From: Roald Laurenson
Greg, I have been reading a bit again in Queen of Angels, for my purposes in considering futures, and for the homecoming of just enjoying the imagination. Both are helpful ;).
I had noticed a week or so ago how you controlled the not-assured path of recovery for Richard, which I felt deserved much appreciation; and today am reading from the beginning of the book, right now at Martin's description for the end of his original relationship with Carol.
I keep thinking not necessarily with many words, about a difference in perception to Slant. This book is much the rawer book, right down to the synthetic syntax. In this way it's more as a poet might like to write, isn't it, or a certain kind of mind in taking notes. Then you made Slant more civilized, almost as much so as Moving Mars.
Should I say more? Some instinct felt not, and I erased a few paragraphs. Thank you very kindly for your traverses of experience in both books, Greg. This too can be very useful, and I am thinking how the cats would appreciate it ;).
From: Greg Bear
Indeed, QOA was more experimental in prose--and that seemed to puzzle some readers. For me, the result over years has been that QOA remains unexpectedly fresh, re-readable, and unpredictable. SLANT isn't without its idiosyncracies, but I was trying for a more straightforward style.
From: Roald Laurenson
Good point, I think. QOA is indeed intriguing -- and re-enterable -- because of its edgy unpredictability, and because it has such a multiplicity of focal directions.
Yet Slant attracts re-reading in a different way. You have become involved in another field of complexity: the personalities of each of the future persons. Which can be the more complicated object ;) ?
This reminded of one thing I did want to mention. There was something about Alive Contains a Lie that made it somehow much more engaging than the free-form chapter introducers in QOA. I think it was a certain unity which was partially deployed just by the artifice of naming. But also, there was a consistency of tone, and since it was so interesting, you really wanted to find out what happened next.
Quite a back-and-forth about thinking things through, chosen layers of reflection, and relative shading of humans-victim-to-context vs. human character and personality (integrals) succeeding-through-circumstances.
Maybe it's the less completely dystopic, compromised but more individually progressing personal individualities that make Slant work as it does.
Somehow integrating complexity is very attractive - this is also a nice and open secret of Olmy. And Gennifer/Juniper/Geneva too, in short order... Some of your stories really just stay in mind, Greg. We are not going to speculate on individual whys ;)