February 21st, 2009


APED: "chittagong"

The city's name is Chittagong.
The Bay of Bengal, where it lies;
The place where men work hard and long,
The beach where old ships go to die.
Carved apart, their bones reused,
Steel skeletons of human pride.
Asbestos. Oil. It's all refuse,
The offal left to foul the tide.
And poor men labor through the day,
Their brown skins darker from the sun,
For a meager dollar's pay --
Yes, a dollar. Only one.
One falls, another comes along,
To break the ships at Chittagong.

Men sail the ships to Chittagong.
Men whose lives have been the sea,
Men whose conscience feels a wrong,
Men whose wallets let it be.
The breaking's worse. It's cruel and hard;
This work is simple. It's well-paid.
This man, from Vladivostok yards
To Chittagong, in Bengal Bay.
And back. Three more ships, waiting there.
Three more times at Judas goat.
Three more paychecks, more than fair.
Three more prices put on hope.
Three more times to feel he's wrong,
To break his heart at Chittagong.
cameron screw you

that script thing, contd.

I realized what was bugging me about the draft as it existed. The basic premise involves the people who own property on Crystal Lake, and go untouched while Jason slaughters everybody else who comes to visit the place. What kind of culpability issues are involved? Do they even care what's happening? And if not, why not? Does Crystal Lake exude some kind of corrupting effect? So it really started out as an anti-Friday the 13th story, because instead of following nubile teens, I followed a nice old lady who wanted some nice lake property that was for sale *remarkably* cheap. And it was working pretty well. The problem came once the nubile teens showed up. I wanted to develop them a little, give each of them a plotline, and I also wanted the kills to be F13-worthy. All of this meant time away from the main thing I wanted to explore, and time away from my main character, who was the most interesting one, even if she wasn't typical F13 material. It just turned into a typical "pretty people get slaughtered" movie, and while those are fun, I didn't enjoy it as much as I had the earlier stuff. So now I'm trying to get back to that.

The good news is that since I've got it mostly written, I've already figured out what the sequence of events is. So now I just have to transfer the focus more to my main character's POV of events, which means that all but a few of the characters get a lot less screen time. This isn't a huge loss, for the most part, but one of the victims wound up really surprising me, and I'd hate to lose her part. So that'll take some rethinking.

Ah, well, it's all in fun, anyway!
roy harper

OMG yay!

John F. Carr, who's been accumulating H. Beam Piper information for years, has published his long-awaited biography of my favorite SF writer. I am a few chapters in, and so far it is terrific, with tons of great information, stories and photographs, totally the book on Beam Piper that I always wanted.

What could possibly make this even better? I AM QUOTED IN IT! Years ago, I did a fact-finding trip to Piper's stomping grounds, and corresponded with Carr about my findings. And so "Piper researcher David Hines" is quoted several times in Chapter 1. Another of my contributions, though it's not attributed to me in the book, is the inventory of H. Beam Piper's gun collection, by himself, from a letter to the Lycoming County Historical Society of June 12, 1956, which is reproduced as an appendix. So it's not volumes of stuff, but I made some meager contributions to the biography of my favorite SF writer. Yay!

And Carr has done a *fantastic* job of amazing and substantive research, greatly aided by the family of Ferd Coleman, a longtime friend of Piper's whose archives -- thank Ghu! -- contained tons of letters between the men. And it's great, great stuff, down to Piper's recipe for Katinkas (he insisted that cocktail was properly stirred, not shaken), photos of Piper I've never seen anywhere, even pictures of the man's dachshund. If you are a fan of H. Beam Piper, BUY THIS BOOK. You will not regret it in the slightest.