Saturday, August 25, 2018

California Cray

Well, Conjure Man is off to beta-read, and I'm playing with the sequel, Thin City, which is set in my old stomping ground of Southern California.
California has always had a reputation for the cray: fads in philosophy, religion, politics, lifestyle. I love that stuff. Try something different. Even if you fail, it will be amusing...maybe not to you, but definitely to me. And if you succeed, you've introduced or invented something worthwhile for the entire country. Yoga, drinkable American wines, American cuisine based on fresh food (not burned steak and canned peas), the personal computer - they started out there. (Granted, California also gave us biker gangs, cults, and branded water, so...)
Once leaving the East was no longer a guarantee of personal freedom and the 20th Century monoculture took hold from Maryland to the Great American Desert, California was a bastion of the weird. It's where folks who felt repressed in Hannibal and Toledo came to remake themselves with cheap land and endless sunshine - as far into the sunset as you could go without getting wet. If your notion of freedom was crouching on a piece of real estate behind a shotgun, you became a desert rat in the Mojave. If you were more entrepreneurial, you made it out to Southern California and the Bay Area.
Consider all the F/SF writers born in the Midwest who grew up in or moved to California - Bradbury, Heinlein, Dick, Ellison, Niven, Vance, Kuttner, Moore, Matheson...And the state is littered with the relics of the folks who didn't just write spec-fic: They lived it.

Some of my favorite "relics":

The Winchester Mansion
The Madonna Inn
Hearst Castle
The Integratron
The Self-Realization Fellowship Gardens
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
The Magic Castle
The Solvang Windmills
The Museum of Jurassic Technology
The Henry Miller Library

If you're ever out there...

Friday, August 24, 2018

This Is Just To Say

I have rejected 
The story
That came from 
your mailserve 

and which 
you had probably 
would validate you 

Forgive me 
It was atrocious
so trite 
and so old