Speaking as a recent “New Heinlein,” allow me to express the opinion that if anyone should be called the “New Heinlein,” it’s Scott Westerfeld. Not because Scott writes like Heinlein, but because he’s filling a critical ecological niche Heinlein used to fill: Writing superior (and ridiculously well-selling) science fiction for young readers, some of whom will become a new generation of writers.
I always have this sneaking suspicion that Scott’s influence on an entire generation of SF readers and futures is occurring below the radar of most adult science fiction fans, which is why 20 years from now, when Scott’s work is being continually listed as a major influence by new writers, all those fans will be scratching their head and wondering how that happened. Here’s how: because Scott got to them first and best, just like Heinlein did, back in the day.
There, now I’ve told you. You can’t say you weren’t warned.
Scott’s latest is Extras, a continuation in the universe of his incredibly popular “Uglies” trilogy, all of which you’re going to want to get for a young SF reader you know. For his Month of Writers appearance, Scott tells you why New York City is like no other city in the world. And for the record, what he relates here is true: I was there when it happened.
SCOTT WESTERFELD: NY’s Bravest
Here’s one the things I love about New York:
Even when a building in your neighborhood suddenly up and decides to crumble into pieces . . .
And the authorities haven’t even figured out yet who’s in charge of making sure it doesn’t crumble more and kill a bunch of people . . .
And there’s firefighters climbing around inside this crumbling building, in the rain that’s making the crumbling rooftop heavier, tying the crumbling bits with, like, rope . . .
And the boss is there checking their work, all, “Yeah, that’s the way I would have tied that,” like it’s no big thang hanging out on a crumbling building . . .
And even with all this, there’s still some dudes carrying a couch underneath the building. The crumbling building. In the rain. Because carrying that couch was just what they’d planned on doing that day, I guess.
Yay, firefighting and couch-carrying New Yorkers. You make me glad that I live in NYC, that I have lots of windows, and that I have a new camera.
You are just all that cool.
(original post, with comments, is here)