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Friday, June 24, 2005

Dog days

This helps me come to terms with the fact that I just can't get into Martin Amis' Yellow Dog. I'm in absolute awe. I wish I could be this articulate even when sober.

12 comments:

Lucy Tartan said...

oh god, that's hysterical. My first thought was this is a hoax, but it's too detailed to not be for real. Wouldn't you love to see an exchange like that. There wouldn't be very many writers who that sort of needling would work on, I think....
I read the first few pgs of Yellow Dog standing up in a bookshop when it was published, & thought ....naah.

Ampersand Duck said...

Yeah, unfortunately I'd already bought my copy -- I'm such a sucker for strong book cover design! Luckily I'd bought it remaindered.

I love the way he got two birds with one stone! I'm too chicken to say things like that up front, but love reading/hearing stories about someone else that got away with it...

harry said...

You gotta give it to them.
I was at a open panel of publishers and specialist SciFi bookshop owners. There were about 100 people in the room - almost all wannabe writers like myself.
Every single question that had been asked from the floor could be essentially rephrased as "How can I write the next Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?" This was despite the fact that the panelists had already said that scifi was getting a big boost from Potter and the Lordof theRings movies, but that there was no particular reason why either author should be as astoundingly popular as they are. One owner spelled it out: "The right person at the right time" ie you just gotta be lucky.

So, to put an end to all these stupid questions, and give the finger (so to speak), I started by saying "I'd like to talk about _real_ books for a moment...."

Fyodor said...

What, you mean like Temple, Ice Station or Scarecrow, or that Veni Vidi Vici Code?

harry said...

You talk pretty tough for a bodyless pseudonym!

Nah, the books I was referring to were collections of Aussie SpecFic short-stories.
Cat Sparks, who was on the panel, has produced three that include some of the best stuff I've ever read.

Fyodor said...

I'll have you know I'm very full-bodied, with a big fruity head.

Yes, they sound like real book...lets.

harry said...

Fruity or frothy?

The art in many of those short stories excels the art of many a half-arsed book I have read.
You know the ones where they have obviously measured the thickness of the spine and gone "ech. Stick another 20,000 words in would you?"

Ampersand Duck said...

I'm with Harry on this one, as much as I admire Fyodor's stealthy approach to blogging. I find Australian sci-fi short stories -- and international sci fi short stories -- often far superior to novels, which tend to drag out a good pithy concept.

Fyodor said...

Yes, I hate a long draw out pith. Why can't novelists just take the pith, but make it shorter?

Lucy Tartan said...

Or, as Harry indicated somewhere recently, write their names in pith?

I must git back to work - but do any of you like China Mieville?

Ampersand Duck said...

Never heard of that name, but I will soon. Are you asking to recommend or to put the boot in with company?

Lucy Tartan said...

150-odd pages into the first volume of a big thick fat sf series, I don't know yet - but so far, it's been worth the trouble.