Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More On the Seven Minutes

Right after my previous post on the average reading time for young people (seven minutes per day), the mail brought the book FUTURES FROM NATURE, just released by Tor and edited by Henry Gee. This is an anthology of 100 short-shorts, all with fewer than 1,000 words, that were published from 1999 - 2006 in the prestigious scientific journal NATURE. This is the journal that first published Crick and Watson's double-helix structure for DNA, as well as a great number of other important break-throughs in science. Gee recognized that scientists often like SF, and so he ran a back-page story in each issue for a year. When that run was over, popular demand brought it back.

About half of the stories in FUTURES are by Brits (NATURE is a British magazine) and half by others. The authors span three generations, from Arthur C. Clarke to Cory Doctorow, and countless writing styles. My own story, "Product Development," was enjoyable to write. Usually I don't write short (I sprawl) but this challenge was great fun.

The book is a good holiday gift for your teenager's seven minutes of reading. And who knows -- maybe they'll go on to actually that archaic activity in this wonderful genre of ours. Miracles happen.

And speaking of holidays, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there who's celebrating it. Blogging will resume in a few days.


bluesman miike Lindner said...

Miracles do indeed happen, Nancy. I'll take oath on that!

Everybody, have a happy Thanksgiving.

BuffySquirrel said...

Hmm, another book for the wishlist. Now to find a rich patron!

Ann said...

Very thought provoking info re: the 7 min. And the books sounds worthwhile, especially for a writer who enjoys writing flash. I find I need to steep myself in short stories when I'm writing them and in novels when I'm writing those. Different mechanics. It will be nice to read flash fiction in a print version from authors I know will deliver. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading who celebrates it.
Ann Wilkes