Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Love Death Robots + The Very Pulse of the Machine




It's official! My Hugo-winning short story "The Very Pulse of the Machine" has been adapted for and will appear in Season 3 of Love Death + Robots.  That the season trailer up above

I haven't seen the episode yet, but Blur, the production company, did a really good job with "Ice Age," in the first season, so I expect something equally good.

The two stories are very different, mind you. "Ice Age" is a lighthearted story about a young couple who discover a lost civilization in the freezer compartment of their refrigerator. "The Very Pulse of the Machine" is a hard-science tale of an astronaut in peril who makes a discovery greater than anything she could have expected. But the folks at Blur have got range. So my hopes are up.

And because I know . . .

Gonnabe writers occasionally drop by this blog, hoping I'll drop a writing tip. So okay, here's one.

You may wonder why I pretty consistently make my astronauts female. This began when I was working on "Ginungagap," my second published story. The protagonist needed to be a heroic astronaut, cool under pressure and able to face death without flinching. But I could not make him convincing.

The problem, I realized, was that I was identifying too closely with the character. Why was he behaving as he did? Because he's a space hero! Where did he come from? Schenectady, New York! He had no reasons for any of his actions. He was just a fantasy identification figure.

So I tried making the character a woman.

I have three sisters. They always had a reason for anything they did. I've known a lot of women in my life. Again, they all had reasons for everything.  When I thought of my protagonist as a woman, the reasons for her career choice became obvious.

Now, I am NOT suggesting that you routinely gender-switch characters. Just that if you find yourself identifying too closely with your protagonist, it might help to make that character something you are not: male, lesbian, differently abled, Laotian... Whatever.

Just make sure you know Whatever people well enough to write them convincingly.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

I am into robots right now, not sure why. What I find amusing is that a lot of my robots make gender selections. Writing 'it' characters is damn hard, something like pronoun hell. Congratulations on your achievement!