Friday, October 3, 2014

In Which Gordon Van Gelder Suggests An Essential Change To My Blog


It's against the code for a writer to say something nice about an editor.  But what the heck.  Gordon Van Gelder, the editor and publisher of F&SF has a pleasantly low-key sense of humor.

Here's this morning's conversation with him:

I think you'll get a laugh out of this one.


[The link leads to a review of The Very Best of F&SF: Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology, which includes the following characterization of one of my stories:

"Mother Grasshopper" by Michael Swanwick (1998). Pure Swanwickian whatthefuckery, a Malthusian fable of immortality set inside the eye of a grasshopper as big as several planets put together. It doesn't come together exactly right, the way my favorite Swanwick stories do; there's no emotional punch hidden behind the conceptual mastery. Terrific all the same.]


You were right.


As reviews go, "Pure Swanwickian whatthefuckery" is hard to beat.


I expect to see it in the story notes next time I sell something to you.


You mean you're not going to use it as the new title for your blog?


Above:  Photo copyright by Ellen Datlow and used with her permission.  Gordon Van Gelder's emails are quoted with his permission.  Thanks, Ellen!  Thanks, David!



G. L. Dryfoos said...

It'd be okay as a new title for the blog, as long as you were certain that you'd be able to maintain the purity of your Whatthefuckery.

If you think it's likely that you might mix in some occasional Ohferfuckssakeification or Holycrapitude, then keep the title as is.

Mark Pontin said...

[1] PSW for short on the blog masthead, since Pure Swanwickian Whatthefuckery is NSFW.

[2] In general, that reviewer on his blog is not bad at all, with a lot of concise apercus there starting with ....

"Of Time and Third Avenue" by Alfred Bester (1951).

'Mid-century time travel stories have a certain rigid, sonnet-like formality, presenting a neat paradox or a neat way out of paradox or a small neat logic puzzle, with little ornamentation beyond a tendency toward comic peculiarities in the men visiting from the future. This structure is not without its charms, but my own future-dulled senses find such stories less than satisfying....'

That's pretty much right.

Although I don't know where, say, Charles Harness's THE PARADOX MEN/FLIGHT INTO YESTERDAY (or his primary influence, Van Vogt) fits in on that spectrum. Maybe the long-form Spencer's FAIRY QUEEN of mid-20th century time-travel stories

TheOFloinn said...

I've always had a soft spot for the giant grasshopper.