Ten Things I Know About Writing

Another meme. This one is the 10 things I know about writing. As a non-writer, this is what I’ve learned while compiling magazines, working on anthologies etc:

  1. There are no rules. Be sure to follow them.
  2. It looks easy. It’s not.
  3. Given #2, why waste all that effort if you’re not doing your best?
  4. Love what you write. You’re going to have to live with it a long time.
  5. No matter what you achieve in writing, someone else has achieved more. So what? Get over it.
  6. Writing can be put off indefinitely.
  7. Writing is not publishing. Publishing is not writing. Do not mistake the two.
  8. Never trust anyone who’s just ‘telling it like it is’. They never are.
  9. The other person, over there, is doing the best they can too.
  10. Always, always, always treat anyone you encounter in publishing well. They might not be doing what you think they should, but they’re trying their best, and if they bought your book, they ARE on your side.

Locus Press

About five minutes ago I fired up the email software and sent the final manuscripts for Science Fiction: The Very Best of 2005 and Fantasy: The Very Best of 2005, to CHARLES at Locus Press. Assuming that he finds everything acceptable, these two books should be published in the next few months. When I’ve had a chance to clear things with him, I’ll post tables of contents for the new books, along with any other information.

All in all, this has been a pretty interesting time, and I’d like to thank CHARLES for picking up these books, everyone at Locus for their enthusiasm about the two books, and the contributors to both books. There was a journey that a lot of people didn’t have to make with these books, and I’m very grateful that pretty much everyone did.

Tiptree biography approaches…

Described by Publishers Weekly as “an evenhanded, scrupulously documented, objective yet sympathetic portrait of a deliberately elusive personality”, Julie Philips forthcoming biography of James Tiptree, James Tiptree, Jr. : The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, is both one of the books I’ve been most looking forward to this year. It’s only a handful of months away, and it looks terrific. Now, someone was going to send me a galley, but I don’t remember who. Time to pull out the old list of contacts at St Martins and see if anyone has a spare sitting round. This looks good.

Vote 1 Wolfe for Hugo!

Gary K. Wolfe has been the senior reviewer at Locus for over a decade, and one of the leading critics working in the science fiction field for longer than that. His reviews are intelligent, well-informed, well-argued and provocative. Arguably, he is the only real challenger to John Clute for the title of best critic working in science fiction.

Last year Beccon published the first collection of Gary’s reviews, Soundings: Reviews 1992- 1996, and this week it was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Related Book. To help readers unfamiliar with the book get a feeling for it, Locus: Online has posted the introduction. You can, of course, also buy the book. While I do have something of a conflict of interest – Gary is a friend and I’ve been reviews editor* at Locus since 2002 – I really think this is a terrific book. Buy it, read it, and Vote 1 Wolfe for Hugo!

Note: The reviews in Soundings have the advantage of being edited by CHARLES, so are sure to be superior to later Jonathan-edited reviews. Be sure to buy Soundings for the best in edited reviews.