Shaken and Stirred
bond, gwenda bond

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From the introduction on Sean Stewart's website:

"My first public reading was in front of my old university professors. Afterwards, during the question period, the man who taught my creative writing class stood up and said, "Sean ... Most people think of science fiction as the sort of thing you grow out of. Do you intend to keep writing it?"

Like many lousy moments, that one has more than paid for itself over the last decade. I must have told that story ten times after readings. It helps loosen up an audience. Writers are frugal that way: we know a good story when we see one, and we get as much mileage out of it as we can. What I don't always mention is the answer I gave, which still seems true to me today.

Years before I read and loved Jane Austen and Fyodor Dostoeyevsky, I read and loved Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and Ursula Le Guin. The books I love best marry warm, sympathetic characters with an abiding sense of wonder. Those are the things that excite me as a reader and as a writer. And I will keep writing books where the occasional impossible thing happens as long as those things kindle my imagination.

Art is fundamentally embarrassing. It requires you to expose how you truly feel. It demands that you admit the things that make you laugh and cry, that scare you or turn you on. And when you do that, there will always be people to tell you you're sentimental, or perverse, or over-intellectual, or crude, or (worst of all) just plain boring. But without that honesty on the part of the writer, there can't be true and deep connection.

At best, the writer is a stormcloud, the reader the earth, and the work is the living electric rush that for an instant connects and illuminates them. For better or worse, these novels represent my life of praying for lightning."

If you aren't familiar with Sean's work, what the hell have you been waiting for? It's been far too long without a new Sean Stewart book, but the wait's almost over. This year, Small Beer. I can't wait.

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