Suburbs and Such

21 May 2001

New article up today at Strange Horizons: "The Suburbs of Amber." I had fun with it. And David did something quite remarkable as my editor. Want to guess? No, you never will. He edited.

I expected, when I got into this business, that editors would be editing my nonfiction like mad. I expected them to want to tinker with little stuff all the time. And it just hasn't happened. I don't know why not, actually. I mean, I have confidence in my stuff, but that doesn't mean every word will be perfect, or, more to the point, to the taste of the editor in question. I'll be interested in seeing how much my editor felt he had to edit The Chinese Americans and The Jewish Americans. If he'd had large edits, it was in my contract that he'd send them back to me to do within twenty days...but I don't know what "large" means. We shall see.

I'm a lot more protective of my fiction than of my nonfiction. I'm willing to make edits on both, but I think it's easier to be objective with nonfiction. If you've been reading this awhile, you'll remember that I made edits at the request of a pro editor, but while that particular editor has a great track record of responses, he's had my edited story for what seems like a long time now. Monday always makes me think this way: who has my stories? Am I ever going to see them again? No news on the novel, of course. You'd know if there had been.

I'm reading The Prestige now, and it's good. It's definitely good. I don't think I've gotten to the point where it swallowed Timprov whole and didn't spit him out again until it was done. But it's definitely good so far, and I'm looking forward to finishing it today. I'm also reading Finland: A Country Study. Not a good book. At all. I've seen several places where it seems to oversimplify the historical situation, and I feel like I'm not an expert (yet). So if I catch error or oversimplification....

I read Bruce Sterling's Zeitgeist over the weekend, and...well. He's good at what he does, I suppose. Every time I have a gripe with a Bruce Sterling book, I'm pretty sure that he just disagrees with me about what one ought to be shooting for, in a book. I was interested in what he was going to do with his premise, in Zeitgeist -- it seemed like he was going to be showing off how cynical and hip he could be, and lo and behold, he did. How fabulous. It was not science fiction, by the way. The only reason it should have been dubbed SF is that it was written by Bruce Sterling, and He Writes SF. Not a good reason.

It's possibly too early for me to be writing a journal entry. I'm going to have my Nutella tortilla and read the intellectual section of the paper. I wish I could sleep more. I know I can't.

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