The Technology of Fiction : how to write great novels and short stories. | Damien Walter | Skillshare

The Technology of Fiction : how to write great novels and short stories.

Damien Walter, Writer for The Guardian, BBC, Wired.

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10 Lessons (1h 26m)
    • 1. Intro to the Technology of Fiction.

      7:21
    • 2. Why is writing hard?

      6:08
    • 3. Why is writing easy?

      4:11
    • 4. The thematic genius of Iain M Banks - part 1

      12:15
    • 5. The thematic genius of Iain M Banks - part 2

      10:34
    • 6. The thematic genius of Iain M Banks - part 3

      7:12
    • 7. How does M John Harrison enter a story? Part 1

      10:37
    • 8. How does M John Harrison enter a story? Part 2

      15:19
    • 9. The shattered realities of William Gibson

      8:17
    • 10. Your turn to shatter reality.

      4:14

About This Class

WHAT IS THE TECHNOLOGY OF FICTION?

Writing a truly fantastic novel, or a diamond sharp short story, is hard. Why?

To make anything worthwhile, from a gothic cathedral to an Apple iPhone, we have to master the use of many technologies. Not just physical technologies like carving stone, but mental technologies, like the maths that allows an engineer to make buildings that stand up.

Novels and stories are made of dozens or even hundreds of technologies. Forms of written fiction have evolved over centuries of time, and become more sophisticated and more complex as writers invent new and more powerful technologies of fiction. Great modern novelists like Haruki Murakami or Margaret Atwood write powerful novels using technologies they have mastered over decades.

The Technology of Fiction explores how to write great novels and short stories by looking in detail at how writers use each technology they have mastered. Every writer has a different toolkit, that they use in their own unique way.

Enjoy this series of talks by writer and teacher Damien Walter as he explores the "technology of fiction" by diving into the work of great writers.

 

HOW TO SHATTER REALITY LIKE WILLIAM GIBSON.

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”

Through the most famous opening line in science fiction history, a generation of readers have entered the imagined reality of the Sprawl. Conceived in a series of short stories (later collected as Burning Chrome) and introduced to a mass audience in the 1984 novel Neuromancer, William Gibson’s dark future dystopia remains, almost 40 years later, one of the most convincing science fiction visions ever created.

“…the real strength of Gibson’s writing is not in the fantasy it conjures, but the reality it constructs, and then shatters.”

Today’s most famous scifi worlds are created on the cinema screen, or in the virtual realities of video games. There’s a genuine irony that, while Gibson partly created our ideas of cyberspace and virtual reality, the world of the Sprawl has remained a stubbornly linguistic universe. A place we enter through printed words on the page, thanks only to the visionary inventiveness - and technical mastery - of Gibson’s writing.

Count Zero, the second novel in the Sprawl trilogy, opens with a virtuoso display of fiction writing skills, that in just 2700 words, combine all Gibson’s key strengths as a writer. In that space Gibson kills and then resurrects his central character, and summons on the page the intoxicating cyberpunk vision for which he is famed. But the real strength of Gibson’s writing is not in the fantasy it conjures, but the reality it constructs, and then shatters.

Turner is a corporate mercenary, blown to pieces, quite literally, on an unspecified mission in Istanbul. Because he has a good contract, Turner is painstakingly rebuilt, with body parts bought on the open market. It’s the contrast of such elements that makes Gibson’s writing so haunting - his poetic genius of conjuring the unreal imagery of a man remade from purchased body parts, but only after the detail of a contract negotiation has established mundane reality.

Turner’s death is narrated in three terse sentences, opening with the stark pronoun “they”, that condense the mercenary’s mission into a set of snatched images. His resurrection is explicated in three paragraphs, an idealised, hyperreal mid-West American childhood of “coffee and Wheaties” that Turner awakes from into “tropical green and sunlight that hurt his eyes” and a surgeon we know only as the Dutchman.

The narrative continues to telescope inward, from sentence, to paragraph, to page length descriptions that immerse the reader ever deeper into the reality Gibson’s words weave. We follow the resurrected Turner into a Buddhist “bardo” state, held between life and death in symbolic environment of international airports, until “a vast chunk of memory detached itself from a blank bowl of airport sky” and sends Turner to Mexico.

Gibson cements his reality with “eyeball kicks”, ultra closeup, intensely described details that hold the reader fascinated. A Mexican bus journey is narrated around the glass knob of a transmission lever, “cast around a crouching spider blown from clear glass, hollow, half filled with quicksilver. Mercury jumped and slid when the driver slapped the bus through switchback curves, swayed and shivered in the straightaways.”

Half of the chapter is dedicated to a betrayal. Turner awakes in bed with a woman and, in the decaying splendour of a Mexican beach town, the two develop something close to a true relationship.

“Something Midwestern in the bone of the jaw, archaic and American. The blue sheets were rucked across her hips, sunlight angling in through hardwood louvres to stripe her long thighs with diagonals of gold. The faces he woke with in the world’s hotels were like God’s own hood ornaments. Women’s sleeping faces, identical and alone, naked, aimed straight out to the void.”

Gibson carries the slowing pace of the chapter along on the beauty of such well crafted sentences. Paragraphs that build from a simple sentence, through a cumulative sentence clustering multiple descriptive phrases together. The kind of craftsmanship invisible to most readers, but holding their attention, until a final periodic sentence structure, keeping the paragraphs meaning until the very final word. “But this one was different. Already, somehow, there was meaning attached to it. Meaning and a name.”

Her name, we learn, is Alison. We also learn she is a psychologist, sent to assess Turner’s mental state, and fitness for the next mission demanded by his corporate paymasters.

“…we know we are seeing the world through the eyes of a man whose eyes are not his own.”

It’s the experience of lived reality created through Gibson’s words, that allows him to create the effect that readers find so compelling - shattering his reality with fragments of the unreal.

Turners death comes in the form of a “slamhound”, that we’re beckoned to imagine as it comes “scrabbling through a forest of bare brown legs”. The mercenary does not recuperate in a hospital but is regrown on “slabs of collagen and shark-cartilage polysaccharides”. The eyes Turner is given are green. Whatever color his eyes were before, we know we are seeing the world through the eyes of a man whose eyes are not his own.

The fragments of unreal embedded in the real continue. A hologram postcard. A black metal credit chip. A dozen odd microsofts, that embed in socket behind the ear. A security guard carries a Steiner Optic laser, we are told, before the mundane realist detail of his trousers, creased like knives. Even Turner’s suntan is made unreal, as it fades from an angular patchwork created by skin grafts.

If Count Zero never quite reaches again the fever pitch of its opening pages, it may only be because those pages attain an intensity of imagery rarely achieved in prose fiction. They embody the power of the science fiction genre, at its very best, to both create and shatter realities for its readers. And of the written word, in the hands of a master like William Gibson, to invoke the power of human imagination, perhaps more powerfully than any other storytelling medium.

