Sunday, January 18, 2015

Proofreading and Writing Essays

I am now proofing Daughter of the Bear King, my third novel, for the second time. Aqueduct has decided to bring it out next in e-version, after The Sword Smith. When I went over Daughter the first time, having not looked at it for years, I was not impressed by it. Though I noticed that a lot of scenes stuck with me after. Now it looks fine. The same book, two different moods.

You should never listen to an author about his or her work. On the good days, it's a masterpiece. On the bad days, it belongs in a landfill. Actually, I never think my work belongs in a landfill. Instead, I notice all the things that need fixing. I am very much restraining myself re fixing. The book is what it is. It belongs to another era, and it should remain in that previous era.

It occurred to me that my rant about getting disappeared from SF history (see below on Junot Diaz) could be toned down and turned into a Strange Horizons essay, though I will have to do some more research.

The backlash against the Second Wave of Feminism started in the 1980s (the Reagan era) with Cyberpunk. The Cyberpunk writers were almost all men, at least at first, and some were openly contemptuous of the 70s women writers. There were still women writing in the 1980s and producing good work. LeGuin, Judith Moffett and Joan Slonczewski all wrote long, slow eco-feminist novels, as did I: Always Coming Home, Pennterra, Door into Ocean and A Woman of the Iron People. Pat Cadigan, Lois Bujold and Melissa Scott all began writing in the 1980s and kept on, though Scott took a long break from publishing in the early 21st century. Pat Cadigan was just about the only women in the first generation of Cyberpunkers. Scott wrote at least one novel, Trouble and her Friends, which is Cyberpunk.

I think of the 1990s as the decade when space opera made a comeback. Most of these authors were men. Bujold writes military space opera -- though what her books are really about is how many different forms humanity can take: clones, quaddies, the eight foot tall soldier Taura, the very short Miles Vorkosigan with his long history of disability, his seriously overweight twin brother Mark, the eerily beautiful Cetagandans, the all-male society of Athos...

The Noughts are when I lose a good sense of science fiction, though I think it's the period when writers of color began to be more numerous and visible.

In any case, a person who wasn't paying attention might miss the Second Wave of Feminism.


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thank you for writing. I'm not sure authors like you get told this enough. I've always been drawn to speculative fiction written by female authors, and you are one of my very favorites.

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Blogger Bill S. said...

I meant to respond to your earlier blog, but my comment did not make it through. As a white male from the Midwest, I have been considerably influenced, moved and changed by people like Butler, Delany, LeGuin and you.

So - absolutely no to chopped liver.

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