“Limitations so frustrating” (Saunders 126) writes the narrator of George Saunders’ The Semplica Girl Diaries. But the self-imposed limitations and restrictions Saunders impose on his writing make for a more interesting story, building its narrative out of disturbing incompleteness. Set in an unspecified but near future, Saunders communicates everything about his narrative through the sparse, … Continue reading The Simplica Girl Diaries in review
[feeling a little unstuck? that might be because I've written on this novel before: God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut. In some circles, I'm known for talking about Vonnegut a lot, so you can also check out my review of one of the author's weirdest works Slapstick, which Vonnegut himself graded a D, and my paper on Cat's … Continue reading A Children’s Crusade in Reverse (Slaughterhouse Five in review)
The ten letters of Rainer Maria Rilke in correspondence with Franz Xavier Kappus that makeup Letters to a Young Poet offer little in the way of technical advice for writing. Rilke does not instruct on form; he does not comment on the use of language, or plot, or dialogue, or verse. However, what takes … Continue reading Letters to a Young Poet in review
Note: Over the next two months I will be writing a series of very short reviews of both critical work and fiction for a special project. As there is nothing more I plan to do with these short reviews, I thought it might be appropriate to post them here over the coming weeks, if only … Continue reading Theory of Adaptation in Review
Wow! Am I ever going to run out of announcements? I'm excited and honored to announce that I am joining Terse Journal as the new Prose Editor! Terse is a wonderful space, and I am proud to call it home. I am looking forward to reading and publishing new stories following Terse's new theme: Worlding Please … Continue reading Ventures! Ventures! Everywhere! On Terse Journal and the Family Care office
Hello, world. Is this thing on? It has been almost an entire year since I last wrote a single blog post. I've been keeping things very tight-lipped, close to the chest. My thinking was that I should not discuss any ongoing projects that I wasn't sure the world was going to see. So I vanished … Continue reading I’m Back! Upcoming Book announcement: What We See in the Smoke
There was a time during the twentieth century when the position of the greatest science fiction author was officially split into three. The greatest authors were considered to be Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clark, and Isaac Asimov.
Of the three, the latter two came to an official accord on how to respond to questions of who was the better writer. While sharing a cab ride in New York, Asimov and Clarke drafted The Clarke-Asimov Treaty of Park Avenue.
This agreement stated that when asked who was best, Clarke was to refer to Asimov as the best science writer, and Asimov was to refer to Clarke as the best science fiction writer. Each was to claim to be second-best in the other’s field.
The only written evidence of this treaty appeared in the dedication of Clarke’s novel Report on Planet Three:
“In accordance with the terms of the Clarke-Asimov Treaty…
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It's hard to say where the expression Ink-Stained-Wretch originates. Though I have found almost no reliable sources, at least one researcher told me in passing that the phrase comes from Canadian novelist Hugh Garner. Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Deadeye Dick attributes it to Alexander Woollcott, but this is probably wrong as well. To great alarm, I … Continue reading The Ink-Stained-Wretch
The wastepaper basket is a writer’s best friend. - Isaac Bashevis Singer These words were true when the Nobel Prize winner Mr. Singer said them and they are true today, with a few key alterations. Not long ago, I was asked what it’s like to write in the 21st century, and I thought it’s about … Continue reading Writing in the Digital Age
Hello writers and readers. As this is written, it is the end of November. While most people know November as that month where basically nothing happens, other than American Thanksgiving, some of you know it as Nanowrimo! (For those not in the know, that’s National Novel Writing Month) This is the month where all around … Continue reading Nanowrimo, or how I learned to stop word-counting and love the bomb