June 23rd, 2009


Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Day -- is here. Please celebrate and share

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Day grew, a little like Topsy, from a blog comment someone thought about (see http://rolanni.livejournal.com/439604.html)... and commented on, and as I type is being celebrated, literally, around the world.  Yay crew!
What a community we're part of.

While SF&FWD may lack the cachet, (or the clarity of intent) as such well known days as Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Veterans Day, or even the long-celebrated Administrative Professionals Day (ahem) .... it is here. And like those other days SF&FWD can be seen both as a personal celebration and a community celebration, in effect being a recognition that, hey, these SF&F writers have done something for us all.

Writing is a strange field, a performance art where the performance is largely hidden until the audience wants to see it -- the original on-demand medium. And unlike a play or a movie or a baseball game, for the most part the gathering of the audience is shielded from both the audience and from the performer. The dance between ideas and keyboard, the meaning of the long stares into the ether, is lost to the audience except as perceived on the page.  The relationship of sudden frenzied bursts of typing to the final experience is not the same for all -- in some cases it may be the opening paragraph that takes a week to write, at an average rate of 5 words an hour, or it may be that that opening graph took fifteen seconds, as did the last ... but who knows? In fact, by the end of a book or story, often not even the author can tell you what was difficult and what was easy, what took training and what took intuition, which part was simple craft and which was high art.

The cheers for writers also don't often flow out of the stadium as they score a great idea, the cheers for writers generally  don't pull them to the front of the stage for a curtain call, and not too many writers stand on that top step to get a medal dropped round their neck.

From experience I can tell you how good -- how fortifying! -- it can be to get a note from a reader that says: "I was late for work today because I opened your book up last night and didn't finish it until 3 A.M. Thank you!"  Sometimes notes like that are about all that stands between a writer and the so-called reality of the world, the only thing that makes the hours/days/months of chair-sitting worthwhile, because, frankly, the pay is often sparse, and often comes not days or weeks but months or even years after the performance. 

So please, if you have a writer you appreciate, let them know that. Send an email, send them a bouquet of flowers or a case of double malt, or a couple boxes of favorite oat bran flakes, or a box of Tim Tams* or ask them to dinner or lunch or a convention.

Days of celebration - Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Veterans Day, are, of course, also days of contemplation and remembrance.  So I'm going to ask readers here to share comments about an author, one who has died during your reading lifetime, someone you should have said something to, or someone you meant to share something with.  Not a list of favorite authors, but a single author or storyteller, one gone before you were able to say thanks in person.  From the respondents I'll choose one to get a copy of our ARC for Fledgling.

Thanks for reading here today.

notes, items, more below the line

Want to ask a science fiction writer to an event -- here's one place to look --

Available science fiction and fantasy speakers ....

* Yes, Lawrence, we broke them out.... and boy are we glad! Many Thanks! PS .. they are almost gone!