Transcripts

1. Intro to the Technology of Fiction.: Hello and welcome to the technology of fiction. This is a course for anybody who wants to write short stories or in particular novels. I'm wants to write them really, really well. I know that you wouldn't ever want to write a novel or a short story badly, but I think we can recognize off the millions of writers who set out to write really brilliant fiction. Only a few, unfortunately, ever meet that goal? Why is this? It's very difficult, actually, to write a novel, and there's a good reason for this, And that reason lies in the title. The Technology Affection. My name is Daniel Water on. I will be introducing you over the duration of this course to many of the ideas and technologies that allow novelists and short story writers to create brilliant stories on the page. Using nearly words, I say merely words a very powerful their language languages. How are mines work? So words are a tremendously powerful tool for telling stories, but they're also sometimes quite difficult to employ really well, if you are familiar with me already from my course, the rhetoric but story from my writing in the Guardian or the independent or BBC or Wild magazine or from my general blogging and tweeting on nine. Then you'll know that I am passionate about stories and I'm passionate, particularly about novels, and I've spent a great deal of my life trying toe. Understand how novels work? How does fiction work on what is technology? Affection? What do I mean by this term? Let me give you on example by showing you my smartphone, you probably have a smartphone I've had, I think, smartphones for a decade or more. Now they're tremendously common. We might are. How does this small phone work? Well, the smartphone that I'm holding here, which is a pretty humble version It's like a Samson. See, something is made up, even this simple black oblong off thousands, possibly even millions of technologies. What do I mean by technology in this instance? So if we think just about the piece of glass on the front glasses of technology that we think dates back almost seven 1000 years, the first time somebody lit a fire on a beach and burn sand on, it formed little glass na jewels, but nobody knows how to use them at the time. On the technology of glass kind of sat around for a while until it was finally employed in things like Windows thousands of of years later. But it's a technology that dates back a very long way. The technology on the back metal pressed steel has existed for a few centuries now. The art of steel casting has existed for some, I think, or maybe 1000 years or so. I really don't know a lot of the technologies involved, but that's yet another technology. If we look inside this problem, we would see a microchip. Michael Trips are onIy 40 or 50 years old. They don't about the first ones to the 19 sixties. I think I hope I'm not going to get blown apart in that one. We had transistors before. Microchips Running on the microchipped is software. There's a huge number of technologies in the code of the software, so just in this one device we have hundreds technologies. This is a Kindle. I'm not talking about the Kindle itself, which is very similar in many ways to the smart on this Kendall, which I travel with all the time. Thousands off novels on each one of those novels toe work to create a story in your mind, from language and from words on. A page itself is made up of hundreds of technologies. The Technologies Off fiction, which allow the writer of that novel to create an amazing stories using just words on language on the printed page. How about the example of Wonder Boys by Michael Shabaan. It's a fantastic novel. It was being a huge bestseller. It continues to your best on this day. So if we think about this single novel, nearly all of the great technologies of fiction are employed to create this novel, so it would employ techniques. It's a novel written in the first person. First person narrative techniques mean that the character at the center of the story is telling you their experience. I did this. I walked into the bar and there was somebody waiting for me. This is actually a technology. It's a way of approaching telling a story that has evolved over time on many of the first novels written were written in the first person because it's a natural way, telling a story later on, and you have other novels by Michael Chabon, Way employees, the third person for person is in some ways, a more artificial way of telling a story is not natural if I was sitting across from you to tell a story in that mode to use that technology, but it works very well on the written page. On these are the kind off approaches to writing fiction, the tools that great novel issues that were going to be exploring in the technology of fiction. This course has a rather special structure because the technology is affection are complicated because novelist employ a lot of skills in telling their stories and using these technologies. I'm gonna be looking at this from the perspective off individual writers on. Indeed, Michael Chabon is one of them. On in a series of talks that will develop over a period of time, we will be looking how different offers of very high levels of skill employ the different technologies off fiction. The course will therefore be evolving over time. There will be more content added continuously after the initial launch of the course, and I really hope that you will come on this journey with me to explore the fantastic ideas in the technology of fiction. Thank you very much. Please do sign up to the course you can follow on YouTube. You can follow on you, Jimmy or skill share, or I'm sure a number of other platforms. If you enjoy this content, please come and support my teaching on patron or follow me on Twitter. Thank you very much. 2. Why is writing hard?: Hello, My name's Damien Walter. Welcome to the writing practice. Why is writing heart? Imagine when you sit down to write that. In fact, two people are sitting down. One of them is a kind of crazy old happy. And he's like, Hey, man, I just want to tell a story and it's gonna have God's in And it's going to sweep into the heart of the human soul and it's goingto make the reader cry. Tears on the other person is like an up tight corporate middle manager, and he listens to the old hippie and he says, OK, what's the first sentence on? The old hippie doesn't know the audio. We can think of the story, but it takes person to the up tight middle manager toe. Actually, do the writing on this is literally how your creative mind as a writer works. It has two parts. These parts of different names in psychotherapy. Person One is the subconscious and other kind of dreamy minds. All off your creativity initially comes from person to is the ego. They deal with the real world, and they're trying to think about how is this dream actually going to become a reality, you could take a religious view of it. You can think that person one is like God. He's like the messages coming from somewhere outside and person to is like the self. The mortal man has to interpret this and put it into words in neuroscience. Though these to different parts of our creative self have very specific names, they're called System one and system to system. One is the part of your brain that really does everything important, like it governs your whole body. It deals of your nervous system, keeps your heart beating. It does absolutely everything that keeps you alive. It processes all the millions of signals coming in from out of the world system to, on the other hand, is the path your mind that you're actually aware off. It's your conscious self and for anything to happen. System to has to do it, and that includes writing. So the rial trick of overcoming the difficulties of writing is getting System one and system to working together. How do we do this? I want to be very clear on something. If you want to get System one insisting to working together effectively, you have to train system to. If you listen to a lot of people talking about creativity, they will try and tell you that there is some secret way that you can not learn anything. You cannot develop any techniques or skills, and you can just rely on system one on. It will duel if you're creating for you on. I'm sorry, but this is wrong and you waste a lot of time trying to learn anything that way, so you have to train. If you want to be a writer, you have to learn the skills you have to learn about words. If you're working in the English language, for instance, you have to learn the difference between Latinate on Anglo Saxon words. Two different languages came together to form English, on which language use will make a big difference. To help people perceive you are, you have to learn about sentences. He had to be able to construct a