In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend 2-3 authors or books they feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve.
Today’s recommendations are by Joshua Bilmes. Joshua is the president of JABberwocky Literary Agency, which he founded in 1994. He has been a literary agent for over 27 years, having made his professional debut at the Scott Meredith Literary Agency in 1986. His client list includes a large number of SFF authors including Charlaine Harris, Brandon Sanderson, Elizabeth Moon, and Jim C. Hines. He also blogs about the business, movies, tennis and more.
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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]
We asked this week’s panelists…
Q: With American Independence Day near, the topic of Independence and Revolutions in Genre is what SF Signal is interested in. From The Moon is a Harsh Mistress to The Quiet War, political revolutions are a common theme and staple in genre fiction. What are your favorite stories and novels exploring the themes of revolution and Independence? How do those works explore that theme?
Here’s what they said…
is the President of JABberwocky Literary Agency, and has been an agent for prominent sf/fantasy writers for almost 30 years, including Charlaine Harris, Brandon Sanderson, Peter V. Brett, “Jack Campbell,” Elizabeth Moon, Simon R. Green, Tanya Huff, and many more.
When I think of a great novel about a revolution I think immediately of Harry Harrison’s To the Stars trilogy, which I first read in an SF Book Club omnibus decades ago and which I’ve unhesitatingly recommended over the years to authors who want to write great action SF. Revolutions are a serious business, and they often don’t turn out as planned. We can see that today in looking at what’s happened in Egypt over the past year, as one example where the initial joy and excitement of overthrow gives way to the counterrevolution and the difficulties of switching from a revolutionary mindset to one where compromise might need to be made in taking actual power in society. But there is that joy. There are the people who have to plot a revolution and stay one step ahead of the established tyranny. There are the people who have to be the foot soldiers, perhaps risking all including their lives to fight for what they believe in. That’s what a certain kind of fiction is about, people striving against impossible odds to do what everyone says could never be done. And yes, when you do it, there is a moment of real joy and real elation and real happiness, however short that moment may be. Harrison’s To The Stars trilogy may be heavy on the romance of it all, it is a quick action sf read, but should we object in our fiction to getting to experience the romance of it all without having to worry about the reality, for a few passing hours at least?
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