Saturday, February 22nd, 2003 - Rant with CoffeeSo, I've just woken up, had a misunderstanding over how long to grind the coffee beans with Tim, debated with myself over whether it's worth the fuzziness of Vicodin to relieve the swollen pain in my mouth, read the rest of "The Honeyed Knot" by Jeffery Ford (Ok, that was a good thing), and started to read journals. And an innocent entry about sports led me on a follow-the-links to this entry which got me thinking about this whole movement idea my friends and I have been joyously batting about. And, since I'm in pain and still have my glasses on (instead of contacts) and haven't showered yet or brushed my teeth (it hurts, so I'm putting it off until after coffee) I've decided to throw all caution to the wind and try a rant here for once.
Heh. Let's see how this goes.
Okay, people, this whole idea of a movement isn't new. It's just being discussed in wider and wider circles. True, when we'd discuss it before, it was always in future tense ("Maybe someday we'll all get famous and someone will notice our group of friends and call it a movement in speculative fiction). These conversations involved a very small (like, 3) number of people and they usually came after cons where we'd realize that those who hold all the power in the field now were young once, and that, unless life-extension gets on the ball, they're not going to be in power for the rest of our young lives. It's a dream of continuing to push ourselves, of doing good work and inheriting the field, making it our own. It's a dream of keeping up with changing times, of solving the problem of making science fiction futuristic when we're already living in the future, of making modern myths that matter, of taking old ideas and finding their connection to our modern lives and of finding new ideas and making them into the tropes of the future.
Then, a reviewer went ahead and labeled us in the here and now. And, boy, is that thrilling.
So, we chat. We giggle, we pshaw and say how silly it is, and our happiness comes from someone else confirming, in a small way, our secret desires. It lets us talk about this on topic boards, write journal entries about it and not feel like we're being *too* terribly pretentious.
And, look, most of the people who agree that they want to be part of the movement are being really light-hearted with this. It's fun to think about, it's fun to talk about, it's fun. Everyone has been very careful to point out that this is all-inclusive, that no matter what you write, if you want to call yourself a movementarian (or whatever) you can, and we'll welcome you. We're grownups playing with the idea of a secret club -- all the thrill, none of the childish meanness. And, we're all kind of making fun of ourselves for this, too. No one is standing up and declaring that this is a definite MOVEMENT and you must kneel and recognize us (are they? I don't think I've read anything like that yet). Mostly what we're doing is discussing among ourselves whether or not there is a movement, and if so, what kind of movement, and what the hell do you call it?
And not everyone wants to be a part of it, or thinks that it includes them. Ok. Vera is the best example of a graceful bowing out of movements in general. And, that's fine.
But then you've got the people who are saying "It's a lame wavelet.". And you just have to wonder why the backlash? None of us were taking it that seriously, we were just saying how cool it would be to be a part of that movement. But when folks start vehemently denying the existence of any sort of movement, you kinda have to wonder what they're getting so defensive about.
And then, Lynn, in that last post I just linked, goes on to say what kind of movement would be a real, unique movement (the Wave of Mutilation) and she goes on to describe what many of the folks in this movement are doing or trying to do. Seriously, where does she get off? She says in a later post that Strange Horizons isn't her cup of tea, but the stories that she describes in her Feb. 12th entry can be found at Strange Horizons, if she would only read it. Sure, some of the stories at SH reuse old myths in the way that she says she hates, but some of them don't, many of them fulfill her demands for something new: "Give me characters adrift in the unknown, or characters who are so content in the known that they're blown away when everything changes. Dammit, make me *think* about a story for a change, instead of just making me yawn." And not only SH. Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Rabid Transit, Say ..., pretty much all of the 'zines being discussed as part of this maybe-movement have fiction like she describes. And I just have to conclude that she's reacting to the posts on the topic boards and journal entries without reading the source material. No, we're not talking about the latest issue of Asimov's or F&SF (though both of those magazine seem to be buying more and more from this wavelet).
Anyway, the anti-wave movement seems just as important as the wave itself, as it helps describe the negative-space around our maybe-movement, bringing something that was (to borrow from Nick) an amophous blob into sharper focus, making it stand out and seem more real.
So, I guess I'm glad people are posting things that piss me off. The more you deny it, the more life you give it. Really, we were mostly just joking around with our group of pals. We'll keep on writing what we want, trying to push the envelope in the same ways we always have, and if you want to cry out and point fingers and say it's NOT a movement, well, ok. And thanks for the publicity.
Exercise Log:Mouf hurts too much to contemplate.
Writing log:Forgot to mention a rejection from Eilleen Gunn at Infinite Matrix for WWW12. She loves the story, but says it's too fantasy - in both subject and tone - and she's buying sci-fi right now. Thing is, Tim has told me that it's sci-fi, not fantasy enough to send to Realms of Fantasy. I fear this is one of those stories that will have a hard time finding a home, simply because of how hard it is to categorize.
"How to Suck" reprinted in From Porn to Poetry: Clean Sheets Celebrates the Erotic Mind
Currently Reading:The Fantasy Writer's Assistant by Jeffery Ford
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