good cumulative sentence or perhaps even a periodic sentence. Do you know the difference? This is the kind of thing you pick up in training. You have to be up to separate your paragraphs. If you're working characters, you need to understand beats so that you can write dialogue properly. These are the skills of the writer. You have to learn them. Otherwise, you'll find it very difficult to put anything effective into the world on. When I say training, I don't just mean reading books. I mean fucking karate kid Wax on wax off 100 times 1000 times 10,000 times toe actually develop these skills. That's what training is. And that's how you get system to your pedantic up tight corporate middle manager toe actually right. Well, System one, on the other hand, is still there, on what the old hippie wants is just to be listened to. Happy in your loves, the idea of self expression, and it loves the idea of understanding the whole universe and everything in it. And that's what system one is very good at. It comes out of wonderful ideas, and it tries to tell them to system to and system to fucking north. You have to get your pedantic corporal many middle manager. Listen to the old hippie and you and when these two guys work together effectively, then you'll start to produce really, really good writing and then so being hard writing will once again be fun. Writing will be cathartic, and this is what the writing practice is about. If you approach your writing not as a task, no as a dream and not as a job knows a way to make money back to practice. Ah, way to grow away, to learn skills and apply them to your imagination. Then you start to find your writing. Develops developed strongly, and it develops quickly on the writing. Practice is all about providing you with ways to develop your practice as a writer. 3. Why is writing easy?: Hello. My name's Amy Walter. Welcome to the writing practice way. Why is writing easy? Think back all the way to your childhood to the first story you were ever told. Well, maybe the first story you ever saw. Where were you? Were you sitting around in a circle in the school classroom listening to the teacher? Maybe you were home in your bed having a story read to you. Player parents. You've bean absorbing stories since you were a tiny, tiny child and they're buried deep in the subconscious of your imagination, just waiting to come out again. Think about all the stories that you've seen for your entire life, however old you are now what's your favorite film? Take a moment to think about. How many films have you seen? You've probably seen thousands of films tens of thousands of hours of television. What's your favorite book again? Take a moment to think about it. You probably read hundreds, maybe thousands of books. You've absorbed stories from across our entire culture, and they're all waiting inside your head to come out again. And it's not just the stories that you read what you've seen on the television that are waiting to come out your mind. In fact, your entire brain is a machine designed to invent until stories, everything that you observed in the world around you goes inside your mind. And the way that your brain makes sense of it is by fitting it into a narrative, a narrative about how the world works on about who you are as a person who yourself is. What all of this means is that when you sit down to write, the stories are ready and raring to burst out of you on. If you had the techniques to write them, writing could be tremendously easy. If your imagination is working together with your conscious mind with the techniques that you've developed as a storyteller, then you enter what's commonly called a flow state thes. Two hours of your personality work together, and you simply write as though it took absolutely no effort at all. The stories come out on the techniques that you've learned to put them down on the paper, come into play, and everything just rolls along like a machine that you don't have to do anything to control. You already know everything you need to know about stories to write uncredible book, but toe enter that flow state of writing to make writing easy. It's very important to train to develop the techniques that you need to tell the stories that you want to tell. It's tempting to just rely on all the stories that, if you've heard in your brains basic ability to make up amazing stories. But without that other side about the training, you can waste hundreds and thousands of hours in frustrating efforts to get words on the page. Where is there some focused, intense learning? You could develop techniques really quickly and start writing stories that your imagination is waiting to tell. 4. The thematic genius of Iain M Banks - part 1: So im already to record a video for you. But it's a really, really rainy day here in Bali. It's so raining, where in monsoon weather on you just wouldn't be able to hear me. So what I'm gonna do is wait up now, 20 minutes on, see if the weather improves and see if I can tell you about the subject off my guns. Oh, lit crit video today. Yeah. All right. Still rating on. It's still raining. Store eating. It's still raining. Still raining. Okay, so I have finally come inside is a very rainy day here in Bali. Might still be able Teoh here some of the rain drumming pitter pat up on the roof about me But maybe that will just add some atmosphere. The eagle eyed observers among you may be able to see something slightly different about me today. Yes, I'm sporting and sporting something of a beard. Let's pretend just for the moment that this is in honor. But the writer who will be talking about today who was somewhat well known for his beard, which was quite a lot flop for you. Bruscia, a writer whose beard was considerably bushier than mine and no, it's not. Ernest Hemingway is, in fact, in banks in end Banks in his SciFi manifestation. So I really have quite history with thesis science fiction novels of Iain M. Banks, specifically the culture novels which we're gonna be talking about today. Benzes No, actually best known for the culture novels. His debut novel, The Wasp Factory, a number off his literary fiction novels, were at the time the things he was famous ball, his science fiction novels and especially the culture novels had become, I think, his longest lasting works, and I think they're going to be most important. And I genuinely believe that a century from now, maybe even two or 300 years from now, we'll still be discussing the culture novels of Iain M. Banks. I won't be You Won't Be Well, we did. Unless, of course, the culture of Vietnam backs has come to pass on, get in the way that he envisioned in our very far future. We're living for many centuries and I think the culture novels have lasted on will continue to last because they create a really powerful mythology, and this is what we're doing in science fiction. We're creating mythologies about our scientific world. So way, way, way back in the past, when we told stories like Fetus in the minor. So that waas a mythology off the ancient Greek well, and we need more apologies for our modern world. They help us understand the world. And I honestly don't believe that any science fiction writer has created a mythology as pertinent to the situation off our modern life. As the culture novels of Iain M. Banks. The culture novels have already I lost it almost the whole off the rest off the space opera genre that was published around the same period on most science fiction novels and most literary novels, Very few books have a life span off, even post of three decades. I picked up my first culture novel, which was considered sleepless, very dark narrative, which puts off some readers. In fact, many tour science fiction genre readers don't like the culture novels. Why? Why do some science fiction readers many science fiction readers, in fact, no, Like the culture novels? Well, it's because CNN bites, like many British, specifically Scottish science fiction writers, was interested in challenging conventions in the genre. So in the space opera genre. The hero who is often a secret agent. Goble on epic mission across the galaxy. And he saves the universe. That's not what happens in considered Cleavers. There is a secret agent. He is on a mission, but it's clear from the beginning he's essentially on the wrong side on the outcome of his mission. Minor spoilers has absolutely no influence on the war that is being Ford's is part of I'm Not Makes instead of liberty really dark story. As a teenager, I absolutely loved that, and I continue to love it. It's a novel I probably re read five or six times every few years since I first read it. Now is 14 might empower my way through the other culture novels that prevailed about time tracking three of them. So we have considered Lieberson in the second player of games, which