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Mind Meld Make-Up with Gillian Pollack: Words We Learned from Genre Fiction

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

This week we asked our participants to talk about Words they first encountered in genre.

Q: What interesting, new-to-you words have you first learned or come across in your genre reading?

Gillian Pollack
Gillian Polack has three published novels, two anthologies and a historical cookbook. One of the novels (Ms Cellophane/Life through Cellophane ) was a Ditmar Finalist, as was one of the anthologies (Baggage, which has just been released in the US ). Her latest novel is Langue[dot]doc 1305 , which is a rather strange time travel novel. Gillian is a reviewer, critic and non-fiction writer, award judge and collects fans. She currently lives in Canberra, Australia, which explains everything.

Words make me happy in so many ways. I get a Word of the Day from the OED (today it is ‘oliprance’ which I knew of as ‘orprance’ until this moment and which I need to see more of), but these words seldom change the words I use. They’re remiinders and they’re words I needed to learn, but it’s words in use, in texts that change me.

Since I like euphemisms (I don’t have to remember if I’m swearing in front of children if I don’t actually use bad language, after all), my favourite SFnal borrowing is Joan Aiken’s “Drabbit” from her Wolves of Willoughby Chase series. Useful in all circumstances. Also, not perhaps the source of SF language that most people expect. The usual suspects tend to be cyberpunk and robot and other words with a high geek factor. ‘Drabbit’ remains a personal favourite, despite everything.

About Paul Weimer (366 Articles)
Not really a Prince of Amber, but rather an ex-pat New Yorker that has found himself living in Minnesota, Paul Weimer has been reading SF and Fantasy for over 30 years and exploring the world of roleplaying games for over 25 years. Almost as long as he has been reading and watching movies, he has enjoyed telling people what he has thought of them. In addition to SF Signal, he can be found at his own blog, Blog Jvstin Style, Skiffy and Fanty, SFF Audio, Twitter, and many other places on the Internet!
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