Tuesday, February 8, 2011


When you have a blog, and you plan to maintain it indefinitely -- you don't treat it as a goofy lark, in other words -- and you further wind up putting out feelers to various groups in the hopes of gaining a reputation as a kind of unpaid professional, once those feelers are out and you begin receiving some sort of positive response, it becomes easy to neglect your actual blog. Which is sort of ironic, or self-defeating, or a form of rationalization. One of those, anyway. Because if you change "putting out feelers" to "having several irons in the fire", as I shall now do, you have my current situation, which is this: I have several irons in the fire. I'm pleased to have stated that so neatly.

So, I'm sorry that I've been neglecting the blog lately. I feel genuinely bad and nervous any time I do that, for neurotic and self-absorbed reasons that needn't concern you, but there's the potential for a very good payoff in the both semi-distant and not-so-distant future. In the meantime, I have movies to watch, and it is my hope that some sort of regular posting will resume this very week. Tension, excitement, laziness, sandwich-cravings: all these are currently at war within me. Something has to give. The center cannot hold. Many are strong at the broken places. I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas. I'm not locked up in here with you, you're locked up in here with me. You know, all that stuff.

But since I don't wish to leave you today with nothing for your time, here's something, which I hope is not old news to you, but may be. You guys know who Albert Brooks is, right? And how he doesn't seem to make movies anymore, and even though his last couple have been disappointing his absence is still a source of great sadness? Well! Have I got news for you! In May of this year, Brooks is publishing a science fiction novel, called 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America. I know, I just about shit my pants, too. In a brief article for the New York Times (published last July, so, like I say, possibly old news for you people), Brooks describes the novel this way:

“I can’t not put humor in a book,” Mr. Brooks said. But, repeating a line he said to a friend recently, he added, “I don’t want to be the one to break it to you, but the future ain’t that funny.”

As St. Martin’s described the book in an e-mail message, “2030” takes place at a time when “a population that has finally been freed from the scourge of cancer is dramatically aging, sparking resentment against the ‘olds’ and leading to a nation so hamstrung by entitlements and debt that its only way out are solutions heretofore unthinkable.”

Mr. Brooks, 62, said the novel addresses the generational dynamics among roughly “a dozen major characters,” and deals in part with feelings he has experienced as he has watched the younger ranks come up behind him.

“We took to the streets for the Vietnam War,” he said. “But there’s other reasons that kids should take to the streets. They just haven’t gotten there yet. And from what I’m reading, with the iPhone 6, they won’t have to.”

So it'll be funny, but he's actually serious. I think on the list of things anybody might have expected from Albert Brooks at this point in his career, writing a humorous, yet serious-minded, science fiction novel would count as "Not Listed". I must say, I'm delighted, excited, wary, and craving a sandwich. May can't come soon enough.


Greg said...

but there's the potential for a very good payoff in the both semi-distant and not-so-distant future.

Am I missing something? Did you figure out a way to get paid for this that I missed? Is someone hiring you as their critic? Why don't I have this job? I want to get paid for this. Fill me in, man. Share the spoils, brother.

bill r. said...

Short answer, no. Long answer, check Facebook.

bill r. said...

I realize now that "payoff" gives the wrong impression (although, who knows?). I really just mean payoff in terms of access, what I'll be able to write about, what it might mean for the blog in terms of all of the above, and so forth. But again, check FB.

isaac asimov said...

As you'll recall, his character was writing a science fiction novel in MOTHER.

bill r. said...

I do indeed recall that. In fact, not only was he writing an SF novel, he was an established, midlist SF writer of long standing. I just figured Brooks chose that occupation for the character because he thought it would be amusing to riff on. I had no clue he was actually into the genre.

Incidentally, I love your Black Widower stories.

Tony Dayoub said...

I totally sympathize with your situation, Bill. I'm working for other outlets right now that supercede my own, so unfortunately CVF is coming up short.

Anyway, good luck with your irons and remember to look into the opportunities I mentioned to you on FB.

bill r. said...

I am, Tony, and I've gotten some positive, but not, I don't think, set in stone, feedback. I'll keep you posted.