I honestly rate is one of the single greatest novels of all time. I think my favorite culture novel, but not the one we're gonna be looking today. Use of weapons as well was out, but I don't think book we're gonna be looking at today, which is succession. I don't think the accession had Bean published at that point. In and Backs is one of the writers who define science fiction for me, winning Gibson over in the more fantasy genre. Neil Gaiman. I know we're all writers who were pinking and coming into the professional career around the same time, so it's not surprising that they really to find the genre for me. But they did more than that, particularly in and Banks. I tried to read a lot of other space opera knowledge. I'm not going to shame the office of those novels. I'm surely did a perfectly good job within that context. But my honest opinion and I simply think it's it's the truth is the There were no other books, no other books, none. Zero Nada Zip. Nothing like the culture novels in the Space Opera. Jonah, you might point out the arc of science fiction novels in the Danish cycle, written by US Grin. Think they're spectacular in a different way. The culture novels did something very special. They created this amazing mythology, but that's no the reason I think on its own that they've lost it. I think the reason Iain M. Banks wrote Spectacular novels last 30 years, but I think we'll last quite possibly 300 years in the popular imagination. Or even longer is one thing. And that's a theme. Oh, but come on, Damon. I hear you say lots of lots of science fiction novels have themes. They have ideas of all kinds in, and that's really what I'm pointing to here. Science fiction, on the whole, neglects has concepts, have huge ideas that it wants to explore. It doesn't necessarily do things very well. So what do I mean by these two definitions? You might quibble with my definitions, but I think for writers, particularly the separation is important and interesting to think about. On the one hand, you have ideas and concepts. Culture novels are packed full of ideas. One idea would be how well far future societies inhabit planets, and maybe they'll live on a little. Rains are a big part of the culture in which Iain M. Banks stole from a more famous science fiction writer. But he's not a very good writer, so maybe didn't deserve the idea on CNN backs it much better. That's an idea. A high concept might be, uh, let's skip. Let's skip into another book to give you a really clear illustration of this difference between themes and concepts. Harry Potter Everybody understands Harry. You've seen the film to happen. Read books. You probably read books. What's with high concept In Harry Potter, it's a boy is an orphan boy, and he's going to magic school. That's a great concept, exploring the idea what magic school will be in the sorting hat. Diesel ideas, how the book along and neither interest. The idea is where you're not, and that's somewhat a problem with ideas. They're fascinating to the person who's talking about the ideas. But not many other people might be particularly interesting. There's a relatively small audience of people who are tuning in for a story about a ghost magic school. Believe it on. Despite the success of Harry Potter, the Harry Potter books are successful because off the beans, that's what makes them universe. And this is the point, as a writer, thinking about things. They're the aspect of the book that's gonna be understood by a very broad audience because teams talk about basic, profound issues of human life. So what's the theme of Harry Potter? The same for all seven books. His friendship community. You might say it's Harry's relationship with his friends that defines was a killer. Where is in contracts? Baltimore is defined by his half friends. You have minions, servants. That's what defined him is evil. So it is FEMA. Friendship makes Harry Potter really great power laws. That being really, really, well when you like books or not Rolling back to N M backs Banks is rarity among science fiction writers because culture novel is particularly their best explore really found feeds on. To illustrate this, I'm going to look at, I think, my second favorite culture novel, but the one that is strongest in terms of its thematic structuring. And that is the novel exception. We're not going to talk about the whole off accession today. We're gonna look just first chapter, but what I want to focus on from a writing perspective, it's how in the first chapter, which is presented as a in and back, sets up all of the themes that accession will be. Exploring the theme of accession is probably one of the greatest on most universal themes. Story can explore is the theme of change. How things change. What change and in the context of culture, this is imports. Because the culture of a society that doesn't have to change it's extremely powerful. All the work is done by intelligent machines. Humans live in a champion not generally faced with profound forms, a change. So in accession sauce The question. What does it mean? Any utopia in a society doesn't have to face change when change dance. Happy face Prologue. I hope you can see that. Can you see that? And no, no. Back on me. Back on me now I don't really want to be losing attention to a book. This is This is about people who cares about books. Nobody read books anymore. Do you read books If you just watch YouTube? 5. The thematic genius of Iain M Banks - part 2: polio a little more than 100 days. In the 40th year of her confinement to jail, Gillian was visited in her lung tower overlooking See by an Avatar. But the great ship What's? That's a fantastic opening paragraph from Banks. He's giving you narrative. He's giving the information exactly story, and he's already set out on the cold feet more than 100 days into a faulty appear to find. So working with time straight away, we're working with strange lengths of time. 100 days is the 40th year we have this image of a lonely tower overlooking the sea on a great ship that's hard. This is doing away kinds of things, and I think, but most of all time bringing this theme off change. The ship's avatar called itself a more fear, which apparently met something reasonably found in the language to jail, did not know, never considered what study it. The Mafia was gaunt, pale on lodging, this creature almost skeletal e. Then on a fall head total in jail, who wants itself boats lined up and told the last five years or so the APP has taken to dressing all in black, and it was in black leggings, actually, on a black short jerkin here. Now it's cropped lawn chair covered by similar skulk out You took cap off from about to jail, smiling. No one said, Jay, good morning, are you? Well, you got well, thank you, child Say who had long since given up protesting at or being bothered by such probably redundant niceties. She was still convinced that ship monitored closely enough to know exactly how well she wants. And she was, anyway, always in perfect health was nevertheless prepared to go along with pretense that it did not watch so scrupulously and so so again. This is an interesting residence of fear of change because more Pia has the gun 12 years ago dressing in a predictable way when yours to jail. Are you well, a question of most humans. Think about course. The jail is, well, nothing in her world. Change it and you never get changed is constantly monitored by God like machine that could sold any button that she faces. So we're in a situation of Stass is they're very great stats. It's which has a single, very powerful symbol comes up suit. Digeo sipped her drink breathing. It's wolf make its way down the front within her a child star and she cutting her very gently without really thinking. So we know that jail is is pregnant way Have the image off fairly extended the pregnancy and the women her childhood stuff. But we know that she's been in the talent 40 years is holding on to these pregnant. So now this is a really from a literary perspective. This is an incredibly simple A pregnancy which has been held in Stasis. What does that say about the idea of change? Because the ultimate symbol it changes birth. What more profound change is there, perhaps other than death? Booth World I'm about to be held in a kind of Stasis means that change is non existent in the situation where the simple exists. The avatar gaze seemed fixed on one particular hollow screen jail, twisted on the couch to look in the same direction. Discovered violent action in a couple of screens displaying the views from the gas giant buying school of the habitats. Food chain topping predators. Sharp arrow headed. Things been like missiles venting gas from steering or offices were shown from different angles as they fell together out of some towering column, our sweat clear atmosphere