Writing and Obsessions

Reading scififanatic’s blog, I came across an interesting post about writing and obsessions, actually linking back to velourmane’s post on the subject. (You can find the link there.)

I personally am obsessed with all kinds of things, and also develop minor obsessions all the time, just long enough to really get into something and research it like crazy so I can write about it. (Like my obsession with Soviet Russia, which is about to commence; I have tons of books waiting now.)

The obsessions that come up time and time again in my writing, as far as I can tell, are these:

  • memory, and the kinds of holes and distortions that exist as part of it, as well as the fact that, imperfect as it is, it’s what we have to work with
  • the technology-fueled changeability of genome and our phenotype, and the unchangeability of human nature (if we change it enough, we’re no longer human, is all)
  • how history could have turned out differently, especially in dramatic and surprising reversals
  • the idea of people sometime in the future looking back on us the way we look back on our predecessors — judging, scratching their heads, giggling, feeling rage or amusement, and so on
  • relationships across culture — especially love relationships
  • exploded forms of religion, where human organizations are shown up for what they are, often by divine agents or beings
  • the idea of justice or revenge, and whether/when revenge can be justified or justifiable
  • creativity of some kind: I almost never write about writers, but the creative process — especially when applied to areas we don’t usually think of it being applied to — fascinates me, and when new technologies, from musical instruments to whole new interfaces with the world, come into the mix it just gets more interesting
  • “foreign things”: it’s been noted I often mention foreign things, or use foreign words or concepts, and not just Korean ones
  • life on the periphery, and resistance to the uses of power concentrated away from it
  • ghosts are one of the few non-SFnal things I write about a lot

That’s all I can think of. Now my feet have had a break, after TONS of  walking in Tokyo, so I think I’ll go soak them. They REALLY hurt. One toe is even a little numb.

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