Friday, October 2, 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.

Dear Unca Mike,

I'm unclear as to the whole puppy thing--why is it bad for writers to promote their own works?  How is it any different from running a blog talking about what you're doing and asking people to read it?

Born Trouble-Maker

We can argue the ethics of this forever. But let's leave the final word to the puppies themselves. Various of their leaders have declared that the defeat of pretty much all their candidates was a complete victory for them, that the Hugo Award system is irrevocably broken, and that they are the true victims. So... mission  accomplished, I guess.

Burned-Out and Looking for Love

Dear Unca Mike,

A friend of mine who has published books to his credit heard me complaining about not getting my SF stories published. "Why write SF?," he asked. "Crime fiction is easier to write and has a much bigger audience." Well, I tried. No sales yet, but it IS easier. The question is, how many stories can one write about a burned-out detective thrown off the police force who has been asked by an ex-girlfriend to protect her from a killer stalker?

Hopeful Author of DARK DELUSIONS    

To judge by the literary record, there is no upper limit. Particularly when it comes to ex-girlfriends. John D. MacDonald chronicled the many-hued  adventures of Travis Magee and, with one exception, his girlfriend (either ex- or current) died. The exception, however, bought it in the next volume in the series.  You'd think that word would have gotten around, and Travis would have had no luck at all getting a date after the seventh or eighth death. But apparently women in fiction are a lot dumber than they are in real life.

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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