From: Paul Race
Location: 4923 W. National Rd. Springfield OH 45504
Hi, Mr. Bear,
I'm a technical writer and part-time English prof who's written several (unpublished) novels in his life, gradually learning that I don't have to get all my life's "points" across in one book, so it's okay to write something that's 98% "frivolous" but is a romping good read.
A few months ago I finished the second draft of a sci-fi novel that is not profound. I'm contacting you only because I thought you might appreciate that I based its structure and scope on Poul's approach to such things (like never introducing more "imaginative" elements than necessary to tell the story he wished to tell, and wrapping up loose ends instead of leaving the story so unfinished that the book is incomplete without a sequel). (I'm thinking of freestanding stories like "The High Crusade" and "Three Hearts and Three Lions" in this context.)
Because it reads like "classic" science fiction, Tor doesn't think that "The Jared Anomoly" will find a modern audience, and they are probably right. But in case the story ever does see the light of day, I just thought I'd let your family know that I was thinking VERY fondly of Poul Anderson from beginning to end as I put it together.
Here's the $2 summary: Jared is a clone warrior who learns the night before he leaves for the front that most of his memories are implanted, and that everyone he has ever known has been lying to him. His "handlers," an Admiral and a geneticist observe his progress as he both becomes a war hero and also veers further and further from his supposed genetic profile. Eventually the Admiral sabotages an operation, causing Jared to be captured by the "enemy" and thus to see the war for the sham it is. Of course, Jared won't rest until he sets things right or dies trying. Mistaken identies, plots within plots, and many jokes (and hopefully a few insights) about Jared's genetically-engineered premature aging ensue. (I'm 56, so I have the right and insite to make such observations).
I've made some attempts to get this and some of my other works published, but haven't had the time to pursue that end of it as I should. That said, I've just been laid off for the fourth time by a major computer company, and I may have more time on my hands than I really want for a bit, so I'm reviewing my options again.
If you are by any means interested in learning more about the story, or if you have any advice for me, I'll be glad to hear from you. In the meantime, I just thought you would like to know that Poul Anderson still has admirers.
Wishing you and your family the best,
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA
I'm not even sure what a Modern Science Fiction Reader is these days, as most of my reading in the field is focused on Hard SF writers, or Writers I've been following since I was a boy...hard to grok that head space in this world after Star Wars and everything else that WENT BIG.
Is DAW Still around? I think they are...might go for something like that, or not.
Or you could do what my friend writer Kevin Murphy did (of Vampire the Masquarade fame...well, partial) if the publisher won't go for it, there's always PDF on the web.
But that kinda violates Ellision's DEMAND that writers get paid for their work.
From: Greg Bear
Writers should always get paid EVENTUALLY. We don't get paid the minute we start writing a story, generally, and often a market for a story doesn't evolve for years or even generations...
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