down upon a baby. Good, like grazing animals, plus too near the edge of not winning the idea. In creature scattered, some sample unfolding, some beats uncritically away to side, some disappearance, bold in fright into the cloud. Creditors darted, spawn amongst them, most missing that quite a few connecting, fighting, slashing. I kill him so immediately not to this symbol. Off stats is the lack of change. We have this image off its opposite brimful. I have seen a Sabra jer that detail and have protected tower by the sea. I don't have to deal with. She looks out side the nitro, which a human being is born into. She's being pulled out. That complete gile nodded. Migration time up there, she said, breathing seasons. She wants to grains of being tort upon go down by copter, basal body privileges, mouths to feed, she said. Quiet mouths to be. This reflects back on the pregnancy. Gerald isn't having to feed her was held in a kind of cement stats. It's That means she's not having to do practices. She's not having to go out looking food she certain an entirely artificial environment. This isn't a based life. It is beautiful, isn't it? The appetite said, sipping a drink again. A glance to John, who was looking surprised in a way, a Mafia quick. So this is opening up another facet, that theme of change, that the being used, maintaining changeless state sees a beauty in something very violent. Beauty, intellect. That's very dog. This is important to the way that back steals with themes, way about stories that gives you something many people would would love. The idea of living in Utopia and then you need undercuts it with question of give this u turn. Is there, in fact, something murderous? It's hard. What's the cost of Utopia? Brilliant job in a paragraph, John, Not it's low in its own way. Yes, Holtz, she leant forward and put her goblet onto the car round table. Why you hear staying more? She asked. Stores here quits connection. The ship's representative look stark, and it came close to job fort, spending its strength to see how you are. Yeah, General said. Well, she said, we have established by well, child, a more here asked. Joe was losing patients more here. Speaking of the shape it's going off, you have time to a woman with a strange no wild look in its eyes for money was worried something had gone wrong. The ship had suffered some terrible Ingenieria division had gone quite mad. Our girls fellows started as being half now already a more pure abandoned its own united quick devices. Then the black preacher unfold itself from chair on pace to the single A small window scene Gordon aside, countries to respect you put its hands to its arms. Come on. How great is this? Okay. I haven't even read lying that you need to know. It's great. Like everything might be about to change child into the team. Bad. So we had stats. It's set up. We have this amazing symbol, child. The symbol changed out. Stats is on. Now. Backs just rips into the change. Everything might be about to change. Job Avatar set on early, seemingly addressing the window, he glanced back of her for a moment, clasped its hands behind its back. See, you may have to become stone or steel sky to a new, and I may have to company, and this is how banks kind of grams that match because it's Slade composed into coal, the sea may have to become a stone or steel Scott to amazing images. New and I may have to part turned to look at her, then came over to the West saddened perch on the other end of the couch. It's been brain. Harvey made national proportions. It's stared into her eyes. I'm like a stone still worrying about helping the Avatar ownership. What you need. We, that ship the movie, a set place, one hand on trust women finally have to do thing to do to help him. What sort of I think the world work quite well here changes. 6. The thematic genius of Iain M Banks - part 3: to go up into whether FEMA's going the ship sleep service, that Charlie's on board is going to become a massive washer, and it's going to take part a battle that could change shape off Galaxy in a fantastic Christian notes. The entire novel Sleeper Service generates an entire fleet fouls as hundreds of thousands of warships from itself that settled situation novel. Sorry, sorry, spoilers, but that gives you an idea off the theme of change because where Banks takes this, it's a contrasts of number of tears. A change way have this very personal story Gile, who is living 40 years in this fantasy world that's being run by this godlike ship in the reason she's, that is because she was confronted with found kind of change. She was in a love affair, a profound, intimate relationship that led to a pregnancy and back to twin pregnancies that both parties we're carrying, then that's tragic of it, which disrupts that this is really interesting. If you bank set itself in the culture of well, weather's hurt change, there's almost no tragedy, but there are still certain forms of tragedy on. One of these is losing intimacy, and he doesn't matter how powerful you are, how much control you have over your well. And this is what the cultural barely represents. It represents control over the world. For people ourselves living today, you have an unparalleled control over. Well, we think this makes us help the banks of suggesting that it doesn't make a powerful a toll so that scientific knowledge about technology we're still just as painfully traumatized by change, in this case, losing intimacy as in any other situation. And then thanks Meritus in a grand story. His story is far from the personal as possible, a story that includes the entire galaxy on the whole of the culture, because what's the culture is tremendously powerful. It suggested that there still are more power things out there and into the world of the culture comes the accession. What we think is a tremendously powerful black body in space, and we don't learn what the accession is. In tremendous detail, we give himself towards the end of the novel. But again, the exceptions air symbol symbolizes power. It's the ultimate power. It's far more powerful in the culture on or agriculture's utopian valleys. The moment the exception comes into the story. Go out of the window. So we've given the cultural utopian society controlled by nine God life machine intelligence. But actually you turn your culture is entirely situation. It depends on a certain set of values that they have. Power Control assumes those bad news. Our challenge. The individuals in the culture, the minds who operator individual humans, agents of special, certain senses where the but begin acting in ways that I'm not utopia. I'm here. Thanks for bringing together as he does the wonderful composer of narrative, that again and backed Waas. He's bringing all these friends together into a wonderful commission that are thematically driven around the theme of change. What it means when we face change forever how we are. I'm not going to read more about the chapter. I think that's enough. I'm just going around out by talking about this idea off beans, Infection in and Banks does wonderfully. He is amazing composer themes, but what does it mean for a story to have things? Let's think about what this story is for a second. If you pull it by courts, the rhetoric of story you will be able to share that I was gonna explore this in more fully on the one hands a novel, another kind of story, but with boats in the novel here create your Martian into its war. They do this by creating counters, creating scenes on placing all of this into a structure. And this creates the infection story. Mechanic, you wish. Just do this. That's we fought about beginning of the talk. This is what a lot of genre fiction for a lot of science fiction, what space opera often does. It just creates a story, and that would be great. But the reason that the culture novels banks is writing as a whole, they're gonna outlast all of that work. Just tell you a story is the same time they present a dramatic arguments because this story is presented in a text on that Texas A whole bunch of words on a page. Or if you're working another medium, it could be a whole bunch of pictures on a screen or having your medium What? It's a text, a linguistic text, the vigil test, and you can tell your story. But it also conveys information same time. So what great writers do is they tell you a story in the undulating this story with a dramatic argument. And it's the two at the same time, the narrative on the same story on the ideas, Inter playing with each other that creates something fascinating. And that's what the culture novels. That's what accession is eats and fascinating objects. Because it's a great story. It's for Matic, a wonderful exploration off change. Dixie's the Mastery about craft, story on scene, overlapping fruit symbols, images, characters, events, narrative tune. It's all of this working together with the story to make novels so incredibly wonderful. 