Monday, September 13, 2010

A Writer's Life

A writer's life can be a difficult one; my parents were concerned when my teen-aged self declared an ambition to write science fiction.

Science Fiction itself, while enjoying a greater degree of success than most genre fiction and perhaps more markets than most (most of my life, there have been three or four SF magazines on the stands to a single mystery magazine -- and none for Westerns), is quite often simply a slower way to starve. Successful writers like Robert A. Heinlein, Fred Pohl,* William Gibson or Arthur C. Clarke make (or in the case of the first and last, made and have left for their heirs) a fair-to-good living, but most of even the better-known names earn only a modest income.

When it comes to "difficult," F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre was 'way up there, from his lengthy adopted moniker to tales of world travel, a diresome upbringing, a vast and sometimes invented vocabulary and an imagination vividly unusual even for a fantasy/SF writer. And when he decided time had run out, he took a difficult exit, too.

It happened back in June; I missed it but sharp-eyed Turk Turon did not.
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* Make that 2010 Hugo winner Fred Pohl!

12 comments:

CGHill said...

I missed it also, for which I am ashamed, since Froggy and I had had several long online conversations, starting with his desire to refute my stated notion that his book "The Woman Between the Worlds" was unfilmable.

The world will miss this guy.

Ed Rasimus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed Rasimus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed Rasimus said...

The hourly wage for book creation runs well below mandated minimum and certainly less than burger flipping at Mickey D's. For every Stephen King or Tom Clancy there are a hundred thousand unsung toilers hoping that their words will move someone. BTDT

Frank W. James said...

A writer 'WRITES' because it's WHAT WE DO. That we sometimes get paid for our nonsense is the exception to the rule.

I know on the novel I recently finished that considering the standard royality for a 1st time novel, I would have made 4 or 5 times the money if I had invested my time instead at being a 'greeter' at Walmart.

Still I'm glad I did it.

Bobbi, keep writing. It's what makes life enjoyable...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Anonymous said...

Can't admire a person who duct tapes people to chairs. That crosses a line from excentric to insane. Wont morn this passing.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Have you also checked out Jerry Pournelle's blog?

http://www.jerrypournelle.com/

Sport Pilot said...

Shade's of H.Beam Piper. One man's strangeness is often times a mask from reality...

Roberta X said...

C. G. Hill, you are indeed a man of parts.

Anon 12:50 p.m.: Agreed. I do wonder if even he took that episode as a sign of mental breakdown and it prompted him in taking an early exit.

Roberta X said...

NJT: I do read Chaos Manor from time to time, yes.

John B said...

I don't know whether I met Froggy or a west-coast doppleganger. The flavor of the encounter is familiar to what goes on at any given small-medium SF convention. The guy I went to college with, claims to be a talented artist, owed sums of money by various folks for art he did for games and magazines. If I see him again, I'll probably demand he stop Obama-ing and trot out some art.

I will miss the guy, I only read one of his stories, between him and H Beam Piper, I think SF Writing is not the way for me. Even if you get good, you still have to dwell inside your cranium. That has been a crowded cluttered place for me for a while now.

I can't even judge him harshly for the duct tape episode. That's between him, his victim, and his God. I hope his victim figures out a way to close the book, and move on though.

Nathan said...

I suspect Beam, even with his massive personality issues, was probably more stable than this character. Hard to say since I never heard of Froggy before Bobbi posted about him.

(On the other hand I pretty much gafiated from the public practices of SFery years ago. I haven't been to a con since the early '80s and have no desire to return to them. I don't read SF websites and I don't haunt the comic book stores anymore like some friends of mine still do...I do have fond memories of NorthAmericon in Louisville back in '79 and running the slide projector for Forry Ackerman, though.)