March 19th, 2014

smirking-winslet

15

Another Meme:
Fifteen authors who've influenced me, without taking too long to think about it, and in no particular order:

Okay (takes deep breath), in no particular order...

1. Ray Bradbury
2. Arthur C. Clarke
3. James Michener
4. Martin Caidin
5. Charles Dickens
6. Jules Verne
7. Jack McDevitt
8. Orson Scott Card
9. Robert Heinlein
10.Isaac Asimov
11.Marjorie M. Liu
12.Frank Herbert
13.Frederick Pohl
14.Jerry Pournelle
15.Larry Niven
(and because 14 & 15 wrote so many things together, we get another...)
16./17.Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall

The list repeated and annotated:
1. Ray Bradbury
Because, Ray Bradbury. Martian Chronicles, innumerable short stories. Smooth writing.
2. Arthur C. Clarke
2001 and 2010. And I have a copy of The Lost Worlds of 2001, which shows through multiple drafts, how a short story became a novel. And then there's Against the Fall of Night versus The City and the Stars -- two versions of the same novel.
3. James Michener
I have a tendency to write long. How does this happen? Influence! Also, James Michener drove me from writing real history. Too much work researching!
4. Martin Caidin
I read Marooned and some other Caidin books every year for a long time. Complicated, involved plots. Well researched. Currently reading the Mercury era version of Marooned -- the popular version is the Apollo/Soyuz era. Perfect for the writer who loves the interleaved historical flashback. (grin)
5. Charles Dickens
Another long writer, not afraid of harming his characters.
6. Jules Verne
Another Victorian, another long writer. The Mysterious Island is a lovely puzzle piece set amidst a tale where survivor is a daily task and not a reality show. Detail. Hard work. Good solid engineering skills.
7. Jack McDevitt
A Talent for War had a profound affect on me. Especially about writing future history -- and the omissions from self same future history.
8. Orson Scott Card
Enders Game, Songmaster... books I really enjoyed, set in complicated worlds that were not all homogeneous set pieces.
9. Robert Heinlein
The Green Hills of Earth collection, huge influence on short pieces. The Lazarus Long books -- big complicated and messy tales. (You can PUT that in a book???)
10.Isaac Asimov
The master genius, surely self-proclaimed, has his hand in everything. Foundation. Fantastic Voyage. The History of Physics.
11.Marjorie M. Liu
Hmmm, a reflective moment -- I know, I know, I'm not supposed to do this -- but there's not a lot of contemporary writers or women or people of color. So I realized that having gone to Clarion in 2004 with Marjorie, that her prose flows so perfectly, that it HAS been an influence. She goads me into making writing fun again. And to pine after writing fast -- she had her first book contract AT Clarion and just came out with her 19th novel. So we'll let Marjorie stand both on her own work and for the many current authors who are influencing me today, rather than in my "formative" years, i.e. before the beard. (grin)
12.Frank Herbert
Not just Dune or the Dune series. If I was just going to go for the megaseries, I might have put down J.R.R. Tolkien. But after Dune, which I stayed up at night during a New York City 100°F+ heatwave, I read a lot of other Herbert, including The Santaroga Barrier and Under Pressure and Helstrom's Hive. Very different books, but all three about the outsider who comes in to spy and is profoundly changed by what he saw.
13.Frederick Pohl
Gateway. And others. But Gateway made a mishmash of the traditional straight storyline and showed how to add ancillary material even better than Herbert's chapter openings.
14.Jerry Pournelle
The Mote in God's Eye, Janissaries -- read a lot of Pournelle and Pournelle & _____ .
15.Larry Niven
see also Pournelle. And also Known Space -- the Kzin, the Ringworld, the Ringworld REVISITED to correct the Physics! Yay!
(and because 14 & 15 wrote so many things together, we get another...)
16./17.Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall
Mutiny on the Bounty, for sure. And I had another book, Aces Over France which I was sure was a Nordhoff & Hall book as well, about an American who joins the French air corps in WW I -- I am pretty sure this was a retitled paperback of Falcons of France. I just might have to buy the Kindle version, because even the paperbacks have absurd prices!

Also rans, include R.F. Delderfield (more LONG writing -- you think this is a theme?) and Michael Crichton (ah, fast paced technothrillers!)

And an embarrassment. You are not supposed to think about the list as you're writing, but I was two-thirds through the fifteen and realizing how much of a White Man's List this was. Fair enough, the list is supposed to be influences and I did grow up in the 70s, amongst other decades, when we thought we were enlightened but we pretty much weren't.

Dr. Phil
katniss

100

er... 98... 97...

So I'm watching the lead episode of The 100 on the CW. Even figured out that since the local CBS affiliate WWMT-3 owns CW-7, there's an HD version on channel 3.2 . Even after I figured it would probably be bad. We've seen this before, Earth 2, last year's Big Anticipated Save Everyone Back In Time With The Dinosaurs But I Can't Remember The Name show, etc. All of which bombed at the box office or were cancelled.

It's 97 years since a big nuclear war killed everyone on Earth. Above Earth, 12 international space stations put all of their eggs in one basket and kitbashed one really big chaotic space station. After age 18, all crimes are terminal. Below 18, all crimes are handled in prison. Then they kill them.

The 100 are that number of teens who are going to be dropped in a hundred year old square shuttle landing thing with tons of headroom. Yeah, we're not sending them with any warning, training, prep or supplies. Just a vague video during reentry telling them to find some apocalypse survival place on Mt. Weather that should have some supplies.

What could possibly go wrong?

Our hero, as in Uglies, Hunger Games and Divergent, is a girl. Can't remember her name, one of the guys hitting on her calls her princess. She dreams of Earth -- hey have we got a Dream Prize Package for you! -- and is tough, in command and determined to fulfill the mission and live. Her crime was that her father had determined life support was failing and the station has only months to live. Not to worry, the weasel second-in-command is determined to kill everyone down to Adam and Eve. Guess who gets to be Adam, and, I'm sure, pick Eve. Though I bet his guard thug lackeys won't be thrilled at some point. Anyway, kill the dad. Try to kill the mom, a major trauma surgeon or doctor or something valuable, so of course we want to kill her for trying to save the life of guy-in-charge. Yeah, sucks to be the #2 weasel and get caught at it. Don't worry, he's not dead yet, so he's still around to be trouble.

Three kids are idiots on the way to the surface. Two don't make it. The kid who instigated the idiocy lives. Of course. I think we need a screen counter, like the President's white board in Battlestar Galactica.

Oh look, they're in some SyFy Sharkanaconda movie. Oh look, they're on Pandora with bioluminencent flowers and butterflies. Oh look, they're on a radiation savaged planet with two headed deer with open wounds. Oh look, they're in an old Star Trek episode with giant shaggy bipeds with huge spears.

If they are SO worried about consumables on the space station, why do they have such a huge cargo airlock for executions?

They have no food, so most of the teens have a bonfire and a party. Without anything to party with. Meanwhile Princess & The Scooby Gang are hiking to Mt. Weather -- yeah they landed 20 miles off target. The Other Girl should've died, but she's got cleavage to die for, so no. Just a scratch. Not quite dead yet.

Will I watch it again? Dunno. There's a few good things. But the Don't Go In The Basement quotient is high. Anybody know how many episodes they ordered?

Dr. Phil