11/17/97 6:27:34 PM Opening "Chat Log 11/17/97"
Berrins: Just in case some you folks would like to hang out, eWorld has a
special guest on this
Berrins: week- Ben Bova
Mysmartha: I know Ben--he's great!
MaryCP: What is eWorld?
Strebe: If he makes it.
Mysmartha: A sci-fi lengend!
Strebe: eWorld is dead.
Trina Pink: eWorld is a sci=fi legend? Works for me. ;-)
Sushiwritr: But eWorld lives on here. :-)
MaryCP: OK, that's clear...
Sushiwritr: Thanks much!
Trina Pink: eWorld was an online service offered by Apple, Mary CP.
Strebe: eWorld was Apple Computer's online service, closed down 1-1/2 years
Sunnygemms: Martha, thanks for coming.
MaryCP: OK thanks
MaryCP: I don't speak apple
Bova1: Hello. Ben Bova here./
Strebe: Good evening, Mr. Bova.
Trina Pink: Welcome!
Berrins: Hi, and welcome!
FalcnEdie: Hello Ben!!!
DRLIVES: Hello, glad to have you here.
Bova1: Good evening, Strebe. Guess we're a little early.
Strebe: We're right on time, and we ought to start immediately.
Bova1: Good. I'm ready.
Trina Pink: LOL...I guess I can take a hint. ;-)
Trina Pink: Let's start!
Berrins: Actually, we're right on time. Nice intro (to I assume a new
collection of shorts)
Trina Pink: Welcome to the eWorld Writers Group!
Bova1: Glad you like it. Yes, it's for a new collection./
Trina Pink: This is usually a critique group, but tonight we have a special
Trina Pink: Ben Bova
Trina Pink: written more than 90 books and is well-known in the field.
Wicked Meg: hello
Trina Pink: Let me try that again...
Trina Pink: For most sci-fi fans, Ben won't need an introduction!
Trina Pink: He has written more than 90 books and is well-known in the field.
Trina Pink: Hopefully most of you have read Ben's essay, "Introduction: The
Art of Plain Speech."
Trina Pink: If not, please IM Sushiwritr and have him forward it to you.
Trina Pink: Very interesting essay, btw, Ben.
Trina Pink: We'll be discussing Ben's comments on writing simply -- and discus
sing whatever else comes up.
Bova1: Thank you.
Trina Pink: (And we WILL be on protocol tonight)
Trina Pink: So let's start by giving Mr. Bova a warm welcome. Thanks for
Strebe: :::::: clap clap clap clap ::::::
FalcnEdie: Yes, Thank you !!!
Bova1: Glad to be with you.
Themyerson: Is therea place to find old chats. like one about three hours ago
Trina Pink: Ben, do you want to make opening comments, or shall we leap right
Bova1: Let's leap!
Trina Pink: LOL...great. Who wants to go first?
FalcnEdie: <------catching my breath
Trina Pink: GA DRLIVES.
DRLIVES: So how did Asimov develop a naturalistic style?
DRLIVES: Not so easy...ga
Bova1: He worked at writing the way he spoke./
DRLIVES: developing an inner ear?
Bova1: More of an outer ear; listening to the way he spoke and trying to
capture that on paper./
Trina Pink: GA Edie
FalcnEdie: SF is of course a place where a lot of strange and wonderful
things can happen,
FalcnEdie: but how imp[ortant do you find character development, and how much
FalcnEdie: of the characters are you familiar with before you start to
Bova1: To me, character is primary. I need to KNOW my characfters before the
fiction comes alive./
Trina Pink: ga Strebe
Strebe: In response to your essay, is there no place for the narrator?
Strebe: No place for character in the way ideas are expressed? Why not?
Wicked Meg: i agree
Strebe: Can not the exploration of the presentation be as compelling as the
Hwnelms: I like characters who take up the pen and assert their
independence apart from the writer
Bova1: I don't understand Strebe's question. The characters express the
Trina Pink: Wanna followup, Daan?
Strebe: Mr. Bova's essay eschewed strong stylism.
Strebe: Espoused clarity of voice so as not to draw attention to the voice.
Strebe: Is, then, there no place for voice?
Bova1: The style should not be obtrusive. I want the reader to feel he/she
is part of the story...
Bova1: experiencing what the characters experience. I do NOT want the reader
Bova1: over my "style."/
Trina Pink: GA MmSorel
MmSorel: I wondered what part of the finished manuscript
MmSorel: is written in the self editing, in subsequent drafts
Strebe: Thank you, Mr. Bova.
MmSorel: or is it draughts
Bova1: For me, the first draft is like the first run-through of a new play
by the actors....
Bova1: The real work comes in polishing, rewriting, making everything as
good as it can be./
MmSorel: Mr Bova... may I continue?
MmSorel: but then, the question is how much of the first draught remains
after the polishing?
Bova1: Usually, most of it remains. The changes are usually subtle, but
Trina Pink: GA Sushi
MmSorel: thank you.
