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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Denied

Dear D.A.,

Thanks for showing us your story "Power 2 the Peepz." It's jam-packed with ideas and I liked your use of language, but in the end I found the format a bit off-putting--the screenplay-like nature made the read a bit too disjointed for me. I'm going to pass on this one, then, but good luck to you with it, and I look forward to seeing more from you.

Best,
[editor's name]
Fiction Editor, Futurismic


For what it's worth (very little -- when a writer finds him or herself explaining their work to an audience who didn't 'get' it, that writer has already failed to do their job entirely), POWER 2 THE PEEPZ was meant to be a cyberpunk epistolary -- which is to say, a story told through messages and communications. Classic epistolary stories are generally told through various pieces of correspondence, and/or excerpts from journals or diaries. I wanted to take that classic literary conceit and update it for the SF, and specifically the cyberpunk, genre.

Along with that, I was very influenced while writing the story by the
recent film THE PRESTIGE. I greatly enjoyed THE PRESTIGE's decidedly
non-linear presentation of the narrative, where each bit of 'business'
presented in the film gave the attentive viewer just enough
information to place the next, disjointed, scene in some kind of
temporal context. That's what I was trying to do with P2TP -- I
essentially wrote each 'piece' of the narrative in a separate file,
then mixed and matched them almost like pieces of a puzzle until I got
what I thought was a result that worked.

The problem with all of that is that when you're trying to tell a cyberpunk epistolary tale in text, you end up having to describe sights and sounds with, well, text. A cyberpunk epistolary tale really SHOULD be presented in a VA medium, and, most likely, allowing a film like THE PRESTIGE to influence a textual narrative isn't the best idea, either. One can certainly present non-linear narratives in text -- Robert Anton Wilson is just one name that leaps to mind as being a master of that sort of thing -- but it may well be one of the understatements of the age for me to admit I am no Robert Anton Wilson.

I'm up in the air as to ASTONISHING ADVENTURES #3. I've been told my Doc Nebula story has been accepted, more than once, but it's longer than they usually like to accept, and they're now trying to pay for stories on a tight budget, so I'm thinking, if something gets the axe, it's going to be that story.

Ah well. At least I currently have a day job not to give up.

2 Comments:

At 6:02 PM , Blogger Nate said...

Fools! Ingrates!! INFIDELS!!!

JYHAD, JYHAD, JYHAD!!!

Make their cities burn, my comrades!!

 
At 3:13 PM , Anonymous Tony Collett said...

Sorry they didn't accept it, D.
But that's all it means, one editor didn't accept it.
I've been pondering this development since you posted this yesterday. I'd suggest submitting it to other places (as I'm sure this isn't the only market buying cyberpunk stories) and I know print, if it isn't dead, it's coughing up blood.
I was reading in Rolling Stone about some artists selling their albums online or setting up deals where they get more than if they went with the standard deal offered by the labels (The Eagles' deal with Wal-Mart, for instance) and while right now that works more for established artists than new ones, it seems that the music industry is slightly ahead of where entertainment distribution is going (they were involved with downloading first, or at least people heard about it first with music)
Have you thought about setting up a website for just your stories? I know, I know, you have some stories linked on the blog, but I was thinking of a separate site. Put what you have up there, maybe set up a PayPal donate button to get people to donate if they download (yes, the online market is even more in it's infancy and no one's really figured out a way to monetize it) maybe see about selling some works (like your trilogy) as a download, or use it to promote yourself. Look at some of the sites selling Project Wonderful ads (you bid to have your ad placed, sometimes as low as a few cents a day) and look toward getting the site to pay for itself, then seeing about making any money for yourself after that.
With the way things are, yes, people aren't reading as much as they used to, but if there's something they want to read, the market is there.
In the writer's market there's an element of luck, or random chance, and maybe something like this would lead to you taking the next step.

 

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