Monday, May 12, 2014

Blog it like you Tumblr it (1)

A couple of days ago I wrote about jotting down ideas as they occur, and one note in particular that, upon awakening the next day, I found I could not understand at all.

I've now decided that this is a positive thing.

As I was reading about the recent meltdown in science fiction circles [1] the subject of a writer's politics influencing (or not) his or her writing kept coming up.  Someone provided a helpful list of writers who were communists and one of the names was the New Weird SF writer China Mieville [2]. I thought, "Is he now? Fascinating. I'll go read his blog."

I did, or at least find and read his blog-like-thing and could not understand a word of it. It was like trying to get into the mind of a tropical stick insect or something.  Couldn't help clicking back pages and pages trying to deduce a theme. Anger at oppression was very clear; most of the rest read like my overnight notes.

It reminded me of M John Harrison, another SF author, who has a similar blog that I frequently fail to understand. Both of them are very well-respected authors that I always feel I should like more than I do. We have a few Mieville books here, and I got three quarters of the way through one, Perdido Street Station, before my reading slowed to a crawl and it eventually found its way back on to the 'finished' shelf and hasn't come back out. (I wrote about Perdido Street Station and how it induced a giggling fit here. I said then I'd get back to it. I haven't.) Somebody must read them, as he sells shedloads of books.

As for Mike Harrison, he's probably the most respected prose stylist in the field. (Apparently he won the genre's prize for being good without actually having made any money at it. I didn't know there was one, but it sounds a very useful concept.) I've only read Lamia Mutable, which was in Again, Dangerous Visions and I think Harlan Ellison's pitch for stories to go in that anthology must have been, "Hey, man, do you got any incomprehensible stories in your drawer? I mean really far out stuff you wrote on acid? Cause I gotta sequel to Dangerous Visions coming out." I've dipped in and out of his books but it always seems like an effort.

M John Harrison's Ambient Hotel here.
China Mieville's Rejectamentalist Manifesto here.

Their blogs though, have short think pieces and are interspersed with photos that either are things they saw on their walk or look like something seen on a walk in 1970, with the All The Filters! filter applied.  A few public domain photos creep in here and there.

This seems to be a thing writers do - even a writer I can understand, like John Scalzi, uses all his own photos. I assume this is to stay very clean on copyright matters, since of course copyright is how they make their living. Jack White (not an SF writer, but still), on the rare occasion he blogs, accompanies it with copyright-free images from Shorpy or Library of Congress. Perhaps he doesn't have a camera. Or doesn't go on walks.

Anyway, I thought, "I can do that!" I can obvs write things that I can't understand the next day - I've got that problem licked. And I can take pictures. And I have Instagram-alike filters for Photoshop. And I go on walks.

Fellow in a Jeep with both a Gadsden Flag and a US flag, both full-size. For some reason the term "doth protest too much" leapt to my lips and I took a photy.  Filter Slightly Mangy Grey 70's Agfa applied. And a hoopy cream border!

So I'm fully equipped to blog like an SF writer.  Next post ahoy!

[1]No, not that meltdown, or that one or that one. Not the first Hugo one, the other Hugo one. I know it's hard to keep with the Many Merry Meltdowns of SF
[2] Mieville did write this, so I suppose he may be

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