I am more amazed every day at just how hamstrung I allowed myself to become by keeping the old ng.com site for so long. (Definitely a case of Perfect being the enemy of Good.) The pre-social media, pre-cloud era design influenced my use. For example, think of all the essays I had listed there. Not all of them, not quite (I’ve written over fifty), but way too many.
I spent yesterday afternoon thinking about how to present essays here and have decided to start small. Half a dozen is probably a good number to begin with. The archived pieces I’ve posted so far are:
- Palimpsest — My Review of Jeanette Winterson’s memoir, in which I discuss how Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a palimpsest of her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit; Winterson’s discovery that books are extra-somatic culture; why constraint is necessary for all forms of literature; the way poetry works emotionally; and why narrative grammar is every writer’s friend.
- War Machine, Time Machine (co-written with Kelley Eskridge) — The golden age of queer sf is 20. Or maybe it was the 1970s. Or perhaps it was in France. It’s all relative, like the notion of ‘queer’ itself.
- Branding: It Burns — According to an Economist review of his posthumous Brand New: The Shape of Brands to Come (Thames & Hudson, 2014), branding is “about knowing who you are…and showing it.” It sounds simple, but, for a novelist, it is not.
- The Language of Hild — In which I talk about Old English poetry, the writer’s Black Box, and language—lots and lots of lovely language.
I may or may not rotate them. I may or may not open comments except on brand new pieces. I may or may not turn some of my most viewed posts from the old AN site into essays. I just don’t know yet. For one thing, I’m not sure there’s any meaningful distinction between an essay and a blog post anymore.
Tell me what you think, tell me what you’d like to see: a rotating list of carefully curated pieces, an encyclopaedic list, old posts as essays (things like Who Owns SF? and Lame is So Gay and my Writer’s Manifesto, for example), or some option I haven’t thought of.