Pavilion Digest: February 2005

A plethora of perplexing pavilion posts. The Pavilion Annex thread, the Pavilion Discussion thread, and monthly digests of all messages from the Pavilion.

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Pavilion Digest: February 2005

Postby admin » Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:25 am

The following posts contain Art Deco Dining Pavilion messages for the month of February 2005.

Rod Williams

Lurking in Crosswhen

Postby Rod Williams » Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:25 am

Name: Rod Williams
Source: unca20050211.htm
DOUGIE McINTOSH said:

"P.S. Any fellow aussies lurking (or not) in The Pavilion?"

I am one; not sure how many others are out there. Welcome all the same.


Rick K.
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:49 pm

Seeking feedback on a writing-related question

Postby Rick K. » Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:31 am

Name: Rick K.
Source: unca20050211.htm
In one of the novels Im currently writing, I have a society of people our main characters meet who structure their sentences a bit differently than standard English. E.G., they would say Visitors have we rather than we have visitors, and so forth.

Im writing the book in the limited third person POV. In other words, if Bob is the viewpoint character in a particular scene, were privy to his thoughts, but not those of the other characters. My question then, is this: A few scenes are from the POV of a member of this society, and I wonder, since were inside his head, should the narrative description be written in the same style as his dialogue?

In other words, should the narration be: "Bob studied the reports his scouts had brought back with a frown of concentration, as if by sheer force of will he could change the information they contained."? or should it be: Study, with a frown of concentration, Bob did, the reports from his scouts...

My instinct is to go with the former, straight-forward sentence structure; yet, we are inside Bobs head. Shouldnt the sentence structure of the narrative reflect that of his speech? Or, as I suspect, wouldnt narration in that style, however briefly, just be annoying to the reader?

Thoughts?

Rick


M Jacka
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Postby M Jacka » Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:52 am

Name: Mike Jacka
Source: unca20050211.htm
Harlan,

Others have said this all much more eloquently, but here I go anyway

About 20 years ago I found a copy of Medea in a bookstore in a mall in Roswell, New Mexico. One of the more vivid things I remember is reading the dedication. (Yes, we even read the dedications.) From that day forward I tried to figure out a way to let you know the impact you have had on my life. These best intentions went the way of so many others. I could contact the publisher but it didnt happen. I could go through F&SF but it didnt happen. I found the web site and it became even easier to touch base but it didnt happen. I could have gone through HERC but it didnt happen.

About two years ago you came to Phoenix, and I finally got to express my thanks. (As you said to me at the time, Im not that hard to find.) I followed up the next day or so with my first posting to this site, saying the same things. But it cannot be said enough thank you for being here.

My father is also turning 71. He just had a shoulder operation one the doctors said they wouldnt normally suggest, but he was far too active to let it go. I am turning 50 in July. Things all seem to hit together. Two weeks ago, a friend who worked for me died of a heart attack at 39. More than a coworker, he was a great friend to all of us here. It smacks you between the eyes. The joke about birthdays is that they are always better than the alternative. With his passing, this has lost some of the humor but it strikes home more than ever.

Harlan, this is not about go ahead and buy the toys you want. Nor is this a brewski induced I love you man hug-fest. This is meant merely as a reminder that our lives would be poorer without you. We are glad/ecstatic/orgasmic/shit-grinning happy that you are here, and, as much as possible for people like me who barely know you, we love you.

Keep kicking us you prepubescent seven-year-old we do love it so.


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remarck
Posts: 224
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I love webderland

Postby remarck » Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:01 am

Name: Keith Cramer
Source: unca20050211.htm
Last year I came to Boston on a business trip and queried the brain trust here about what to do and see, and where to go for good food. Harlan piped up, and Steve Dooner piped up, and many others piped up as well. Harlan suggested Locke-Ober's, and I did that. It was beyond all my feeble expectations. He also suggested Durgin Hall, but there was some confusion about spelling. I haven't done that yet. But today I finally went to Jacob Wirth's restaurant for lunch today, and I can say to Steve D., and all those other worthies who mentioned it, that it was undersold to me. The food was fantastic. I should have gone last time. I will never come to Boston again without visiting that venerable institution.

Thank you!!!

-Keith

Doug Wood

Postby Doug Wood » Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:11 pm

Name: Doug Wood
Source: unca20050211.htm
Harlan,

I'll probably regret this, but the thing about the Kersh book might make an interesting story. Guy goes back in time to buy a book, now exheedingly rare, on it's first and only day for sale. Why would he do that, I wonder. And would it be worth it when he finally held it in his hands?

Feel free to throw tomatoes.

