why I don’t go to church any more
If you suggest to five sci-fi insiders that there’s something inconsistent in the plot, science causalities or background set-up of a sci-fi novel, they’ll agree promptly but identify six completely different inconsistencies to the one you found. Raise the number of responders and you will raise the number of inconsistencies. I tend to shelve this self-deconstructing syndrome alongside its Jungian reverse, the response I get most from sci-fi outsiders when I complain about low self-consistency or poor fidelity to initial assumptions in a sci-fi novel, which is: “Mike, is this book describing a real thing that happened? Or is it merely a fiction designed to give people fun?” –a rhetorical question often delivered in the blandly sarcastic tones of people who are on the verge of not having any fun because your opinions are standing between them and it. There’s no solution to either of these problems because they reflect differences in temperament so irresolvable that both sides often deny that the other side exists. For some years I felt double-bound by this understanding. That made me irritable. But the advantage of late style is that you can just write what you like on a minute-to-minute basis, while keeping in mind the imaginary you began in and the point you’re trying to make.