Sushiwritr: You wrote of SF's optimism.
Sushiwritr: In your collection "Escape Plus" you wrote
Sushiwritr: of helping troubled kids with hi tech'
Sushiwritr: What do you say 30 years later?
Sushiwritr: (hi tech methods)
Bova1: Technology is the way we humans deal with the world around us.
Bova1: we are leopard meat. High tech can help us solve our problems, if it
is used wisely./
Trina Pink: GA DRLIVES
DRLIVES: After 90 books what devils do you still fight when writing a
Bova1: Getting started. Finding out who the characters really are. Letting
them find their own...
Bova1: voices and go their own way. Letting them die, when that's what they
decide to do./
Trina Pink: Queue's empty. Who wants to go next?
Trina Pink: GA SLovern
SLovern162: Do you usually complete the whole book before query letter, or a
SLovern162: !-I see you are from Naples, Fl.-I'm in Ft.Myers
Bova1: I generally do a brief synopsis, and the publisher offers a contract
and advance money....
FalcnEdie: (I don't believe I just got punted by lightning!!! I hoipe this
is being logged!!)
Bova1: It's been that since my fourth or fifth novel./
Sushiwritr: (I am logging)--be careful out there. :-)
Trina Pink: GA Bob
Bobauthor: Your opinions about 2 of my favorite authors---Asimov and
Bova1: Isaac was a dear friend; more like a big brother to me. Heinlein was
the dean of...
Bova1: American sf writers. /
Trina Pink: (Wow!) GA LMikulski
LMikulski: I reviewed your book 'Brothers' for the Writers Club. Loved your
characterization and the
LMikulski: plot. But with all that kind of hard science, how did you manage
to do the research for the
LMikulski: book? What kind of limits, if any, did you set up?/ga
Bova1: BROTHERS is about people I know. The scientific aspects are based on
Bova1: that I've been doing all my life. I had the ms. vetted by
Bova1: and others who had specialized knowledge in various fields --
including Washington politics.
Trina Pink: GA Sushi
Sushiwritr: In your essay you wrote of viewing us as "rising apes" vs.
Sushiwritr: This seems very "american"
Sushiwritr: Are there not more outlooks than this?
Bova1: I suppose there are lots of other outlooks. I was writing about mine.
But I don't think...
Bova1: optimism is solely an American trait. I think science in general is
Bova1: always searching for new discoveries, always trusting that our minds
Bova1: anything we come across./
Trina Pink: GA DRLIVES
Sushiwritr: My specialty = optimistic theological viewpoints. :-)
DRLIVES: What was the hardest book to write, and why?
Bova1: The hardest book is always the one I'm working on at the moment./
DRLIVES: good answer
Trina Pink: LOL. That's reassuring!
Trina Pink: Who's next?
Trina Pink: GA Strebe
Strebe: Have you ever indulged in speculative writing you later regretted?
Bova1: I've been at this game a long time, but I can't honestly recall any
Bova1: I've regretted. I've predicted quite a few things that have come to
pass. And lots more...
Bova1: that hasn't come to pass -- yet./
Trina Pink: LOL. GA DR.
DRLIVES: so what things have you predicted that have come to pass???
Bova1: The space race of the 1960s. Virtual reality. Cloning. SDI (aka "Star
Wars"). Many more./
DRLIVES: love it :>
Trina Pink: GA SLovern
SLovern162: How long did you write-How many rejections till you got published?
Bova1: I published short fiction right away -- in my teens. Took about ten
Bova1: I got my first novel published, though./
Trina Pink: Wow. That's impressive. GA Sharma
SharmaUSA: How important is a good editor, and what can writers do to hook
up with the right one for th
SharmaUSA: them? GA
FalcnEdie: (yeow I'm only a year away!!)
Bova1: There's virtually nothing a writer can do to connect with a
particular editor, except send..
Bova1: your mss. to that editor. Frankly, there aren't very many good
editors any more....
Bova1: The book industry has become a merchandise mart, and editors don't
Bova1: package products and attend sales meetings./
Trina Pink: GA Valatin
SharmaUSA: What if you don't like what the editors doing to your stuff?/
Valatin: Which of your books should I read first?
Bova1: If you don't like what an editor is doing, stop submitting your work
to that editor.
Valatin: [obviously I've lived in a cave for too many years]
SharmaUSA: Thanks. That's what my instincts were telling me, too.
Bova1: I'd like you to read my latest work, because I think that's my best.
Try MARS, BROTHERS...
Bova1: and DEATH DREAM (ALL IN PAPERBACK). My newest novel is MOONRISE...
Bova1: a hardcover from Avon. It will come out in paperback in February,
when Avon also...
Bova1: brings out its sequel, MOONWAR. Take a look at my web page for
Valatin: Thank you :>
Trina Pink: Can you give us the url, please, Ben?
