A Month of Writers, Day Twenty Four: Tim Pratt
Posted on December 30, 2007 Posted by John Scalzi 7 Comments
Quite unintentionally, it turns out that I’m the guy who told Tim Pratt that he won a Hugo this year: After the list of Hugo Winners was posted, and Tim’s “Impossible Dreams” nabbed the short story award, I sent him a quick little congratulatory e-mail. His response a short time later was, essentially, “I did what now?” It’s not every day you get to break such news to someone. But to be fair, the awards were in Japan this year. They held them while he was asleep in California. Stupid round planet with its multiple time zones.
Tim closes out the Month of Writers by issuing a writing manifesto, as is popular these days in science fiction and fantasy. It may be worth noting that the date of the issuance of the following manifesto was the first day of the fourth month of the year. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still follow it. I did, and you can expect the fruits of such adherence in a an upcoming novel. No, seriously. Bwa ha ha ha hah ha!
Tim’s latest novel is Blood Engines, which has been called “brain-twisting, superb… new and different and not to be missed,” and has a main character named Marla Mason, which in one of those very weird coincidences was the name of one of my best friends from elementary school. Pretty sure Tim didn’t know that when he wrote that. But then, clearly, we have some sort of connection. So maybe he did.
TIM PRATT: New Literary Movement
I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while. I’m not really one for manifestos, but it’s become increasingly apparent to me that we need a new literary movement. I’ve been interested for a while in metafictional works of SF and fantasy that include the author as a character (like some of Jeffrey Ford’s stories, or Rudy Rucker’s transrealism). I experimented with the subject in a recent story I wrote, “Her Voice in a Bottle.” And while the results were satisfactory (me, and my voice, explicitly present in a fantasy story) they seem, ultimately, rather too limited.
It’s clear to me now that I need to appear as a major, preferably heroic, character in everyone’s stories. Tim Pratt, on the page, fighting air pirates, defusing space bombs, sexing up the sexy sex nymphs, and what have you. (When a female or neuter character is necessary, authors may wish to use my nom de plume “T.A. Pratt”) The name for this literary movement will, of course, be PrattPunk (except in the U.K., where a “prat” is an asshole or moron, where the movement will be known as TimPunk).
To ease your transition into this new compulsory movement, I’m releasing myself under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license, which allows you to use or modify the source material — me — for your own work, while giving the creator — me — due credit for the original material — me — and granting permission for others to modify your works (about me). I’ll also turn a blind eye toward any unauthorized fanfic if enterprising authors wish to transform any existing works of SF literature — Dune, say, or Harry Potter — into ideologically pure works of PrattPunk.
Happy writing, my Prattians!
(original entry, plus comments, is here)
I’ve enjoyed the “Month of Authors” and had planned to consult this month’s archives before my next trip to the bookstore, but this is the first entry that made my say, “Must have this guy’s books”.
Mmm. I think I can smell the Tim Pratt RPS* as I type.
*Real Person Slash, for those not in the know
Never heard of him before, I’ve just read his Hugo-winner short story and it’s great (though the beginning, with the strange video store remembered me of Video Girl Ai). I’m going to check out what other he wrote, and maybe put it in my to buy list (as I did for at least ten other books), thank you for this month of writers, great initiative.
Gianluca – His story “Little Gods” on the Strange Horizons website is also excellent, and you can read it for free.
Thanks for including me, John! More people took my PrattPunk suggestion seriously (well, serio-comically) than I’d expected, and apparently Tim Pratts will be popping up several books and stories next year. Mostly people seem to be killing me, which is fair.
There. As an appreciative reader, I’m in.
Tim, I will give this careful consideration, but you will have to stand in line behind Loki, Mary Kay Kare’s cat. (Loki won the Clarion West Tuckerization auction.) Perhaps I’ll put you both in the same story — that would be fun….
Last time I did this, here’s what happened:
For extra credit: How many Tuckerizations are in this story?