20 February 2005

New Worlds and Old

After reading my review of New Worlds: An Anthology, Michael Moorcock, the editor, sent a note to SF Site in which he expressed his frustration with the review and with my apparent conservatism. Rodger Turner forwarded the note to me, and I asked him if there was a way to publish it either at the site's forums or at the end of the review, along with a short reply by me. Michael Moorcock was open to that, and so you can now read the entire exchange at the SF Site forum.

My response turned out to be longer than the original review, but, as Blaise Pascal once said, I didn't have time to write something short.* I welcomed the chance to clarify some of my thoughts on the book and on New Worlds magazine's legacy, because when I wrote the original review I ended up spending so much time on it that I muddled a lot of my thoughts and wasn't nearly as specific or analytical as I should have been, so I think Moorcock was right to complain. I still think it's a turgid, monotonous book, but I certainly don't think that is the legacy New Worlds left us.

Now, with the response, I may have made everything worse and gone from being muddled to being unintelligible...

*I had remembered the quote "I would have written you a shorter letter, but I didn't have time," as being from Mark Twain, but a quick Google search proved that not to be true. I found an article on "Five Myths about Short Writing" which pointed to this page of misattributed Twain quotes.

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