Lost in descriptions

Speculative Fiction has some basic requirements: the author needs a world view, a style that matches the view, and a clear direction to project that vision for the reader.

For the one rare book which has a positive spin on the future, there are 20 or more in which pain, wars and urban blight figure prominently. I am not sure what that says about how we view the future – lack of optimism, or the sense that you need high conflict, massive wars or Armageddon to sell books.

I have a preference for clean, clear prose. Sentences that pull you along, action in words. I read for entertainment, escape, pleasure. I gave up complex literary fiction after University. This is not to say that I do not enjoy works with several levels of meaning, but simply that I take no joy in wading through sentences longer than Thomas Mann or Göethe simply to find that a trivial character walked from the public transportation location to a garden building.

Look at Elizabeth Bear, Holly Lisle, David Brin CS Friedman for current authors. Think of Huxley, Asimov, Blish and early Card for other examples.

Thirteen pages of prologue with wordy, complex sentences lost my interest by the end of the third page.

Backstory should come out as part of the action. As a reader, an author should assume that I am intelligent enough to follow the plot line. If I wanted to know every colour and texture of fabric and building, I would be reading Regency Romances, not science fiction. Internal ruminations of the various characters might be interesting to some, but not paragraphs worth. Deadstock by Jeffrey Thomas had been recommended to me. His Punktown is an interesting world concept, but certainly not original. The basic story should have been told in 75 pages, not the 414 worth of turgid prose with a 5:1 ratio of adjectives to nouns.

So I am seeking something else to read this weekend, or will go back to my audio books so that I can knit at the same time. Have not been particularly successful at doing my PT while listening. And it is going better, leaving only some ache after each session.

The 1645 EC from Stuttgart arrived with the three teens on board, home for the weekend.

My buds are now blossoms:

The flower bloomed pink Yellow bud to White Flower
But I don’t have a clue what they are.

Stitch Markers

There is not much you can do for Pirate fans except feed their indulgence. These wonderful indulgences were made by jlyarnworks.  Not just strung on wires, but they are handmade tiny sculpey (or fimo?) skulls. Since I had wanted something for socks/lace, small size for small rings was important. There is even one with an eye patch to mark the starting point.

Skull Stitch Markers

Humm – I bet she can make fasteners for my up coming Kauni Sweater……


The first chain link is almost complete. I am working on both an alternate heel and a toe modification. A few pairs and I should be ready to share.
Sock Progress - Chain Link

Then, my STR Sock Club arrived yesterday. I really like this one, both the colours in the yarn and pattern.

Coming home from shul directly after the potluck (early for us) it was nice just to be able to curl up in my chair.

 ! שבת שלום


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Prose, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Lost in descriptions

  1. amanda j says:

    Those stitch markers are just about the cutest thing ever.

    Perhaps authors should stop trying to be so clever and realise that at times intelligent people just want to escape!

  2. colin says:

    I really like the sock colour.

    I used to read Stephen king but then he became a ‘writer’ and he got far too long winded and ‘literary’ which became boring. I think the last time I was able to get past the first few pages was in the 80’s.
    Just read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Great read even if it got me riled in parts and I don’t agree with him all the way.

  3. Kristin L says:

    OK, I should have read all the posts before comenting on the previous one — Bummer, all the skulls are gone now from the etsy shop.

    Have you read Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.