Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Time Travel for Fun & Profit


This just arrived in yesterday's mail:  The Time Traveller's Almanac, edited by the Vandermeers and containing my story, "Triceratops Summer."

"Triceratops Summer" is an interesting story because while almost everyone who reads it think it's one of the sweetest, most positive things I've written (myself included), my son, Sean Swanwick, believes it's the bleakest, most nihilistic thing he's ever read. And he's read both "The Dead" (my version, I mean, not Joyce's) and "Radiant Doors."

De gustibus non disputandum, I guess.

The collection itself is what we call a bug-crusher, weighing in at over a kilo and a half and containing enough fiction to satisfy your appetite for time travel for a long time to come.  It made me wonder, in fact, if these enormous summary volumes of various sub-genres of SF aren't a sign of the end-times of science fiction.  An implicit statement, I mean, that yet another segment of it is done and complete and can be placed on the bookshelf next to the collected Shakespeare and the single-volume works of the Lake Poets.

But these dark moments pass, like the shadows of clouds on a summer meadow.  Whatever the truth may be, I shall continue to write as if both the genre and I were immortal and the long centuries stretched out before us, verdant and serene, waiting for me to fill them with words.



Lars said...

Bleak? Nihilistic?

Didn't you work this out in Bones of the Earth?

HANNAH'S DAD said...

Either you need a right bracket after "(myself included" or I've found a bug in my brain which prevents it being able to parse some valid input correctly, despite a lifetime of correct functioning.

Which is a Greg Egan story all in itself really.

Michael Swanwick said...

Correction made. Thank you!

I believe Sean thinks BONES OF THE EARTH is also bleak and nihilistic. I tell him that when he's my age he'll see things differently. But he finds that bleak and nihilistic too.

Lars said...

Yes, well, he's probably correct on that last point.