Ryman Snippets

(Better, thank you; yesterday was just a hell day.)

I finally got around to reading the Locus interview with Geoff Ryman (addt’l excerpts at the link). Here’s a couple of sections I thought worth pulling out:

The great thing about science fiction is that you can be valued for a whole range of different things, from the literary to the utterly commercial. I just wonder how long we’ll be able to keep it up. I wouldn’t want to be an idiosyncratic young fiction writer now. If you’re good and idiosyncratic, you might have trouble getting published, since the independent houses are getting swallowed up by the conglomerates and it feels like it’s getting much more monolithic, like there are only about seven games you can play. In mainstream they call it "false literature": books that sound like they’re going to be literary, but anything that’s challenging or difficult to read or complicated is just ironed out so it slips down like honey and it’s very relaxing.

It seems to me that’s a bit on the dire side, since some of the best and brightest of the young, idiosyncratic crowd are being published by editors at big houses like Juliet Ulman and Jim Minz (to name a couple), but yeah, I’d like to see MORE of that, obviously. And there’s truth there. Plus, I’d never encountered the false literature thing before, and I like that (not meaning that I like reading it, but that it’s a useful term).

And on one of the more controversial elements of Air (which I’m now forcing Christopher to read):

The first draft of Air was finished in 1996. I stopped working on it to do 253, and then the publishers said they wanted something more like that, so I did Lust. By the time that came out, everyone was expecting a Mundane novel. I didn’t know about the Mundanes when I started writing Air, and the heroine Mae is unapologetically pre-Mundane. Everybody’s thrown by the stomach pregnancy, because it can’t happen, but it links up with earlier events in the book. Mae actually finds a way to do magic, and that’s the reason the stomach pregnancy works. I’m very pleased to have published a ‘difficult literary’ science fiction novel. And I never promised to write only mundane fiction. One of the reasons I’m not in there punching and kicking is that I still intend to write fantasy.

There’s stuff about King’s Last Song too. (And then I jump up and down like an excited kid.)

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