Thursday, December 16, 2010


I've posted a short story, 17, over on the web site. It was published a dozen years ago in Asimov's Science Fiction, and reprinted five years ago in a small-press collection, Little Machines, now more or less out-of-print. From the afterword:
Traditionally, the CVs of writers, particularly male American writers, are supposed to be stuffed with all kinds of oddball stints of manual labour. Blame Hemingway, I guess, who often wrote standing up because he thought that writing should aspire to the condition of work, and believed the old canard that you should only write about what you know. Personally, I think that sympathetic imagination is at least as important as experience, but the setting of this story is derived from one of my few stints of manual labour, when I worked in a paper recycling factory in the summer between leaving school and starting university. It wasn’t quite as harsh an environment as 17's, but it did have its own peculiar ecology, which I’ve only slightly exaggerated.


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