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The Queen of Space Opera

Leigh_Brackett_1941The Queen of Space Opera was born 100 years ago, on December the 7th 1915, in Los Angeles, California.
Her name was Leigh Brackett.

When I started reading science fiction, back in 1976, I started with lots of Golden Age of Science Fiction space opera – Jack Williamson, Edmond Hamilton, and Hamilton’s wife, Leigh Brackett.
My schoolmates were reading Isaac Asimov, and yes, I read his books too – as I read all the SF I could lay my hands on.
But those earlier books, often fix-ups or expansions of stories and novellas originally published in pulp magazines, remained with me for a long time.
I read her books in Italian, and later got me copies of the originals, and re-read them in English. Continue reading