7. How does M John Harrison enter a story? Part 1: There's always so many animals around in Bali right here to my house. Cats, toads, snakes, bats, all kinds of things. It's one of the things I really love about being here. So it's raining here in Bali, So I wasn't able to go on my run this afternoon, which I four left a good opportunity to make a short video. I don't have any idea what to talk about on going to think of something, and then I'm gonna be right back with. So I made myself a really fantastic glass off ginger on lemon tea should show you in focus because really, that's where the focus should be should be on the team on what I want to talk about is the writer and John Harrison, or specifically, a question that I have been thinking about quite some time, which is how does and John Harrison enter story. And for me, this is a fascinating question because I'm a storyteller. That's my professional work. That's my creative work, and I'm fascinated by how stories are told on the page. And if I think about the writers who are most skilled on your almost interesting the way approach telling stories. Number one on that list is N John Harrison holding up My Kindle Here, which has his relatively new short story collection. I think it's the first collection from him for somewhere around decades. You should come with me Now. Harrison's story collections have fascinating titles. His earlier collection is called Things That Never Happened Brighter, Who's kind of family wrapped up in the world. Scifi and fantasy. That's a really interesting title, because what are these stories other than things that never happened? And there's also ways that element in my caress ins work off the unfulfilled fantasy, which again is a thing that never happens. Other times what I've written about my Karasin, I called him the science fiction writers science picture might or the fantasy writers fancy right or weird writers were writer. And while these are fair enough statements there, no really being battered him as a writer because he's that's more importantly to other things. He's a massively skilled storyteller, which is what we're gonna talk about in detail through the course of this little video. But he's also something I think more important, which is a writer or creator about the experience off creating. I'm very often the dog elements of creating. Mike Harrison is a writer who's really given his life to the craft of storytelling, from editing New World magazine, a very young age being published in Inter Zone, a progression off work through kind of weird, hard science fiction into weird fantasy and the draconian novels on then onto to What I Guess you call his most mature work, which you might phrases literary fiction. But it's always weird, fantastical on to some extent, deliberately broken on. What all of this work tends to feed your back on is Mike, So life. He's often, as I think, we'll probably see when we look at the stories he's Upton in his stories to an extent named or AnAnd on. Even when my isn't specifically in the story, Why isn't this story is this sense of what it means to be outside the world, which is the role of the creator toe look at the world in Sometimes they're sometimes frank , sometimes abstract, sometimes quite horrifying terms on the metaphors that my carrots explores any stories I think really metaphors about the creative life where it leads us, and as we look at this new collection. Come on, let's have that focus for a second. Yes, OK, now back to my place. As we look at this new collection, I think some of that will come through. But bear in mind the question that I'm thinking about. How does M. John Harrison Mike Harrison ends her story? Because that's the question that I'm fascinated by, You know, we have, particularly today and kind of commercial mainstream fiction, a very conservative approach to what we do. We have a limited first person. We limited third person. Sorry, we have the first person perspective, and that's about how we tell stories, as I've written about another times many writers today, many of the Marine commercially successful, but creatively and all that interesting. But what I call television pros What they have is that television episode or movie going on in the head, and they're trying to describe all the images from on the page and makes a break flat, very slow Pro stars. Mike Harrison is not that writer. He's doing many, many more profoundly interesting thing. You should come with me Now is a wide roaming story. Collection is love number stories in here, and they go from the very short. I'm rather rotten, very reflective on the nature of story, like Elf Land Lost Policies. Which industry like Harrison really looking back on his own history and fantasy, writing on some of the strange cliches that fantasy genre dives into. And then they also include the longest stories that my car, Sinese, best known for stories that you might put in the were tradition stories that often set in urban environments in one way or another shattered environment with something uncanny strange with fantastical. Whatever you will. If we look at one of these stories in order to failure, I don't know. That's the exact Pronounce the ocean you're going for Mike in order. Taylor is how I landed on it. Let's I'm gonna let's read the beginning of this story and actually see how it's working here. Remembering the question. How did Mike Harrison and a story in Order Hotelier, The 10:30 a.m. train from Waterloo lies abandoned by its passengers, who have, after Hartman hours wait to camp to platform nine on the 11 a.m. I find myself sitting opposite a man in a dark pinstripe suit to women who have lost their reservations because of the move from one train to the other. Wonder angrily up and down the carriage, followed by their depleted husbands. That's nice, innit? Chaos in it, they say to one another. There's no book seats. It's disgraceful. And so it is, or it any rate tiresome. As the 11 a.m. finally pulls out 12 minutes late, the pinstripe man and I exchanged glances. It's getting worse, he says. For a moment. I think he means more than just the railway service, but he's only being polite. So that's already interesting class power girl, because we start with this single sentence that's in neutral perspective. And then we drop into the class person I actually little later in the story revealed Tag nexus. Females have the right voice for, and then we switch to the observed perspective of these two disenfranchised passengers, who are wondering up carriage there rather funny accents and then a perspective off a male passenger sitting opposite the point of view character. So in the space off one paragraph, Mike Harrison has dropped fruit all off these points of view, and this gives the's story kind of kaleidoscopic death and only the space off one opening paragraph are not going to read more of in order Italian. It's fascinating story. The character is kind of head off into this odd, um, Germanic hinterland. Or to Taylor, which has erupted through Britain in my reading of this story, kind of expresses this a new spoken Anglo phonic, borderline fascistic underbelly off Britain that in the urban lands that we inhabit, we don't think about this is the world that voted for Brexit on This is the world that would bring back the death penalty. But there's also something more a list about this. Well, we feel Mike seems to be exploring all of its in in in order. Italian story climaxes with this sudden shift again, in point of view, where we've been looking for the eyes off the female character who we then learn, is a 50 something lawyer very brisk and abrupt because we see the notes that the male passenger has bean making about on. The story terminates with sudden shift in point of view. And this is the thing to think about with Mike Harrison's writing how he cuts together in prose fiction these points of view to create completely alien strange, fascinating qualities to his stories 8. How does M John Harrison enter a story? Part 2: rockets off the western suburbs is a tiny, fragmentary micro story in the hospital collection, and it begins like this. Listen on a steady, straight down range, no wind, a car halts of corner pulls away, an acknowledgement of its own muffled existence. Tyre noise is louder than engine noise against this, the tendency of things to be against this, the tendency of things to be this is just for five sentences. And again we have this come together. Set a point of views. Listen, there's a voice commanding you toe listen on its steady, straight down, but just a fascinating sentence construction because it splices together two different ways of seeing no wind, a car, ports of corner pulls away