Sunday, September 30, 2007

Johnny Mnemonic

I was pleased recently to find out that William Gibson's Johnny Mnemonic is posted online in it's entirety, here, since this gave me the chance to read the story from the comfort of my chair without paying money, or sitting in a bookstore or something.

I was pleased, reading it, because it's really not all that great. The movie might actually be a better story, minus the fact that it doesn't have Molly. I mean, it's very creative, laying out many, if not most, of the ideas and concepts and social commentary that would pop up in Neuromancer (except for cyberspace). But the story is just not that engaging. There's really no sense of building tension, it's kind of disjointed.

That said, Gibson is pretty good at the basic mechanics of writing. The final fight between Molly and the vatgrown Yakuza assassin is really well told. It's just that Gibson took the concept of "start as late in the story as possible" to its extreme, and as a result there is really no connection with the main character. I read the entire story not giving a shit that I knew the narrator was going to get offed shortly after the narration closes. That's bad.

Still, better than Pynchon's early short fiction. I think I just like novels better than short stories.

Also, I just wanted to point out that the story is really good if one is a Molly fan. It think this is the most ass-kicking she does in any story. Which is funny, because while this is Molly at her most consistently ass-kicking, she is less badass than she is in either Neuromancer or Mona Lisa Overdrive. Just not as scary and psychopathic.


I think this blog might actually be helping me with the writing process, to a degree. Composing short bits where I try to express my point as quickly as possible and move on, has, I think, helped cut out the bullshit from my writing. Which really, there is no need for, because there is always someone who will spot a piece of bullshit if it's there.

Best just to get an idea out there as quick as possible and move on.

New Story!

You see that post, down below? Where I tell myself I should get some writing done. Well, it worked, and I did. This weekend, I have written an entire short story. Whole cloth. First draft. Okay, it's not finished, yet, in the sense that it's not typed yet. It's about 16 or 17 pages in a notebook. Still, that's in incredible feat of writing to get done in one weekend. And it's good. I like it. The changes that need to be made are very minor, almost nonexistent. And also, it the first peice done of my wider Life's Work piece that I am always off -and-on thinking about. It feels like just to have a part of it committed to paper. There is a warm feeling of contentment infusing my body (that might be beer).

Also, I think I am getting closer and closer to my voice. When writing this, I felt like I was learning to turn off my critical voice, my second-guessing voice, and just write the story, knowing what was important, what would have to come. And it worked. I would say that 95 % of the things I thought had to be in there have ended up there. I mean, this thing will need like two edits only, probably. One when I type it and one when I proofread. And it's shorter than the long ass crap that I am writing the rest of the time. Which is nice.