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What Lucius Shepard Doesn't Know About Writing...—3/25/2007 1:56:48 PM

by Bob Kruger

...probably can't be taught.

Well, that's probably not true. What Lucius doesn't know about a certain kind of writing -- layered, lush, and yet very compact, a magic-trick kind of writing where he distracts you by rhythm and detail with one facet of his work while he's slipping more potent hallucinogenic code into your brain through a back door -- probably can't be taught. But a lot of what he does know can be.

I know a fair number of you out there may have a problem with his Net persona, with his ribald disdain for Harry Potter and a great many other cherished icons of the F&SF genre, for instance. But don't let that get in the way of what he's got to teach you. He's won every major SF award, and some prestigious mainstream awards, for a reason: he's smart and hardworking, and he knows stuff you might not.

I'm shilling him here because I've got some of his essays of very pointed advice on writing that's not the usual snake oil, and he's agreed to write more if I can find a way to market it. Taking a cue from Bruce Holland Rogers' short story subscription project, I thought I'd gauge the interest in a LS subscription newsletter on writing. I'm thinking of starting the subscription at $10 for six months of one e-mail a week of 500-1000 words of writing advice. If you're interested in this, drop me a quick line at no obligation, and if I get enough responses to make it worthwhile, I'll launch the project and get Lucius to go along. (And even if he doesn't go along for some reason, I've got enough of his work for at least six months of letters.) If you're a fiction writer, I think this is the best investment you'll ever make. This stuff is GOOD.