an acknowledgement off its on muffled existence. So for one word, we have a flash of the cars point of view of the world, its own muffled existence and then the course. This final sentence against this, the tendency of things to be against the noise, the sounds in the world, the tendency of things to be beautiful, self storage. Let's just begin reading this story, and I think once again about how Mike is getting into the story. self storage. I put most of my things into storage when I return to London. They've been there ever since in a building at the end of a coldest thanks somewhere in Hackney, where at that time I had friends who could find the cheapest way of doing anything. I signed for one of the smaller units. And it's true that much of what went in there is junk kitchen equipment. Some furniture, including the food tonic, slept on for nine years, so impregnated with sweat seemed much older to ethnic rugs on a wicker table. I could have left it all behind. I brought it home out of what I now understand who are being contradictory impulses. The smaller items were packed into cardboard boxes, unwrapped, andan dusted, as if I didn't want to acknowledge them as if they're fragility. Might sold some problem for me personally. Tronics ornaments, including a China relevant a thin gold wristwatch, which had stopped working long before I set out in 1986. Why did I take it over there, let alone bring it back? There are a lot of books. There are a lot of cardboard files for the contracts stuffed in Among switch, I found three short unpublished accounts of my state. Instead of boxing these, I kept them back to read on the flight home. Even now, after a decade back in London, they appeared to me to be written by someone else. They don't seem to belong to me or to my present way of looking at things or to any way of looking at things I might once have had they contradict one another, all three of being generated on a typewriter rather by computer. I don't recognize the type Face on the pages, though roughly false cap are uneven length single space hastily written over in reading, cut up, pasted back together with a kind of patient staring. I lived the whole of that year. The first begins in a longhouse with a single corridor running past every Oh my God, just reading the opening of that story. The first time I read it, I read it back a second time. So this is the first time now that I'm reading it aloud. I feel an intense sense of excitement as a reader and as a writer, because they're so much debt and complexity. Just those opening paragraphs like a labyrinth of intersecting points of view. Intersecting timelines. Find your let's look back quickly. Self storage. I put most my things into storage when I return to London, so we know there was a return to London. They've been there ever since. We know that we're a long way ahead of that return to London. This was back in the time when the Noriega had friends who could find the cheapest way of doing anything. One amazing image. Who are those friends? I could have left it all behind that brought it home. And what I now understand. What, being contradictory impulses. How do you understand that you had contradictory impulses? I'm really continues like this with these fantastic, different sets of perceptions, which then reached their crescendo in these documents, which have been placed into storage, which the numerator doesn't recognize. He or she put them into storage. But he doesn't know anymore. He doesn't recognize them anymore in the same way that we don't recognize our part cells. When we look back on the matter at a greater rate, which is them? What a lot of the story continues to be about and again This is what Mike Harrison has done within for a full paragraphs of entering story. Compare that to say, who writes the whole chapter and does pretty much nothing at all in storytelling terms, since the baby seems to be something off a callback. One of my garrisons Most famous stories ignore Oh, which has a central character who's fascinated by references to a fantasy land called Exonerated that he finds across various works of literature. But of course, Signora was just orange spelled backwards, so you may well find that on its fantasy land, Ultimate character isn't ableto enter. And this is one of the repeating motifs or troops. Harris Only in Story, which is arriving at the fantasy portal to another world war drove or magic ring. Combining the actually reporting leads nowhere or many back to your own Monday night. It has to be over kind of plays on this, Uh, this is how the story begins. This is how Mike Harrison enters the story. Someone was half over before it had even begun, with a sense that my life was in the same state. I find Lizzie. Sure, she hadn't changed. They lived in East College now, she told me her and 10 in a little house, practically given them by a friend she had watched for a while as a buyer for John Lewis. You'd have been proud of me, she said. I was properly industrious. She had a Mercedes enjoy the money, Mr Kids, I wasn't getting home too late and 17 year old Polish girl looking after my family. I mean, can you believe it? Jobs, pounds, she said. As soon as you start thinking like that, she said she couldn't wait to see me. People count more as you get older. She was 37 now then, she said, and pregnant again. I burst into tears. That house was always full of sex. You will come and see us, Lizzie said. I'm not sure I said, Would that be a good idea? Please, she said. I thought about it. I drove across London intending to go there, but lost motivation somehow set up in Brixton or Black Keith. Instead, Lizzie kept phoning. Well, I go and see them again or no And then as the story develops, we find the psychological reluctance to dry closes houses because Lizzy on the central narrator because these two characters have been having an affair and the parents extremely painful and betrayal off. 10. Even I made perfectly clear that Tim and the narrator really aren't friends. It'll on this story develops on. Tim is retreating into his loft on Generator, is recruited by Lizzie to try and templates Tim out of the lot. But he retreats further and further into the loft until, in the shattering climax of the story, we discovered that he is being joining this set off tunnels leading from the lots of east London and the suburban homes of East London up into on imaginary realm. But for this once blanked, the site is actually really and he gives us the reader and escape into the fantasy well that he generally denied us. Maybe you're softening like you are. You grow old or in allowing us defender see Escape, you have previously told us is impossible. Yummy, yummy, yummy is the most straightforward in a way, um, possibly the most direct story in the collection. It's also the most of starving, and I think the most simple on the best story in the collection. Um oh, see, I just kicks the camera and literally made the world. Um, I got my friend altogether, so I'm talking about yummy here. Clearly, I'm gonna cut up this little bit out. So I want to do is we do the beginning and the end of this story on Really? It's a simple story. It's about a man in his fifties who has a currently hard second has to go to hospital. And then he has to go through not just the recuperative process, but the process off, meeting his own mortality and understanding that death is coming on. Death really is represented in this story quite clearly by character called Yummy. Yummy is a kind of middle aged office administrator who keeps appearing toe the story. Central character. Increasingly ominous ways. Let's with the beginning. Yummy. In his late fifties short experience, some kind off cardiac problems, a brief but painful event, which landed him in an accident and emergency unit in east London. From Anne, he was processed to acute assessment, where they took his blood pressure to hourly intervals but otherwise didn't seem to know what to do with him. Everyone was very coronary care. Became of site are hallucination like the woods in a fairy tale. He was welcome but Childs cult, sometimes seeming to issue from a war directly beneath this one, sometimes from the wall of monitors and shoes behind his bed. It was a careful, precise little sound. Urgent yet determined to attract no attention towards dawn, a tall, languid looking man of his father's generation stood in the corridor by the fire door, calling Yummy, yummy intones, pitched between puzzlement and command. His head was almost entirely round his expression in some way surprise. He looked short up and down, made eye contact and said, Let's not be mistaken. You have a hell of a bruise. His head was almost entirely round. So this is, in a way, it's classic horror. Writing is very weird. It's intentional, creepy. It's psychological because