Dear Muse….

Posted on | October 24, 2008

Dear Muse:

Yes, I understand that the change we made to chapter 2 of A Pleasing Shape complety changes the tenor of the story and that heavy lifting is required. On the other hand, that is no reason to make the current ending so boring. Even if it’s not the ending we’re going to use, it’s still supposed to be competent. I know you feel it would be a waste to keep working after 23,000 words, but still, you could at least try to give me an ending with all three of them content with each other.

On the other hand, thank you so much for the new Yowler story Silent Night With Daggered Books. I’m sure we’ll be able to work it into the schedule somewhere.

I’m sorry, but I felt it necessary to throw away Soul Searcher. The original is lost on an Amiga floppy somewhere, and I was never going to be able to re-write in and recapture that.

And I agree that Wishing Well: Epilogue is nicely finished.

p.s. Your suggestion for Under the Big Gun is interesting, but getting into Leysa’s head right now would be particularly difficult. Didn’t you say you wanted to look at what it would take to make Honest Impulses a retailable novel?


6 Responses to “Dear Muse….”

  1. Harley Gray
    November 2nd, 2008 @ 11:00 pm

    First off I want to say that I’m a very big fan of all of your stories. Now for a question. Is the story “The Last Journal Entry” the absolute ending for the journal entry series or will you do a sort of side story series for it? I wanted to email you directly with this question and a few others but I couldn’t find your email anywhere. Anyway, Again great stories and keep up the great work. ^^

  2. Alan Jenkins
    November 4th, 2008 @ 12:49 pm

    Hey, Elf.

    I’ve read enough of the Journal Entries for the very occaisonal speeling error, or more often the wrong word with the write spelling, to annoy my not-so-inner pedant.

    I’d mail you but I couldn’t find an address. I don’t have a backlog but I’m still reading and I can send them as I find them. Mail me if you’re interested.


  3. Alan Jenkins
    November 8th, 2008 @ 12:11 pm

    Hey… I tried to leave a comment earlier. Something seems to have eaten it, maybe NoScript, so here it is again.

    Are you interested in nit-picky corrections to your stories? If so, where should I send them?


  4. donavan
    November 14th, 2008 @ 10:51 am

    Hello Elf.
    Sorry if this is in the wrong spot for this. You posted a new Pendor story called Cotton. I question where you put it in the timeline. You make a reference to the character Wish who does not appear for another year or so.

  5. Mike Altarriba
    November 23rd, 2008 @ 12:46 pm

    You’ve been dropping hints of “The Fall” for a while now, and with the last few stories – “Cotton”, “The Chorus”, we’re starting to see the result.

    What I’m wondering about is how your concept of “The Fall” relates to the Vingean Singularity. Given that Pendor has had strong AI and cyberwear for a very long time, and a post-Scarcity economy, is the concept of “The Singularity” really relevant, or does the existing technological (and cultural!) base just make the transition to Singularity, the slope of the curve if you will, a more gentle one?

    In Iain M. Bank’s “The Culture”, his stories are set in a time period in which most Culture citizens inhabit singleton, humanoid bodies. In the Journal Entries, up to now, we’ve seen the same (well, the singleton part, anyway). Will we be seeing more stories about beings that don’t inhabit singleton bodies? I remember Wish’s discomfort hanging around people who spent all their time in virtual space. I imagine reactions like that will make for plenty of grist for your mill.

    Finally, I was curious as to your take on something I once read of Banks, wherein he said (and I agree) that one of the biggest dangers humanity faced was its instinct towards the formation of social hierarchies, and the climbing of same – which, for many, implies “by any means necessary.”

    In The Culture, the individuals we see today are products of centuries of genetic modification, so if those instincts were a problem they could have been addressed. With Pendorians, I don’t see that same built-in drive. Do you, personally, think these primate instincts of ours are a danger?

    Thanks, and thanks for 18 years of wonderful stories… and a world I’d happily live in given half a chance.

  6. Elf Sternberg
    February 6th, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

    The Fall is not the Vingean Singularity. That’s not to say the Singularity hasn’t happened; it’s just that it only happens in limited places for limited times. There’s a scene in some story (Either Bullets and Banquets or Nudes Defending a Staircase) in which Ken reveals that part of his objective was to get organic humanity out, off the Earth, out into the stars, to provide a starship-based infrastructure for thinking meat to survive despite the impending threat of a transhuman future.

    “The Fall” is Ken’s personal nickname (although others in his universe picked it up and started using it) for that moment when the cultural taboo against widespread biological self-modification ceased to be overwhelming; when things like Bambi and Dove’s twins became commonplace and expected and the legal framework had to shift to handle these new realities; when the notion of “what is a human” becomes more abstract and nuanced than “Well, you know one when you see one.”

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