The Man From Empire - What I Learned

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When I was putting together the Rediscovery set, I gave some thought to slightly rewriting The Man From Empire, having had a few reviews where the reviewer indicated they misinterpreted what I was writing.

1) The Empire is significantly older than the return of civilization to Earth. It owes nothing - zilch - zip - nada - to anything we've done here on Earth. There are a very few conventions from the Empire that were either somehow perpetuated on Earth or reintroduced for their own reasons by the stons who found Earth sometime in our 1840s.

2) Osh Scimtar is about fifteen thousand Earth years old. He's a recognized expert in one field, and a polymath with demonstrated professional competence in several others. Grace is twenty-eight when we meet her, a re-entry college student who realizes all of the mistakes she's made earlier in her life. What do you think their respective argumentative weights would be? How effective would you expect her to be at resisting Osh in an argument? That she does resist and keep arguing on one point argues how strong her beliefs are on that issue.

As the writer, clear communication is my job. If I were writing it again, I'd be considerably more heavy handed on these points so they're not misinterpreted so easily as current political polemics. So I was tempted to make some revisions, but I overcame the temptation because it would be something akin to cheating. When Arthur C. Clarke was dissatisfied with Against The Fall of Night, he didn't revise it on the sly - he wrote an entirely new novel The City And The Stars. The Man From Empire was (like Clarke's earlier work) my first novel. I learned from it, and from the reviews, but I think you deserve to see it as it was originally written.

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on December 10, 2019 7:37 AM.

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