Text of an email I just sent to Daniel Keys Moran:

Here we go:

"I cannot today read what I wrote only five years ago without wincing."

That, after telling me that five years before, you wrote what sound to me to be a couple of essential Continuing Times novels that you now think, you know, suck, so I will never get to read them.

So I have this to say to you --- you should not attempt to judge the quality of your own writing, for the pure and simple reason that you are incapable of doing so in any meaningfully objective way.

You've mentioned that you finished AI WARS years ago, thought it was dreadful, and trashed it.

As with the other Continuing Times novels you have written that you thought were dreadful and trashed, this makes me very sad.

I have to assume, based on everything you have said on your blog and in your various fore and afterwords that you probably now think that EMERALD EYES and THE LONG RUN and THE LAST DANCER suck. And if you could, you would trash them, and wait until some theoretical time in the future when you feel you write well enough to do them justice.

And that strikes me as, pardon my non-French, fucking madness.

I love EMERALD EYES. I love THE LONG RUN a little bit less and THE LAST DANCER a fraction less than that. But this is like saying that I love THE CHRONICLES OF AMBER slightly less than I love LORD OF LIGHT, that I love TITAN slightly less than I love WIZARD and I love WIZARD slightly less than I love DEMON, that I love THE UPLIFT WAR slightly less than I love STARTIDE RISING. It does not mean that these books I love slightly less are terrible books which should never have seen print or which have not in some way greatly enriched my life. It simply means that the books I love slightly more are, you know, slightly more fucking fantastic than those books I love slightly less.

That's all.

You say you have been writing for a very long time, and you have been planning The Continuing Time for a very long time, and that's fine and wonderful. I have been reading The Continuing Time for a lesser period, but that does not mean that I am not and have not been looking forward to new Tales of the Continuing Time for a very, very long time.

If George R.R. Martin were to announce on his website that he had actually finished A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE but on rereading he felt it sucked hard so he'd trashed everything, including all the books already published, and was starting over with A GAME OF THRONES, rewriting it to the standard he felt the epic deserved, the anguished screams of millions would reverberate throughout Earth's atmosphere.

Personally, I think EMERALD EYES is equal to anything Martin has ever written. That's just my opinion. But it is the opinion of a reader, not the guy who wrote it, and as such, much more objective than yours can ever be.

Please stop trying to judge your own writing, especially if such judgment leads you to destroying stuff that I would like to read.

I've been waiting for THE AI WARS, and whatever comes after THE AI WARS, for a really long time now.

I know you're busy, and real life has to take precedence. But if it's just that you think the writing sucks and you want to wait until you can do it better, please, please, please, stop thinking that.

Or, at least, stop letting it get in the way.

As should be obvious, I just reread EMERALD EYES again. And, yeah, there are passages in it that seem a trifle... immature... and maybe, yeah, you could have done a better job with it if you sat down to write it now, but you know what?

It still fucking ROCKS.


That is all.

D.A. Madigan

So, there's that.

EMERALD EYES, THE LONG RUN, and THE LAST DANCER are currently out of print, which is a goddam shame. However, if you chance across this entry and read this far and care at all about my recommendations, I recommend you do a Google search and find used copies of all these books and read the hell out of them. Because they do, indeed, rock out loud.

If you like them half as well as I liked them, you might consider going over to and advising the author there of your regard. You could tip him through his PayPal button, too, which, given that he'll never get a royalty on a purchase of a second hand out of print book, wouldn't be at all out of line.

Something else that's out of print, and really hard to get? Alan Moore's MARVEL/MIRACLEMAN stuff. Apparently there's some huge legal dispute about copyright on the characters and those stories cannot be reprinted until that's all settled and it seems unlikely it will be settled any time soon.

Which makes me sad, as I had a lot of that stuff in my previous comics collection and I'd like to have it back because a lot of Moore's MIRACLEMAN stuff, and later on, Gaiman's MIRACLEMAN stuff, was pretty frickin' brilliant, and I'd enjoy rereading it.

Plus, if you're any kind of scholar of superhero comics, well, Moore's MARVEL/MIRACLEMAN is a pretty significant part of the arc of the development of the modern superhero.

Ah, well.


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