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Tag Archives: ann leckie
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been taking the material from the live classes on how to write space opera with Ann Leckie and turning it into an on-demand class for the Rambo Academy. I am charmed and pleased … Continue reading
There is still room in the two live classes left this year, both happening next weekend. The first on Saturday is Linguistics for Genre Writers with Juliette Wade, at the usual 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific time. This class differs from pretty much every other one I’ve seen in that Wade doesn’t just cover linguistics and worldbuilding, but how to use the principles of linguistics to strengthen, deepen, and otherwise improve your prose. I heartily endorse it.
The second, which is also a really fun and informative class, is To Space Opera and Beyond with Ann Leckie. Technical difficulties hindered the first sessions but everything is smooth and running well now! In this class, Ann talks about space opera, its characteristics, how to handle them, and the process of writing not just a single novel but a series, while we provide writing exercises to take away and use to apply what Ann has told you. Ann is a lively and congenial teacher, funny without being snarky, and above all encouraging and inspiring. I’m really looking forward to the next class, which happens on Sunday, December 11, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific time. There is still room in that and the Saturday, January 7 class at the same time.
In 2011, speculative fiction writer and teacher Cat Rambo moved her Writing F&SF Stories class from the live classroom to a virtual one, via the then-brand-new technology Google Plus Hangouts. A few years later, Rambo has taught literally hundreds of class sessions, and provides her most popular classes in on-demand form.
Now the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers adds three new teachers to its line-up: Ann Leckie, Rachel Swirsky, and Juliette Wade. Each presents both a live version of the class, limited to eight students and taught via Google Hangouts, as well as an on-demand version.
People are, understandably, saying that the equation clarion + student = pro writer is not the only way you can reach that particular sum, and they are absolutely correct, although the drama is — as is often the case on the Internet — a bit hyperbolic.
This is the fact of F&SF writing — there are people disadvantaged by gender, or race, or sexuality or other physical circumstances. But there’s also a big group — which contains a disproportionate number of those differing physically — affected by economic issues. Continue reading
Day Three here, so I thought I’d describe what it’s like. We’re renting a condo that overlooks the beach, towards the northwest end. The place is great, and there’s a balcony that is literally bigger than our living room back home. We share it with a tiny lizard that is living in the drapes in the living room.
What I blogged about and passed along in social media in the week ending 2/2/2014.
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie is a fabulous space opera with an unusual protagonist whose struggle will pull the reader in. It is, alas, not a particularly long book, and I could have read at least twice more the length happily.
I must admit to an extra hint of pride in this book’s appearance here, because Ann was a member of my Clarion West class back in 2005, when she was first wowing all of us with her Radchi universe. Ann and I also know each other through SFWA and our shared agent, Seth Fishman.
I wanted to talk about something that I often say in class. It’s something Connie Willis told my Clarion West class, and which I repeat, but don’t explain as thoroughly as I should, because it’s so clear in my head.
But words are imprecise things, and so I’m a-gonna do what we used to call “unpacking” back in grad school and even provide some useful examples. What did Connie say? She said, “Good fiction teaches us what it means to be human.” As good f&sf writers, I would argue that we might change “human” to “self-aware being,” but that is picking nits.
What does that mean? It means we’re all faced with this common problem: life. And we want to know what we’re supposed to do, and what we can get away with, and what to do about all that hardcoded primate behavior that keeps popping up from time to time, and stuff like that. Sometimes the message features a universal human, sometimes it is a human shaped by particular circumstances, such as race, gender, class, sexuality, disability, etc. It’s why we like to read fiction. It’s why we like gossip. We want to know what other human beings do.
And here’s why this is important: Sometimes thinking about what a story is trying to say is a good way to complete, rewrite, or sharpen it.