Wednesday, August 18, 2010
VORTEX, GPS, & More
The novel above is the finest science fiction novel I have ever read. For those who don't know, Robert Charles Wilson is a Canadian writer of Sci-Fi, who hasn't really gotten as famous as his recurring role as Hugo and Nebula finalist should have earned him. And, for my money, he's the best science fiction writer writing today. Axis, the sequel to Spin, was hauntingly good, and after waiting about three years now, RCW has announced on his website that Vortex, the trilogy's finale, is finished sitting on the editor's desk at Tor.
It has been a long wait...and will probably a bit longer of a wait yet...but that wait is almost over. I am totally psyched. Wilson is a master of writing deeply personal, affecting stories about real people with real problems, and setting those stories against these unimaginably fantastic Sci-Fi backgrounds. For example, Spin is the story of three childhood friends who deal with growing up and growing older, all while the planet has been cut off from the rest of the universe. The Chronoliths tells of a divorced couple who must try to deal with their wayward daughter while a warlord from the future sends massive monuments to the past, commemorating his military victories.
Do you see the pattern here? Familiar people with familiar problems who have to deal with extraordinary problems.
OK, moving on to subjects more personal to me...
I have had my eureka moment with the story I mentioned before, "GPS". When I first dug it out of the trunk, "GPS" was a 7,500-word boondoggle, charming but flawed, aimless. It represented my writing almost two years ago, when I wasn't quite sure what I thought scary was. What's interesting is how, in the original version, I cling to typical horror tropes in such unimaginative ways despite the rather original premise that I'm working with.
The story has been given a significant makeover. But it wasn't your typical hack-n-slash job; it began innocently enough as a quick revision so I could send it back out for consideration. I had an idea of how to change a phrase towards the middle of the story, and then another, and that became an entirely new direction for the story. That new direction rendered the entire conclusion of the story useless, so I deleted it. And now the story weighs in at a much more respectable 4,500 words, with maybe a thousand or so to go. Needless to say, I'm very excited. The plan is to finish it tonight, but you know what they say about the best-laid plans...
Something a little less heartening is the progress on the untitled "Underground" story I was so excited about a week ago. Did I say progress? Well, let me take that back, because there isn't any. I haven't touched it in days. I'm sure I'll get back to it at some point, but every time I start it up again, I get pulled away by something else. It's the story that won't end.
That's it for today, I guess. I'll post an update, as I always do, when the next story is finished.