Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Monday August 16, 2004. Woke up thinking about the Wild Hunt:

My name is Herne the Hunter,
I'm the leader of a band.
And though we're few in number,
The fear we cause is grand.
(Tune: McNamara's Band)

And it occurred to me that a few centuries from now, the Wild Hunt might be led by Margaret Thatcher (aka Iron Maggie).

***Part of my reply to a post on an sff.net newsgroup:

> And what do you want to see?

An alternate-world version of the Star Wars movies done after the first one. One in which
Luke turns out to be a farmboy of ordinary birth, he marries the princess, and it's Chewbacca who turns out to be Darth Vader's son.

***There's a discussion of "How do you come up with ideas?" at Ursulav's LiveJournal -- she being another idea-rich person. "What I can never articulate on the spot, of course, is that I don't know how other people AREN'T having these ideas, and in fact, I assume that everyone else is, in fact, having these random thoughts at any given moment, and perhaps just has better things to do with their time than pursue them in paint. Imagination, like most other muscles, responds to exercise."

What I think is that some of us really, really are better at coming up with ideas. And some are better at not suppressing them before they reach the conscious level of the mind.

But these don't guarantee success (in arts, business, or whatever). What's also important is the ability to choose among the ideas; and to build with them. Otherwise, Phillip K. Jennings would be earning far more from sf sales than Robert Silverberg.

Laurel Winter has a very good imagination; it shows in her poetry and in her fiction. But the major ideas of her YA novel Growing Wings (Firebird 2002) have been used before. People with wings, coping with a world in which most people are wingless? In sf, that goes back at least to Edmond Hamilton's 1938 story "He Who Hath Wings." (I don't know if Leslie F. Stone's 1929 "Men With Wings" is about this.) On another level, the book is about changes which come with adolescence -- not a theme entirely new to Young Adult fiction. And it's about family secrets, which has also been used a few times in YA fiction.

I don't think the book would have been anywhere near as good if she had refused to use any idea ever used before.
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