Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pewter versus platinum

Geoffrey H. Goodwin interviews Nick Mamatas at Bookslut and it's a good one (I must get a copy of his new novel Under My Roof). Here's what he had to say about editing Clarkesworld, a new online science-fiction magazine (well, he had a story of mine in there so I may be biased):

The main issue is that with Clarkesworld I want language and voice to be important, and 90% of the writers who submit their work to me have absolutely no interest in language and voice. Imagine running a factory and soliciting bids to create some necessary widget that must be made out of platinum, and getting twenty proposals a day for pewter widgets. No matter how slowly or carefully I say "plat-i-num," most of what I get involves someone holding up their story and saying, as
slowly, but surely not as carefully "Peeeeew-tuuuur." Then some small fraction gets huffy. Everyone wants pewter widgets, dammit. In fact, pewter is so popular that cultural alchemy takes place and it becomes platinum.


  1. Hey There--I got Restless at the library and begin it tonight. BUT last night I read an extraordinary book--Triangle by Katherine Weber. What she has done: history of a survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory who lived to be 106 (and if one is Jewish it is especially wonderful because there is Yiddish, and odd yiddishe syntax); hilarious parody of academic language uh discourse; a mystery; a lot about music (most of it beyond me but still interesting despite my ignorance); and finally, a lovely love story. A tad hard to get into but the payoff is stupendous. Bye. ruby

  2. Oh, yes: a copy came my way when it was published, but at the peak of work stuff & I knew I wouldn't have time to read it right away so I loaned it to my mom. She loved it, and passed it on to colleagues at the school she teaches at; and over Xmas I put it aside for return to me, I will read it sometime in the next month or 2 for sure. It sounds great.

  3. Under My Roof is en route...