Scott

Greetings from a fellow follower of of fine fiction

Postby Scott » Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:44 pm

Name: Scott
Source: unca20050211.htm
If you know me long enough, you get the gift. Mind you, its not just anyone who gets it. You have to demonstrate you have a particular talent for humanity-, which is a rarer thing nowadays than I wish. But if you do it, you get the gift. Maybe a paperback a little beat around the edges, or a hard cover (sans dust jacket). You get a genuine, 100% all-natural, no preservative, good-for-your-soul Harlan Ellison book. Ain't nothing better then spreading the gospel a bit and it just doesn't seem right having those books on a shelf somewhere not being read.
Its great to find a place where some fellow admirers gather and even Harlan visits. I have been a life-long admirer ever since some grammar-school associate gave me a copy of a Daredevil comic by some writer back quite a few years ago, heck a real lot of years ago now that I look in the mirror and see the receding hairline. After that I found Approaching Oblivion at a used bookstore and I've been an addict ever since.
Hope I didnt go on too long, but I just wanted to introduce myself and pass on my well wishes to Harlan. You have inspired, delighted, enlightened, comforted, chastised and heck even gave me that pat on the back I needed at times through the wonders of that mighty typewriter. Thanks for all the years so far.

And an extra hello to all the other members of the board. Its a pleasure to meet people with as fine a taste as my own. (Wife says I have a bit of an ego, I don't know where she gets the idea from)

Scott

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Duane
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Thoughts For Rick K

Postby Duane » Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:21 pm

Name: Duane
Source: unca20050211.htm
Hey Rick,

For what it's worth....

Strive for clarity.

A limited third person (or as I think of it, tightly focussed third person) viewpoint can be very useful, but too tight of a focus for too long can actually get in the way of telling a story. Sometimes, just a few phrases expressed in "plain English" from your character's point of view can quickly convey a lot of necessary information, enabling you to get on with the story without a lot of extra verbiage. The point is to focus and pull back in such a way that the reader gets your point without noticing your technique.

It's like watching a scene in a movie. You have close up shots, establishing shots, etc., often within the same scene. In great movies, all you see is the story.

I'm writing this out at work, with my "writing brain" disengaged at the moment, so I hope I was able to make myself clear enough for you.

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Harlan Ellison
Harlan Fucking Ellison
Posts: 847
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 10:24 am

RICK K.'s ANOMALOUS SPEECH

Postby Harlan Ellison » Tue Feb 01, 2005 2:50 pm

Name: HARLAN ELLISON
Source: unca20050211.htm
Yo, Rick:

I bury my hatchet in the same advisement: strive for clarity.

Do NOT put the interior monologues in back-formation RickSpeak.

Unless the character is ACTUALLY HIMSELF SPEAKING inside his own head. The way we, you, I, everyone, does it--right now in the received world. Whatever idiomatic we speak into the air, is the same voice inside the noggin. Unless ... When it is the Author "telling" us, it should always be Omniscient Voiceover, which means you, the auctorial voice; and that means speaking normally, and with clarity. Don't go all artsy-fartsy Ah My Great Self-Expreshiyun experimental unless the story CANNOT POSSIBLY be told more conventionally. Writing should ideally be transparent, not annoyingly obtrusive and INtrusive.

I remember when I was a little kid, I used to read PLANET COMICS and there was a feature therein called, if I remember back a mere sixty-some years, "The Lost World," featuring a stalwart named, again if I remember, Hunt Bowman ... who spent most of his time trying to slaughter what I think I remember were the Martian conquerors of the planet Earth. And the aliens spoke bakwards-formation, too. Memorably, but ultimately annoyingly.

Samples: "Kill you I will, putrescent human!"

"After the grotesque air-breather we must go, finding and slaying him we will."

"My ass you will bite and die you shall!" And, er, harumph, etcetera, like.

Which is to say, in teeny doses, this kind of one-trick pony is initially interesting (if done well), but like the whistling puppy, once you've seen it, okay, what ELSE can he do? And it pales very fast. It's a gag, like the movie ELF, but once you've run out those first half dozen changes on the basic gag, it gets wearisome.

Either way, internally, it is always third-person-past-tense, the voice of the Omniscient Author, and he (you) speaks normally, not like someone who is dyslectically-challenged.

Yr. pal, Harlan

Aaron Teschner

Where are you going, where have you been?

Postby Aaron Teschner » Tue Feb 01, 2005 6:55 pm

Name: Aaron Teschner
Source: unca20050211.htm
DOUG:

While some people on that 1st Edition Day might have tucked the book away for safe keeping so that they could, half a century later, whip it out and sell it on Ebay for the amount of money it's going to take to heal Grandpa, most people would, especially if it was a good book, read it.

