Monday, March 9, 2009

Rainforest Retreat, Day 3

Today was the last day of the Rainforest Writers' Retreat: Day 3 for me but Day 5 for writers who had been there from the beginning. I had breakfast with a group of younger writers, and I took the opportunity to ask them whom they read. The answer summarized to "not what I read." A lot of fantasy, especially series fantasy; a lot of newer writers, the only one of which I am familiar with was Elizabeth Bear; almost no "classic" SF, except for Ursula LeGuin, who is not only wonderful but local to the Pacific Northwest. Almost none of them read the SF magazines. Breakfast was enjoyable, but I ended up feeling like an alien. A very old alien. Here is the breakfast room, looking out on lots of snow:

Later in the day, Retreat organizer Patrick Swenson conducted the closing ceremony. There were drawings for various donated gifts (including a copy of my latest novel, STEAL ACROSS THE SKY). There were jokes about yesterday's late-night pajama party, which of course I missed due to still being on East Coast time. There was a snowball fight just outside on the deck, and the obligatory group picture. There was also a prize for the person who wrote the most words during the Retreat. This was won by San Inman, who wrote an astonishing 20,084 words over five days.

San Inman, Most Prolific
The drive back to Seattle featured snow, rain, sun, fog, and hail. We were momentarily expecting frogs and blood. I thought Rochester had variable weather, but it can't compare to Washington. They won't even know when global warming brings chaotic weather; it will just look like more of the same.


bluesman miike Lindner said...

Nancy, I finished STEAL...last

Nancy, I finished reading STEAL...last Wednesday, before going to woik. I think it's your finest since the BEGGERS trilogy. A =wonderful= last sentence.
Right up there with Asimov's "Ah, you just been out in space too long." and Heinlein's "My word...I'm not even a hundred yet." But page 116 gave me special delight. See, the Sunday before, I wrote lyric #99. The Muse =insisted= I use the phrase "On the hooves of the great white horses they'll be snow..." Not the greatest ah-deer ever, but do NOT ignore the Muse. She just might turn her pretty little nose up, walk out, and not come back.
Don't risk it!
Of course, "Schlepping to the Stars" and "On the Hooves..." share the same folk melody.

I love synchronicities (sp?) like that.


cd said...

I'm worried. Where do these writers read short fiction, if not in the main mags? Or do they not read short fiction?

CSInman said...

Wow, Nancy! Thanks for taking such a flattering photo of me! I look like a friendly little alien. (The young kind.)

I missed the breakfast conversation about "what kids are reading today." As far as the magazines go, no, I don't subscribe to Asimov's or Analog, which is apparently worrisome to the author of another comment, hehe. I tend to buy/subscribe to magazines that represent a spectrum of genres--Electric Velocipede, Weird Tales, Bust Down The Door And Eat All The Chickens, Shimmer, etc. The most sci-fi-ish of all my tastes was probably Apex Digest (sci-fi/horror), but that's online now. And online is where I read most of my short stories. I regularly check Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, Clarkesworld, Abyss & Apex, and ChiZine, to name a few.

And in closing: I just opened Steal Across The Sky on my lunch break, and so far I love it. Thanks again for distilling your talent into worksheets so we can attempt to keep up!

cd said...

> Electric Velocipede, Weird Tales,
> Bust Down The Door And Eat All
> The Chickens, Shimmer.... Apex
> Digest... Strange Horizons,
> Fantasy Magazine, Clarkesworld,
> Abyss & Apex, and ChiZine....

That is reassuring. Some of us worry that the field can't exist without short fiction thriving, but that's a great list of "mags" and reassuring to hear they have impact. Though I confess to never having heard of "Bust Down The Door And Eat All The Chickens" or "Shimmer." Wish I'd thought of the former name, though.

CSInman said...

cd - Bust Down The Door is surreal/absurdist, so it's speculative in nature even though it's not exclusively space ships and elves. The title was what got me, too, haha!

cd said...

BTW, how to the Harpies get methane on an asteroid? Does Dr. Wormhole wormhole it in?