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My Century War (against pretentious sci-fi writers)

Date: 28-Aug-2006/20:20+3:00


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There is apparently a book entitled Replay, which is about a man living his life over many times, gaining knowledge and then being transported back to his younger self. It's discussed by author Dan Simmons:
"Do you remember how Grimwood’s character in Replay went hunting for others in the 1960’s who had traveled back in time from the late 1980’s?"
I did remember now. I’d thought it clever at the time. The guy in Replay, once he suspected others were also replaying into the past, had taken out personal ads in major city newspapers around the country. The ads were concise. "Do you remember Three Mile Island, Challenger, Watergate, Reaganomics? If so, contact me at..."
In this letter--not explicitly labeled as fantasy--Dan Simmons describes a visit from from a Replayer to him in real life, and rattles off words he was given that checked out for 2005. He then suggests that he's been given more which he won't share. Though he does not cast this as fiction, he later comes out in a followup letter against the idea that he should have to label speculative fiction as being such:
It is not my fault that too many of those who read the April Message--or who read at all--were weaned from, or more likely are still tugging at, the hind tit of the dead literary sow that is often called "sci-fi." (properly pronounced "skiffy," to rhyme with "iffy.")
It is not my fault that entire generations have grown up who think (if it can be called thinking) that brilliance in "SF" consists of "Star Destroyers" humming and swooshing away in the vacuum of space and light-saber battles and plots that consist of rewarmed fairy tales of brave young white knights doing battle with the villainous Dark Magician to rescue the distressed damsel from the Ogre’s Castle...er...Dark Star.
Your self-crippling is your own business just as your limitations are society’s burden, but please be informed that there is a thing called "SF"—once also called science fiction—which some of its more astute practioners in recent decades have chosen to call "speculative fiction."
He seems like a real jerk to me. He wrote an account as if it were something that happened to him--and then gave a graphical signature of his own name. People didn't understand his point, and then he resents having to explain it and calls his readers names. I sure hope guys with his attitude don't teach or have kids.
Authors like Philip K. Dick have come forth and said outright that the fictional realities of their stories were--to them--not-so fictional. Someone who wonders if this really happened to Mr. Simmons (or, if it's a story loosely based on similar events) are not stupid for being confused.
So let me be clear: If anyone is wondering if I make up what I write here in dream accounts, the answer is "not on purpose". Admittedly, nearly every conversation has big parts that are paraphrased...and if I had to mark each sentence with a "certainty" level from 1-10 you'd probably find only a few 1 and a few 10. I keep my laptop at the foot of my bed, and I have about ten times as many dreams that I can remember than I recount; I really only tell the ones I find to be the most curious or of the most potential practical value.
In fact, I've created a tag for dream communications that have involved specific names of people, though I may not keep up with it. My theory was that rather than taking out personal ads with terms or names (like the Replayer in the story), I could just trust people using Google to find me. This trust may be misplaced. For instance, searching for Selena Derella on Google does not find my dream mentioning this name...unless you explicitly use the blog search:
Conspiracies aside, the claim is that Google hiding information from main search is to reduce "blog noise", as self-publishing sites tend to be chattery and non-authoritative. Sounds elitist...but all right...as long as they make people aware of what they're not searching. I personally would rather see these "noise" entries tagged on the end of the main search.
Yet even given the secret doorway of Google's blog search, it's not completely comprehensive and finding entries on all the blogs that I read and maintain.
UPDATE 1-Sep-2007 I notice that Google still doesn't find THIS entry for "Selena Derella", despite it being a year old now. My point here being that if you are going to be looking for keywords, Google's vanilla search is not necessarily the answer. Many search engines may have to be visited.
UPDATE 14-Jan-2014 Going through a software upgrade on this site, Google now finds "Selena Derella" on the site "realityhandbook.org"...presumably because I scraped it into a top-level domain that is less "noisy" than LiveJournal. It still does not find the corresponding LiveJournal entry, which is still online, but has presumably been relegated to the dustbin of history.
Currently I am experimenting with using Disqus for comments, however it is configured that you don't have to log in or tie it to an account. Simply check the "I'd rather post as a guest" button after clicking in the spot to type in a name.
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copy write %C:/0304-1020 {Met^(00C6)ducation}

The accounts written here are as true as I can manage. While the words are my own, they are not independent creative works of fiction —in any intentional way. Thus I do not consider the material to be protected by anything, other than that you'd have to be crazy to want to try and use it for genuine purposes (much less disingenuous ones!) But who's to say?