The story isn’t ready yet, and trying to make it happen now is futile, because it’s just not ready to happen. I’ve plotted and re-plotted, thought and re-thought, and it’s going to take more time. That’s just how it is. I feel a little pressured since there have been a few people — such as his eminence Bruce Sterling, and the respectable Cory Doctorow — who’ve gone ahead and written decent or outstanding fabber stories in the last few years. I get the feeling like this is a vaguely new area that could get mined out, and I would like to stake out some land… but staking too quick is as foolish as not staking at all.
The odd thing is that the more and more I map it out, the more it starts looking closer to Terry Bisson or even Terry Gilliam, and that scares me, because (a) I am not widely experienced in writing funny stuff, and don’t even read it much, and (b) because it’s looking more and more like another novella, argh! Now, how many rollickingly funny novellas have you seen? I kno, they exist, but it’s not like that’s a huge niche.
I suppose it could be a novel instead, with enough expansion, exploration, setup, and all that. I’ve certainly got enough characters floating around, and enough conflicting agendas. I’ll have to think about that, but Burma’s enough of an enigma to me that I’ll have to read more about the place before I even think of writing something that long set there. And I do want to be careful about writing a story in an undeveloped country in Asia during a period of technopolitical transition. I wouldn’t want merely to rewrite Geoff Ryman’s Air with gags and laughs.