paragraph from a manuscript found in room 121, the Ambiente Hotel

Learn to exactly mimic having written a story, an ageing science fiction hack once advised me: then learn to write a story in a way that exactly mimics having written a different one. Write each separate sentence, paragraph & chapter of every book as if they’re mimicking some other sentence, paragraph or chapter. Soon there’s this odd, constant sense of implication in the text. It seems loaded. It seems like the alienated echo of something else. That something else is your gift to the reader. Your gift to the reader isn’t a lot of words. It’s to have a grasp of syntax & inflexion that lets you load more into the text than it seems to be able to accomodate. He’s dead now of course, his books passed over as ragtime & illiterate, but I’ve taken up where he left off.

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15 Comments

Filed under ghosts, lost & found, the Theory Cadre at the Ambiente Hotel

15 responses to “paragraph from a manuscript found in room 121, the Ambiente Hotel

  1. Chris Lites

    122 ordered room service, but when I got there the room wasn’t there.

  2. Just like that, to coin a phrase – the exact response I am having to Empty Space for now. Almost every line seems to wobble between being spoken in deadpan earnest and smirking pastiche of itself, and between the two worlds arise, many worlds; echoes of this one and everything it could all optimally become.

  3. MichaelO

    Wow. When I read it I was pretty certain it was a book.

  4. MichaelO

    (there comes the sound of oboes and snares, distant…..some bongos….then nothing)

  5. whiteonesugar

    Reminds me of how William Gibson made me feel in the early 90s… And The Orb… And flowers in a vase. All overloaded with meaning; some of the older people I have known will cry at single unexpected words due to the weight of resonance.

  6. Chris Lites

    And I thought it was going to eventually be People’s Exhibit A.

  7. Chris Lites

    Whiteonsugar, if you want to read more of William Gibson’s poetry of objects you should read Pattern Recognition. Also read Agrippa, a prose poem on his site and a short called 13 Views of a Cardboard City. I love Gibson’s prose. He, Mike here and Thomas Pynchon.

  8. whiteonesugar

    Thanks Chris. Have read and loved PR but the later ones with Hubertus in left me detached.

    Will definitely hunt down 13 views this weekend.

  9. Chris Lites

    The last two aren’t as great as PR, but I still like them. I’ve got 13 Views if you need it.

  10. Nice, Mike. Sharing.
    Pattern Recognition is my favorite Gibson, too. Loved both the echoey storyline and the incredible economy, succinctness of the telling.

  11. timc

    Just finished Empty Space.
    What a fucking book!
    I wish I had something a bit brighter to say, but it takes me a while to reach an understanding of your work.
    What a fucking book…
    See you in 2017.

  12. uzwi

    Great response, timc, thanks. 2017?

  13. Six years was a long time to wait for your next book after Nova Swing but it was well worth it. Empty space is like one of your labyrinth worlds, curling up into itself, sending up passages from the preceding body of your work like literary froth. I’d go as far as to postulate Empty Space contains a piece of the works significant to you. It took me a bit to appreciate La Chinoise and Renoko in general. I’m still trying to get a grip on Rig.

    It’s hard to choose which part of Empty Space I liked most, but I loved the grey ops bit of the chapter Spike Train.”There’s no let up for the Levy Flight. These boys wouldn’t want one. They want to work.” There was so much work for them out there, you got the feeling they were embarrassed.

    That and fuck-off telepathic Aztec reptiles from beyond the universe. I think you’ve outdone yourself, so, like timc, sure am looking forward to 2017.

  14. uzwi

    Ah, La Chinoise, she’s active on behalf of others. & those lizard men from Deep Time. Glad you dug it, zxasdf. I outright enjoyed pretty much every minute of writing those books, but I’m worn out with them now. 2017: I get it, how slow of me. Well, you never know.

  15. timc

    Five years is normally how long it takes for me to absorb your books.
    (I only really cottoned on to what you were up to in Signs of Life – after several re-reads – in 2002. I started off hating it and now I love it.)
    But then again – there’s always room for more discoveries…
    In the case of ES – it’s bloody great, simple as.
    I think the best thing you’ve done yet.
    In fact – the space between publication is the only downside.
    Now, if you could see your way clear to knocking them out every year… But I suspect that’s not the way it works for you.
    In any case – what a fucking book!