Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Very Good Question.

James Bambury asks a very good question:

Nothing but speech?

I've read three dialogue only sf stories over the last little while. They all have slightly different conceits and approaches but have no text markers save for section breaks or denoting a speaker. It sounds like the kind of experiment that should go very wrong most of the time but have possibilities within the constraints of flash to shorter-short story word lengths.

So, dialogue only stories: Do they work? Do these?

Judge - James Will Brady
Ideomancer -

Geoffrey W. Cole - Michel "The Meteor" McLure
AE Scifi -

The Pleasing Shapes - Franco Raud
+Kasma Science Fiction Magazine   -

I think they do work. I think they work very well. I think they have worked very well since well before Aristophanes, Plautus, Terence, Shakespeare and Gogol: since the first cave dwellers made shadow puppets in the dying firelight on a long winter night, and pitched their voices to match the bear's roar and the wolf's howl.

I think there's a time and a place for a description, and then there is the time to let the reader imagine the place and the dramatis personae.

I have a few stories in which the narrator's voice got in the way of what the characters were doing. If this is a new thing, I applaud it; and though it's not I applaud it still. Because - the play's the thing...

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