Friday, October 23, 2015

Ask Unca Mike


Science fiction and fantasy writers are a group are extraordinarily generous with advice to new writers. A moment's thought, however, reveals that this is just encouraging talented young people to occupy the publishing niches and win the awards that would otherwise go to to us Old Hands. Ask Unca Mike is an attempt to rectify this deplorable situation.

Cutting to the Chase


What good is science fiction?


Money. Through hard work and sheer brilliance, Unca Mike manages to earn the same kind of money that he could have made working as an accountant. But it goes beyond that. Every now and then, a science fiction story is picked up for a movie or television series, and that pays the salaries of some very expensive producers, directors, and actors -- to say nothing (or at least quite a bit less) those of the cameramen, electricians, caterers, and script writers.  Even better, if the show is a success, it can go on for decades, spinning off other movies, other series, novelizations, video games, ceramic figurines, toys, bath towels... Is there an object yet which has not been re-branded by Star Wars or Star Trek? Probably not. So, again, the answer to your question is: Money, great big gobs of the stuff.

Unless you're the original creator. In that case, as I said, you'll be lucky to pull down the salary of an accountant. Philip K. Dick did a lot worse.

If you have a question for Unca Mike you can post it below. Or write to AskUncaMike ("at" sign) I'll respond to those I have the best answers for.

Ask Unca Mike appears here on Fridays.


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