Thursday, 16 March 2006

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How to Write a Robert Charles Wilson Novel, a Recipe Irrational insomniacs have for centuries fought sleeplessness with objects designed to keep them awake. Who am I to break with tradition? So I have spent the past two nights engrossed in the works of Robert Charles Wilson . (Someone I trusted told me someone he trusted had recommended Wilson. Three degrees of separation suffices in the sci-fi community.) I read and was impressed by Spin. So I was groggily enthused when I began reading Blind Lake late last night. "Here is an author," I said to myself, possibly aloud, "who rigorously works through the implications of his fantastic premises." Blind Lake proved to be an original and inventive novel. Unfortunately it proved to be the same original and inventive novel I'd read earlier in the week. "Why does this keep happening!" I yelled as The Little Womedievalist's alarm sounded. "What?" "Nothing, dear, nothing. Just blog stuff." "What?" "Nevermind," I said. So, without further ado, I present the recipe for writing Robert Charles Wilson novels: 1 large bowl 2 isolated group of humans 1 tsp. kosher salt 1 woman who "wants to feel again" 2 men who want to feel her again 1 rogue genius 2 inexplicable phenomenon caused by pervasive interstellar Buddhism 1 cipher to embody it 3 large eggs Isolate one scientifically-inclined human community in an inexplicable planetary envelope or military cordon in a large bowl. Add the woman who wants to feel again and beat her until she's good and numb. Slowly add one of the men who wants to feel her again. (Set the second aside for later.) Once you see life enter her eyes again, quickly pour the first inexplicable phenonemon caused by pervasive interstellar Buddhism into bowl. Add one large egg and beat until she almost can't feel again. You want her dejected but not suicidal, so pay attention to how much she cries. If she starts balling constantly, ease up on the whipping until you think she can handle it. Once you get her to the brink, add in the other man who wants to feel her again. (Some people like to spice this up with the rogue genius, but I prefer to wait until after the second inexplicable phenonemon caused by pervasive interstellar Buddhism.) Stir. Once the two men who want to feel the woman who wants to feel again have been properly agitated, add 1/2 a tsp. of kosher salt and another egg and beat vigorously. You want one of the men to fall apart. Once one has, remove the other and set him alongside the genius. (You'll need them to season the second inexplicable phenonemon caused by pervasive interstellar Buddhism.) Add the cipher and refrigerate. This part of the recipe should bore you. Pre-heat the oven to 3500° for fifteen minutes. As soon as the boredom is replaced by real narrative heat, remove the cooled plot from the refrigerator. Sprinkle the other man who wants her, the genius and the second inexplicable phenonemon caused by pervasive interstellar Buddhism on the mixture...

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