At this end of time, picking up 1st editions helps exemplify your love for a book you'd met through a 38th (or whatever) edition.

Taking that first edition from someone else, though... depriving someone of it, or a WHOLE LOTTA people of it, depending on where that book travelled, might making things worse. What if a reviewer, that popularized the book and made the 38th print run possible, never chanced by it in the used book store some twenty years ago?

Or something mundane: how that book affects a single life, someone whom we'll never know, but who benefited from that book, or was emotionally crippled by it, as is the case with devastating works (I'm still hovering around my copy of Requiem for a Dream, afraid of plunging in and evoking its demons). Even if the book still makes it to the 38th, would we have a right to cut people out of the loop because of our nifty time machine?

This is a familiar battleground. I'm sure Uncle Ray would have a thing or two to say, something along the lines of "don't squish that mosquito!"

If you could figure out whether or not some of the first editions were destroyed somehow, and nab one of those, maybe you'll just be depriving the future of a half a pound of ash in some landfill.

Interesting thought, Doug. I'll take a tomato or two for you before I go down.

-ART

Neal Johnson
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:38 am

the online store

Postby Neal Johnson » Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:56 pm

Name: Neal Johnson
Source: unca20050211.htm
SUSAN ELLISON

I plan a shopping trip to Webderland soon. Are all the books listed in the online store actually available?

Thank you for your time.

Respectfully,
Neal

Rick K.
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:49 pm

Postby Rick K. » Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:18 pm

Name: Rick K.
Source: unca20050211.htm
Harlan and Duane,

Thanks for the feedback, and for confirming my initial instincts about the narration. Granted, these people of the variant speech pattern are only in the book for a brief period, and none of them give long monologues; but even so, I wasn't thrilled with the prospect of writing the narration in their viewpoint scenes the same way that they speak. I was pretty sure that if _I_ was going to find it annoying to write, so too would the readers find it annoying to read.

Still, I felt it wise to run it by some other writers, just to make sure my initial instinct to write the narration "normally" was the correct one.

Rick


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Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
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Mental Meanderings. . .

Postby Steve Evil » Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:20 pm

Name: Steve Dylag
Source: unca20050211.htm
Possession is only distantly related to fullfillment. Sure it's fun, I love possessing stuff, but there comes a point where it just seems. . .empty?

My researches lately have brought me into contact with alot of homeless folk, and alot of low income folk. Folk who have to think twice before investing in a cup of coffee.
And my memory of blue collar work, where every dollar represented another hour at the assembly line letting braincells rot, is still fresh.

So I collect jack-all. I figure I just don't need it.

I hope I live to be 71. At that point I hope I can look back on life with some satisfaction that I did what was right, did the best I could, and didn't waste too much time. I would hope at least some of my dreams would be fullfilled, and if any aren't, it won't be because I didn't try. I hope there's time enough to do what I need to do. I hope I never sit still. I hope I can improve the world, and if not, at least gum up the works as much as Unca Harlan did.



H
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Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:28 am

REPLY TO THE THIRD OR FOURTH DUMBEST QUESTION

Postby H » Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:47 pm

Name: h
Source: unca20050211.htm
EVER ASKED:

Dear Neal:

As Susan screamed, grabbed her temples with both clawed hands, and fell to the tarmac when her head exploded from the sheer cosmic stupidity of your question, she is now unavailable to answer. Between bouts of sobbing for my now-dead honey, I come to deliver an answer.

No, absolutely NONE of the books we went to all that trouble to list are available. We only make up that shit to suck in wily buyers such as yourself. In fact, none of those books even exist. We made up the titles. You'd be surprised how many ignorant mooks actually think that crap exists.

We like making up new titles periodically, to fleece even more good folks such as yourself, many of whom send us purchase orders and money from their local Arkham Asylum for the Terminally Idiotic.

Look sharp: next week we'll be offering THE LAST DANGEROUS VISIONS and Shakespeare's lost drama QUEEN CLEOPATRA AND BERNIE.

With regards to your therapist, I remain,

Yr. pal, Harlan

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Peggy
Posts: 355
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Location: Houston, TX
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in the line of fire??

Postby Peggy » Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:28 pm

Name: Peg
Source: unca20050211.htm
Ummmm.... at the risk of being the next target, might I suggest it is not apparent when the Webderland online store list was last updated? Perhaps Neal, in a poorly worded manner, was trying to ascertain if the same stock were still available??? (especially since HERC has had 2 or more sale events in recent times...)

Still, it was an entertaining response, as always. ;-)

Neal - if that was your intent, then I say, join Herc if you haven't. Get the Rabbit Hole. Always includes the lastest list of available material.

Cheers...
Peg
(who knows that she is a safe distance from any real retribution although the militant clashes are another story...)


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