A worn O-ring

I remember some jackass positing that I was a spoiled rich frat boy, because I thought sf publishing should make an effort to appeal to… well, everybody. Look, I think all nice boys and girls should read sf. I think all middle-of the road boys and girls should read sf. I think all nasty boys and girls should too. Actually, I think sf should be read by small furry green aliens and dolphins… you get the picture. That means the material needs to appeal to everyone. Not every book to every reader, but that there is indeed something for spoiled rich frat boys and spoiled skinny occupy Wall Street BA students, and blue-collar workers and tech geeks. That means… you have to actually publish something that they can identify with.

I am still laughing at the spoiled rich frat boy conclusion about me though. I wish they could see my hands now. I spent a lot of today battling with brake calipers on the franken-car (where I did the body-transplant, because I rolled it responding to an ambo callout for a roll-over on our appallingly maintained roads). The mixture of brake-fluid and dust is, um… delightful. Also sticky and very very resistant to removal. I have named it Bucharest, as it plans, with a capital, to Rumania. I guess, writing about what I know, I should stick to inept home auto-mechanics (except I seem to have accumulated knowledge on being inept at lots of things. Writing too).

Anyway, what is central to today’s post is how a very small (in this case not cheap) component can make a large thing inoperable – or at least not much fun to operate. The problem, once I got it all apart… was an o-ring. Rubber, and just not quite in the state it should be. Honestly, the damage was pretty minor – but enough to make the whole vehicle unusable.

And thus, in defense of fussing those small details, many don’t matter much but the crucial bits can ruin a good book for your readers — especially when it is about something they’re expert in, and you are not. When those readers are your target audience, make sure that you have someone check that…

As everyone is broke after Christmas, let alone with our current inflation rates – a reminder that if you’re on Amazon Prime a lot of my books are on KU. I still make something and you get entertained.

Picture just to remind you that it is summer here.

14 thoughts on “A worn O-ring

  1. My ’98 Nissan (Frontier here, Navarro there iirc) is about to get a brake job. I finally found where my brake fluid has been slowly disappearing to by it not so slowly disappearing and coating the tire I pulled to put ice studs into. That means. I’ve got to do said work while it is Winter here, and while it’s been warmer than normal, warmer is just above freezing, instead of just below freezing.

  2. When someone is denounced as lousy it doesn’t mean he has lice.

    Insults habitually tear words from meanings. Alas.

  3. Thppppth. We’re in our dry season here, and supposed to be back to cold with a chance of snow [please? Pretty please may we get good moisture, please?]

    I was looking at cover copy at the regional B&N yesterday, and noticed several books lauding their “diverse” and “transgressive” characters and story lines. Plots such as – a rebellion on a slave plantation in space where the noble brown indentured colonists overthrow the eeeeevil pale managers. A fantasy where the KKK really is in league with and summons the Devil. Where a guy finds himself falling in lust with a male ghost that he’s agreed to help get revenge on a killer . . . I have no idea if the books sell well, or if they are well written. The one I sampled that sounded fascinating had so little scene description in the opening chapter, and so few character clues, that I gave up. I hope it got better further into the story and I wish the author well in her endeavors.

    1. “Plots such as – a rebellion on a slave plantation in space where the noble brown indentured colonists overthrow the eeeeevil pale managers. ”

      David Weber and Eric Flint did that better in Crown of Slaves.

  4. Thing is, the first two stories could actually be interesting and well-written. Don’t think I’d call either one “transgressive,” though–these days, it would be more transgressive to have the Klansmen balk at the idea of teaming up with Satan and then either A. team up with the protagonists to take on the devil worshipers with the understanding that they and the protagonists are still enemies or B. get slaughtered for their refusal as a way to convey that the devil worshipers are a real threat

  5. So many stories pitched as “edgy” or “transgressive” would only be such if they’d been written forty or fifty years ago. Too often this is a cop-out for believable characters and good dialogue – in other words, lazy writing. If books aren’t accessible (which does not equate to simple or easy), who’s going to read them?

  6. Left the last bookstore with only the special order we’d come in to pick up, because everything that caught our eyes was woke grrrlpower transgender probable garbage.

    Didn’t get past the blurbs and cover descriptions because the assumption is that if that’s what is being marketed no one thought about STORY.

    One of the shoppers in question was mid-twenties, the market, I believe they think, for such books.

  7. The problem is that the left has now permitted so many evil things and evil people (objectively understood, even by the principles of the left) to be approved, that they now have no way to investigate the workings of the human heart.

    And in other news, it turns out some guy who was assigned to the Protective Service for the UK police was also a serial rapist, who maintained long-term rape slaves by way of being a police officer. And it was reported over and over, for twenty years, and they just kept him on. And just for extra points, he made women live under the stairs naked, as some kind of Harry Potter reference.

  8. Re: the KKK, there actually was a fair bit of occultism in the 1920’s KKK rituals, and progressivism was also entwined with occultism in some places. So it’s not totally unheard of.

    But I seriously doubt that they wrote it correctly, with the 1920’s KKK seeing themselves as the shiny future of sterilized eugenics and efficiency and progress. Because they will never admit that the KKK was on the left, or even the center left.

  9. Frat boy. You did give me my chuckle for the day. OTOH has society devolved so much that people can’t be bothered to even think? OK don’t answer.

    1. I was once assured that I was only saying things because I couldn’t find a woman to bear my children.

      1. Maybe the internet was a bad idea. I mean people like that always existed but we didn’t have to know about them.

  10. The long ago book, *Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,* made this point at tedious and excessive length. I prefer your quick and easy take, along with pictures of strawberries.

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