Epics have lost their charm. It takes ten or twenty years for a writer to finish a series, writing the same book over and over again, piling up the foreshadowing, wearing out characters’ boots to no good purpose. By the time you’re done --- whether you’re the reader or the writer --- you can’t remember why you started.Oh how I want to read that book. Follow the link and read the whole thing. Witty submission guidelines --- what a concept.
That’s where Twenty Epics comes in. Like the neurological anomaly that sparks déjà vu, like the false memories implanted in Blade Runner’s replicants, Twenty Epics shortcuts the repetition and the tedium of reality and goes straight to what we really care about: the subjective emotional and aesthetic experience.
There was a time when you finished an epic. When finishing an epic left you feeling not discontent and exhausted but joyous, melancholy, rejuvenated, satisfied --- left you feeling, even (at least for a little while), that you were a better and wiser person for the experience.
If we do our jobs right, each of the pieces in Twenty Epics will bring back that feeling.
In ten thousand words or less.
16 January 2005
I want to read these
Teresa Nielsen Hayden points us all at some wonderful fiction submission guidelines for a forthcoming book. I want to read this book when it is finished.