Fantastic Fiction March Workshop and Salon featured Terry Bisson
I can't believe how far I've fallen behind in reporting on NW MediaArts events. I've taken on so much contract work that I can't seem to keep up! In any event, it's past time to briefly report on our last three author events.
NW MediaArts (that’s me!) and Richard Hugo House has been collaborating on this great "Fantastic Fiction" workshop and reading series since January. I recieved a grant for the use of their space for our workshops and salons and they take charge of the workshop registrations. It's worked out to be a great partnership and I’m very impressed with the Richard Hugo House folks. The house itself is a fun, funky space that is supported by some very good funding efforts and a great, upbeat staff, all of whom write. They’ve given a lot of support to this series even though it’s the first time they’ve featured speculative fiction writers. I think it’s becoming more obvious to people outside of the science fiction and fantasy genre that the literature of speculative fiction showcases some of the hottest talent writing today. But that’s a whole topic by itself.
On March 23rd, Terry Bisson flew up from Oakland, California to teach his workshop on writing Very Short Fiction and it was a lot of fun. Terry is very smart, wry, funny, and a master of the short form. He is both a great writer and a perceptive and caring instructor. The workshop was engaging and provocative. Terry was impressed with the writers who signed up for the workshop and some interesting work came out of the exercises.
Terry read some of his Very Short “Billy” stories at his Monday night reading salon. They were hilarious. I will never be able to hear anyone say the word "stomp!" again without hearing the way it sounds when read in Terry's Kentucky accent when he reads from Billy and the Dinosaurs. It's hard to describe these stories. Rudy Rucker desribes them in Flurb as " deceptively simple fables, cast as children’s stories about a boy named Billy." They're sort of like a classic children’s story book with a slightly twisted adult sensibility. Sort of.
If you are interested in reading more about what Terry covered at the workshop, you can check out Caroline Yoachim's summery of her notes on her website.