[GUEST POST] Charles E. Gannon on Why Some SF/F Authors Don’t (Can’t?) Create Worlds That Are “Simple” – And Why That Just Might Be Okay
A Distinguished Professor at St. Bonaventure University and multiple Fulbright recipient, Dr. Charles E. Gannon is a best-selling science fiction author whose next book, Fire With Fire, is the first in a hard sf thriller series from Baen. He is a member SIGMA (the “sf think-tank” tasked to help government agencies), has appeared on The Discovery Channel, and received the 2006 ALA Choice Award for Outstanding Book (Rumors of War and Infernal Machines). You can visit his worlds at www.charlesegannon.com.
Before becoming a full time novelist, I spent many years in TV and in academia. Over those years, I was required to participate in a significant number of seminar/workshop retreats which ostensibly strive to measure various professional/work characteristics (I have always harbored the suspicion that these “seminars” were just legitimated means of playing hooky…). One area in which I was always a statistical “outlier” was in concept-generation. That is the pop-psychology term for how we come up with ideas.
Now, for most folks, the process whereby ideas arise and grow is structurally sequential. There is an originating idea. It is revised. It is expanded. It is reorganized.