Monday, February 26, 2007
The First Set of Seven Seas
I've just finished writing a new pirate story intended for Jeff VanderMeer's forthcoming pirate anthology. The deadline for submissions is almost up, so I was pleased to finish it last night. I sent it to Jeff a few minutes ago... This new story is called 'The Private Pirates Club' and is cunningly linked to certain stories in The Postmodern Mariner, partly for promotional reasons and partly because I like connections for their own sake... All my stories are linked to each other, or will be eventually. I love chaos but I don't like loose ends!
People keep asking me about the 'good news' I mentioned a few posts back. I still can't reveal what it is, but I have to point out that it's not amazing news, just good news, and it concerns my big novel. Does that help to satisfy any general or specific curiosities?
Life is so much better now than it was just 2 months ago... Incredible how things can change so rapidly. I'm aware they can change back just as quick, so I won't be too smug! Stuart, Monica and myself really need to crack on with the music for the Sereia show. We have decided to nominate March as the month to have the whole project done and dusted... I need to write my text for the Stanislaw Lem tribute project that Livros de Areia are putting together... I have several other short stories to write before turning to longer work (my agent wants me to write a novella for the legendary F&SF and I have agreed)... I need to continue getting fit for my unfeasible bicycle ride from Portugal to Spain... I need to continue with my computer course at the university... I need to plan other trips later in the year (I'm hoping to go to Greece, Macedonia and Serbia)... I need to learn Esperanto: well not need exactly but I've decided it might be fun, and it fits in with my principles.
I'm currently reading Michael Moorcock's The Golden Barge, his first novel, written in 1957 when he was 16. Fifty years old already, that book! Considering it was written by somone so young it's a remarkable piece of work. I wonder how my own fiction at age 16 might compare? I'll never know because everything I wrote between 1980 and 1989 is lost... Well not everything, a few fragments still survive, the earliest dating from 1986... Juvenile work may lack polish and depth, but sometimes it has a more arresting quality -- difficult to specify exactly what -- other than a sort of archetypal ambience -- than more accomplished work. It's a bit like beginner's luck at golf and snooker, I guess. The Golden Barge certainly has this quality, and I believe my own early work did, a basic richness of images, or rather a directness that can be defined as both naive or astute... I know what I mean, but I'm not sure if I'm explaining it very well. No matter!
I splashed out and bought the whole of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, but in English, not French, as I don't read French and I can hardly ask my friend Manuela to read all 3000+ pages to me. It's a HUGE book: will I ever read it? Yes, I believe so, all the way through. I am numerologically both shocked and delighted to realise that my 408 short stories contain more wordage than this mighty novel... By 'splashed out' I mean that I got lucky, as I found all three volumes in Oxfam for £5.99
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