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  1. #11
    Don Daffron
    Guest

    Re: "Eye of Argon": an object lesson

    Joe:
    When speaking, I say Vietnam, not Nam. Putting Ď before Nam, doesnít change the pronunciation as far as I know. I donít know if the author was a vet or not, but I must assume he was not in Vietnam in the seventies or even the sixties, unless he has amnesia.



  2. #12
    Don Daffron
    Guest

    Re: "Eye of Argon": an object lesson

    Joe:

    Letís say the author was never in Nam, he still should have researched the war before writing the first sentence. I donít care if he was a vet or not. Everything he was wrong about is history and he should have known or looked it up. It doesnít mean he was a war-protesting hippie, but he should have done his research.

  3. #13
    mar quesa
    Guest

    Re: "Eye of Argon": an object lesson

    There's such a thing as publishing too soon, but as well there's writing too soon.
    I agree. Last year I was hired to judge a story comp and came across a whole bunch of badly written, good stories. It was such a pity, really. Most of them were written by teens (14-16).

  4. #14
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: "Eye of Argon": an object lesson

    Don, I was there, or at least, off-shore, as were a number of my friends. We often refer to it as 'Nam, if we've reason to mention it at all. I just wanted to mention that only the anti-war people ever pronounced either 'Nam or Vietnam that way. (Who knows; somebody on this board might be able to use that in a book someday.)

  5. #15
    Anthony Ravenscroft
    Guest

    Re: "Eye of Argon": an object lesson

    I'm unsure that Theis ever realized why he'd become a fannish legend. Gods know I've encountered that sort of baffled look from new writers when I try to say something positive before launching into the glaring problems -- more often than not, they stop listening when the praise ends.

    Lionel Fanthorpe, also a center of such games, gets the joke, & laughs along. He cranked out laughable fiction because he had a great gig that didn't require anything more. Fanthorpe is lionized because he's participated with great good humor (at Norwescon in particular) in the foibles that've been committed to print.

    Theis is not all so different from thousands of hopefuls who've already listed excerpt on sites like Xlibris.com on down -- & I guarantee you that some of those writers have sold books based on sheer gut-wrenching awfulness, because I've steered more than a few buyers there at parties after reading excerpts aloud.

    There's a big difference between laughing at a retarded person & laughing at a hopeful writer. Oh, wait -- maybe there's not.

    But a noob who doesn't shake off delusions of his genius is likely doomed to go no further.

  6. #16
    L C
    Guest

    Re: "Eye of Argon": an object lesson

    Great post Anthony, except none of it addresses my point that Theis (according to your OP) was 15 when he wrote it and that someone ELSE apparently published it as a practical joke.

  7. #17
    Don Daffron
    Guest

    Re: "Eye of Argon": an object lesson

    I certainly hope my English literature teacher burned a stupid poem I wrote about a girl when I was fifteen.

  8. #18
    Anthony Ravenscroft
    Guest

    Re: "Eye of Argon": an object lesson

    Don, I must've laughed for two minutes when I read that!! The first song I wrote was a heartfelt paean to my girlfriend... & I keep the original in my files. Oh, lord, the treacly sincerity.

    But that naivete is priceless. If we ever let it go <u>entirely</u>, then we run the risk of becoming a predictable automaton. The trick is to keep it as a burr under the ol' saddle, to let it drive us without taking control. What's priceless about a Theis or Fanthorpe is the sheer reckless enthusiasm. Sure, it's been left to run off with itself in those examples & countless others... but I read stuff like this on a regular basis. The fact is that when we suddenly realise we've become Adults, we take all those childhood fears of being made fun of, & build our public presentation around them. This wacky stuff makes me a bit less afraid of taking chances with my own writing.

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