Checklist for my novel

Jeff was kind enough to send me this.  I think I hit five out of six.  However, I shouldn’t call it anything before it’s published.

For me I want a novel I write to do the following:

Take you someplace you haven’t been before – in this case into an implausible but internally consistent mode of being alien.

Make you think.  If an SF novel doesn’t make you think at least a moment about ‘what it is to be human’ or ‘the utter strangeness of how it is we are starstuff that does laundry’ then it’s missing an essential nucleobase from its DNA.

Make you worry.  If you don’t worry about what is going to happen to the characters next or what traps lie in store, you’re not connected to them.

Make you laugh.  Either to release pressure or to make a point which cannot be deftly made in exposition.

Leave enough to your imagination that the book can be your co-creation.

Play fair with the story.  My biggest resentments with Dunnett have to do with how the breadcrumb she left regarding our hero’s paternity is nanometrically tiny in the second series and non-existent in the first. (Yes, she recreates the paternity issue as the warp drive of the plot in the second series, but I don’t give a shit about how plot is repetitive.  If it wasn’t repetitive, it wouldn’t be plot, and it ain’t the premise it’s the people.)

Represent a notion of justice, equity, fairness and truth by the speech and actions of the protagonist and her associates. Novels are a very sophisticated way to broach these issues because even though you can be invested in the actors you can’t get killed.  Further, you can represent extremes of morality or fine gradations, thus providing emotionally meaningful denouements or hair splitting distinctions, which is intellectually fun.

Be grounded in the physical reality of human life without being enslaved by it.


That’s all I can think of right now.





In response to Pat Broderick’s whine about cosplayers

Hierarchical BS in fandom is going to happen. I’m troubled when our media preferences become more important to our tribal affiliation than the enduring sense of wonder that lifted us all up into fandom in the first place. Jealousy and envy are a part of life. Throw sexism, sizeism, publishing credits and perfect pitch into a small and vocal fandom and voila, ongoing eruptions.
Entitled people are likely to be cognitively biased enough to keep enunciating why their preferences ought to be the rules. (And whinge when they get called on it.) Those of us who do *not* find our preferences prescriptive for the entire universe of fandom…are “just happy to go to cons, meet new people, learn new songs and stay out of politics.”
Unless you’re a tribble, you shouldn’t hiss at Klingons. Or to rephrase, unless you have a physical problem with someone else’s embodiment of fandom (eg., using peanut butter as part of your costume when so many fans are allergic is unacceptable) the correct response falls along a continuum. Privately giggle with your friends, whine to your BFF or SO, or work through the irritation or anger in some constructive fashion. And now I pass the talking stick to someone else.