A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Soul of the City

An old story from 1989 has gone up on the Story Page. "Soul of the City" is a short story in the Nanotech Chronicles cycle in which Charlie Singer, the main character in "The Washer at the Ford" and a bit player in "Melodies of the Heart" and (more recently) "Hopeful Monsters," makes an appearance. This story is set earlier in his career, before SingerLabs became the big deal it would later be.

One of the tactics of the SF writing game is to take a technological innovation, ask who it would hurt the most, and write that person's story. This might even be the definition of a large branch of SF. This is what makes the story of John Henry ("The Steel Driver") a retro-SF story. The converse story is that of the Wonderful Invention in which the protagonist uses the new tech to perform some heroic feat; for example: if John Henry had used the new steam drill to rescue friends trapped in a cave-in, and so comes to see tech progress as Good.

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