Tuesday, January 11, 2005

New Sci-Fi

"We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck."

First line from an excellent book I just finished: Feed by M. T. Anderson. It's officially a young adult novel by our library's standards, and is apparantly an underground hit among teens, but I found it very powerful, engaging, and emotional. I even almost believed the invented slang the author created for futuristic teens, something which most authors fail miserably at.

It was a National Book Award finalist, deservedly so, and apparantly won a slew of other awards as well.

"A scathing critique of the incessant demands of an increasingly everpresent media behemoth," he said as though he were getting paid to talk about it. Hey, don't make me break out terms like "a stunning tour de force" on your ass...

You can read the plot synopsis and reviews at the above link, but I wanted to use it to segue into talking about a movement in current science fiction writing.

I've noticed that really good SF books these days are getting shorter. This is a good thing, because for a while I suspected that writers seemed to be on a Dickensonian paid-by-the-word deal, and vast tomes which stretched the limits of book-publishing technology were becoming the norm. That or the dreaded series tales, always seeming to be either 3, 5, or 10 books for some reason. If not, then they were usually divided up into parts... six books? My money's on two parts of three books.

Now, the trend for up-and-coming authors seems to be writing efficiently. Writers which have impressed me lately seem to be writing shorter works, but also seem to be putting a lot of thought into the fewer words they do use.

Cory Doctorow is an excellent example, just to name someone, as is John Scalzi.

I've decided that I like the new trend, and plan on working on efficiency in my own writing.


Update: looks like this has been noticed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh! Wow! Thing!

12:39 PM  

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