Meanwhile, Back at the Emperor’s Palace…

Opinions are divided about series, both at the novel and short story level. Readers love spending time with characters they already know and like, but some purists think they’re the death of the genre (in which case sf/f has been dead for a loooong time). One accusation that’s leveled at series, novel and story length both, is laziness. “Once the background is established and you’re familiar with it, that’s half the work. You’re doing paint-by-numbers after that.”

Yeah. Right.

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A Little Knowledge is Dangerous — and Annoying

I’m a junker. This is not a confession, just a statement of self-evident fact. No, our house is not packed to the rafters with antique garbage (or any other kind). We buy very selectively, and “the hunt is always more fun than the kill,” metaphorically speaking. But that hunt is something Carol and I do for fun, and I was more or less hooked the day I found a Hiroshi Yoshida woodblock print for fifteen bucks, when a comparable one sold at auction for $600+. “Antique” stores, flea markets, whatever. If we find one we have to check it out. This interest branches out into other areas—Woodblock prints, Japanese swords and mountings, and other things I have neither the time nor money to pursue properly. But I’m a writer. I research. It’s almost instinctive. So is learning a little bit about a lot of things, which helps you to know where to dig when more depth is required for a project. Plus, anything that interests me, I have to know more about it. Human nature, that is. Continue reading