Trina Pink: Thanks you. :-) GA DreamsEcho
DreamsEcho: I've just finished editing a book. How should the writer & I go
about finding an agent?
Bova1: Very few agents will deal with unpubloished writers. If the book is a
SF novel, try...
Bova1: the book publishers yourselves. If and when you get an offer of a
contract, then almost...
DreamsEcho: How do we get into the ball park then?
Bova1: any agent will be GLAD to negotiate for you./
Trina Pink: GA Bob
Bobauthor: As an editor, what noted writers did you most and least enjoy
Bova1: Get into the ballpark by determing which publishers are publishing
the kind of work...
Bova1: you're doing and sending them a query letter. Look up editors' names
Bova1: Literary Market Place. Libraries and bookstores have it.
Bova1: I enjoyed working with all the writers. Nobody gave me a hard time./
Trina Pink: GA Sushi
Sushiwritr: In "Brothers" you depict nanotech allowing telepathy. You usually
do very "hard"
Sushiwritr: SF. Where to you draw the line with speculative hi tech?/
Bova1: I don't think you mean BROTHERS. You mean VOYAGERS III: STAR
Sushiwritr: Ah, yes--sorry
Bova1: in which the nanotech was advanced alien technology, not the nanotech
we know how...
Bova1: to build (almost)./
Trina Pink: GA DRLIVES
DRLIVES: In your essay , you mentioned including fantasy..which is harder
to write...fantasy or
DRLIVES: hard scifi
Bova1: I don't write much fantasy, so I can't really give you a reasonable
comparison. For me...
Bova1: science fiction is plenty hard enough.:)
Trina Pink: LOL. GA MmSorel
MmSorel: Mr. Bova, do you plot out your
MmSorel: stories before you begin, and how detailed do you get?
MmSorel: you mentioned that you have to have the characters alive in your
Bova1: I don't much detailed plotting. I prefer to develop the characters
before I start writing...
Bova1: and let their conflict develop the plot for me./
Trina Pink: GA Dory
DoryCrowe: What is a good resource for info on cutting edge nanotechnology?
MmSorel: does that mean that you
Bova1: Eric Drexlers's book, ENGINES OF CREATION, is the best source for
MmSorel: your, i mean, characters are archetypes of a sort
MmSorel: symbols of conflicts?
Trina Pink: Ben, MmSorel is asking a followup question. Did you get it?
Bova1: No! I try to write characters who are living, breathing, loving,
Bova1: individual human beings. They each have their own set of values and
goals. They are...
Bova1: what makes a story interesting./
Trina Pink: GA Slovern
MmSorel: but how and why do you bring them together, there has to be a
MERRYpin: The horizon of expectations!
SLovern162: How long does it take you to write a book & do you have a
disciplined schedule during day
Bova1: Okay, wait and let me answer these comments. Sorel: every story
consists of a character...
Bova1: struggling to solve a problem. That's what a story is. No problem, no
conflict, no story....
Bova1: How long does it take to write a book? All my life! It may take only
a year or two...
Bova1: to type it, but it often takes decades to get to the point where the
typing can begin./
Trina Pink: LOL...great answer!
Trina Pink: My clock says we're out of time...and we're also out of
Trina Pink: Perfect.
Trina Pink: Ben, thank you so much. I know you gave up part of your
conference for this.
SharmaUSA: Thankyou Mr. Bova.
Trina Pink: Ai yi yi!
Bobauthor: Thank you for sharing your time with us!
Trina Pink: Thank you so much for coming.
MmSorel: thank you
FalcnEdie: never mind
NoriAK: thank you
DRLIVES: Enjoyed it alot...
SLovern162: Thanks so much for the info.
SharmaUSA: Thanks Trina.
Bova1: Thank you all. I'm in Palo Alto at the moment; I'm going to give a
speech to a NASA group...
DRLIVES: Please come again...
AnacondaOz: Thank you
Sushiwritr: Thank you Mr. Bova. Next week we're hosting author Jane Yolen.
Bova1: tomorrow. I've been up since 1 a.m. Pacific Time, and I really need
some sleep. Thanks...
Bova1: again for your interest.
LMikulski: Thank you
MmSorel: good night, and thank you
Valatin: Thanks :>
Strebe: Mr. Bova, we're all very appreciative.
DRLIVES: sleep tight, don't let the bugs bite
DreamsEcho: Let the man get some sleep people. Thanks Sir.
Trina Pink: If anyone wants information about this critique group, e-mail
Trina Pink: Otherwise...that's it for this week. Great session!
MmSorel: this is a very good forum, thanks trina and sushi
DRLIVES: Trina, I think you did a great job...are you doing next week too?
Trina Pink: Yes, I'm guesting again next week, DR. Thanks. :-)
Berrins: Hope you have a good conference, and push some for a real
"selene" space station
DRLIVES: see you then....thanks again.
Berrins: on the moon
DRLIVES: bye everyone, have to go
11/17/97 8:15:52 PM Closing "Chat Log 11/17/97"