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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.

Mysmartha:  Legend.

Trina Pink: eWorld is a sci=fi legend?  Works for me.  ;-)

Sushiwritr: But eWorld lives on here.   :-)

Mysmartha:  Adios!

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.  ;-)

Strebe: :-)

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
coming, Ben!

Strebe: :::::: clap clap clap clap ::::::

FalcnEdie:  Yes, Thank you !!!

Bova1:  Glad to be with you.

DRLIVES:    Wonderful

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
into discussion?

Bova1:  Let's leap!

Trina Pink: LOL...great.  Who wants to go first?


FalcnEdie:  <------catching my breath

MmSorel:    hello

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?

FalcnEdie:  ?

Strebe: ?

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

MmSorel:    ?

FalcnEdie:  of the characters are you familiar with before you start to
write?  ga

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...

Sushiwritr: ?

Bova1:  experiencing what the characters experience. I do NOT want the reader
to pause....

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?

Bova1:  GA

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.
Without technology...

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
book? /

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?

SLovern162: ?

Trina Pink: GA SLovern

Bobauthor:  ?

LMikulski:  ?

SLovern162: Do you usually complete the whole book before query letter, or a
few chapters

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

Sushiwritr: ?

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
professional biologists...

Bova1:  and others who had specialized knowledge in various fields --
including Washington politics.

Bova1:  /

Trina Pink: GA Sushi

Sushiwritr: In your essay you wrote of viewing us as "rising apes" vs.
"fallen angels."

Sushiwritr: This seems very "american"

Sushiwritr: Are there not more outlooks than this?

Sushiwritr: ga


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
can understand...

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?

Strebe: ?

Trina Pink: GA Strebe

Strebe: Have you ever indulged in speculative writing you later regretted?

Strebe: ga

Bova1:  I've been at this game a long time, but I can't honestly recall any
speculation that...

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./

SLovern162: ?

DRLIVES:    love it :>

Trina Pink: GA SLovern

SLovern162: How long did you write-How many rejections till you got published?

SharmaUSA:  ?

Bova1:  I published short fiction right away -- in my teens. Took about ten
years before...

Bova1:  I got my first novel published, though./

Valatin:    ?

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
edit, they...

DreamsEcho: ?

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]

Bobauthor:  ?

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.

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

Sushiwritr: ?

Valatin:    Thank you :>

Trina Pink: Can you give us the url, please, Ben?

Bova1:  sff.net/

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
working with?/

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.

DreamsEcho: Thanks.

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)./

MmSorel:    ?

Sushiwritr: ;-)

Trina Pink: GA DRLIVES

DRLIVES:    In your essay , you mentioned including fantasy..which is harder
to write...fantasy or

DoryCrowe:  ?

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.:)

DRLIVES:    :>

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?

DoryCrowe:  ga

MmSorel:    does that mean that you

Bova1:  Eric Drexlers's book, ENGINES OF CREATION, is the best source for
nanotech info./

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,
bleeding, hating...

Bova1:  individual human beings. They each have their own set of values and
goals. They are...

Bova1:  what makes a story interesting./

SLovern162: ?

Trina Pink: GA Slovern

MmSorel:    but how and why do you bring them together, there has to be a

MERRYpin:   The horizon of expectations!

MmSorel:    sorry!

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
questions.  :-)

Trina Pink: Perfect.

Berrins:    ?

Trina Pink: Ben, thank you so much.  I know you gave up part of your
conference for this.

FalcnEdie:  ?!!!!!!

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"