Question: "High" concepts in Fantasy

Charles Butler hannibal at
Sun Mar 2 17:43:45 EST 2003

Following Irina, I road-tested my last book (Calypso Dreaming) and my next
(The Fetch of Mardy Watt), and yippee, Jon's test provides the first
Scientific Proof that they're both well worth reading, clocking scores of 8
and 12 respectively. (Mardy scores higher largely by dint of having a more
villainous/supernatural villain.) The test also puts me at the lowish end of
the spectrum, which is where I'd expect to be, writing stories that are
local and thisish-worldly, as well as fairly short.

Well, it's all very satisfying, and somehow reassuring too.

>Bonus points for writing systems and
>unpronouncable words or names.

I was wondering about this too. It might be appropriate to introduce another
sliding scale here, ranging from the mundane (Peter, Colin, Susan, Jane) to
the slightly unusual (e.g. Dido, Lyra), to the definitely alien (Koryfon,
Dacros), to the outright unpronounceable. But we may also need a refinement
whereby if the name is unpronounceable because it contains numbers or
non-alphanumeric characters, the book is redefined as Science Fiction.


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