from the very first appearance, we feel that this is some manifestation of death or mortality in the world. Now you want to skip to the to the end of story and dummies. Last appearance in the story short has left the coroner ward he's experiencing undergoing treatment. He's at home by day. He walked the streets chatting out loud to no one maintaining a breast pace, but always checking that his heart rate remained safely within the range or told the supermarket aisles foraging for products of green end of the scale. At night, he watched on demand television, worked on the guardian crossword puzzle. He had begun the hospital. He had to admit now that he had enjoyed a stay there, the warm at night, the regular coming and going. But the staff my day. He had felt safe. For the first time in his life, he felt safe for first time in his life. In his late fifties, he went for his belongings until he found the toothpaste to brush. He brought back from him from coronary care, laying them out on top of his chest of drawers, where he could see them along with a pair of red nonslip ward socks still in their packaging. What he was doing, that yummy climbs down the wall behind him and said, You needn't think of collecting a lot of old rubbish will help they all for that. Those chickens you used to mention Short said, I never saw them. How would they know? I often think of you on the street waiting outside the hospices and care homes in all Weathers. I worry on your behalf. Worry, feel self said. Yummy, not me. That's my advice. So this fantastically creepy a moment of yummy crawling down the wall behind, which is done with a kind of cinematic sense of timing, um, brings back this eerie sense of unease, creepiness, and then were thrown into a moment. Oh, great hope we exit story. Great, because Short is resisting this mortality. He's in a way, telling it, Fuck off. Um, Andi Death Yummy. The man doesn't know what to do about this. So when we think about the way that Mike Harrison enters stories, we must think about the way he leaves from the emotions he leads us with which strange and unsettling there not be standard emotions of storytelling. It's unusual for my to leave a story with a great sense of. I hope that many redesign show would find it rather dog. If you're a reader when you're only gonna read one short story collection this year, make it you should come with me. Now if you're a writer and you really want to kick into your a game of producing price fiction stories get this collection, Read it twice. At least study these stories because M. John Harrison is very best. If you enjoy this talk about how Mike Harrison enters stories, please come over and sign up as a patron or follow me on Twitter or just generally get involved with the discussion. Thank you very much. 9. The shattered realities of William Gibson: hello. Welcome to the first episode off the technology of fiction in which we are talking about the fantastic way that words written on a page transform into amazing, adventurous stories in your imagination. Today we're starting with one of my all time favorite writers, arguably the greatest science fiction writer of all time, one of the greatest prose fiction writers of all time, And that is William Gibson. The sky above the port was the color of television. Tuned to a dead Cattle is one of the most famous opening lines off science fiction, arguably one of the most famous opening lines off any novel at any time. It's helped transport millions of readers into the imagined world. Off the sprawl, dystopian dark future created by Willing gets initially in a series of short stories that were published in the collection Burning Chrome and then taken out to a mass audience in the 1984 novel Neuromancer. It's not like I'm using Casert, someone say as he shouldered his way through the crowd around the door of the chat. It's like my body's developed this massive drug deficiency. It was a sprawl voice and a sprawl joke almost 40 years after its creation. Spore Maze one off The most amazing dynamic on immersive science fiction universe is ever created. Today we are used to science fiction universes that exist on the cinema screen or in the digital realms off video games. So there's something of an irony that, having helped us understand phenomena like cyberspace on the Internet on virtual reality, that willing Gibson sprawl remains stubbornly linguistic universe. It's a place that we enter fruit printed words on the page on, thanks to the vision, the ability Andi technical writing mastery of its creator, William Gibson. Count zero, The second novel in the sprawl trilogy begins with virtuoso display off writing ability from Gibson. In the space of just 2700 words, he kills and then resurrects his central character and summons on the page this cyberpunk fantasy for which he was gonna become so famous. However, the strength of Gibson's writing isn't in the fantasy that he creates on the page. It's in the profound feeling off reality, but we experiences. We read his work, they said, a slam hound of Turner's Trail in New Delhi, slotted to his pheromones and the color of his hair. It caught up with him on a street called John. Danny Chung came scrambling for his rented BMW through a forest of bare brown legs, heading up tires. Its core was a kilogram of re crystallized exit Jean flaked TNT. You didn't see it coming. The last he saw India was the pink stucco facade of a place called Kush Oil Hotel. Turner is a corporate mercenary who we meet first of all, when he's quite literally below into pieces while on a mission in Istanbul. Because China has a good contract, he's extracted and he's painstakingly rebuilt from Body parts board in the open market. On it's the contrast of these mundane on fantastic elements a human body rebuilt, but only after we've established that this has come from contract negotiations that makes Gibson's writing so compelling. Turner's death is narrated in three stark sentences. They begin with the pronoun. They condenses the mercenaries mission into a set of snatched images. His resurrection is explicated in three paragraphs on idealized, hyper real Midwest American childhood of coffee Um, Wheaties. The Turner awakes from into the tropical green and sunlight that hurt his eyes onto a surgeon that we know only as the Dutchman. In three sentences to three paragraphs, the narrative continues to telescope inward, arriving a page link descriptions that drivers even deeper into the reality that Gibson is creating on the page. Turner, his phone into a kind of Buddhist Bardo state waiting for his eventual reincarnation back into his new life. There's represented in a series of airports, encounters a symbolic environment that reflect the spiritual journey the Turner is being thrown into until a vast chunk of memory detached itself from a blank bowl of airport sky and sends Turner to Mexico. Gibson Cement This reality and his writing with a Siris of eyeball kicks super close up intensely describe details that helped to cement the reality of the story within our imagination. A Mexican bus journey is new. Rated around. The glass knob of a transmission lever cast around a crouching spider blown from clear glass hollow half filled with quicksilver mercury, jumped in, slid when the driver slapped the bus free switchback curves suede and shivered in the straightaways. It's the experience of lived reality in Gibson's work that gives it its power, and its then we'll also allows him to create the fact that he is probably most famous for, which is the way he then shatters that reality. Turner's death comes in the form of a slam held that we're beckoned to imagine as it comes , scrambling for a forest of bare brown legs. The mercenary doesn't recuperate in the hospital. He's regrown on slabs of collagen and shark cartilage. Police sacha rides. Ah, hologram postcard, a black metal credit chip, a dozen on Microsoft's that are embedded in a socket. Behind the the eyes. Turner is given a green whatever color his eyes were before we know we're now seeing the world for the eyes of man whose eyes are no longer his own. If Cal zero never quite again attains the fever pitch of these opening pages, it may be because they attain their on intensity. That's a very, very rare in prose fiction. They embody the power off the science fiction genre at its best to take us into imaginary worlds. But more importantly, the power off prose fiction at it's best to a Mercer's into something that feels like absolute reality. On they demonstrate the power of willing Gibson, a truly great writer of prose fiction to master the craft of place and words on the page in such a way as to create a reality and fantasy. Guys, thank you so much for watching the first episode of technology of fiction. The second show notes below and click on the links for a whole host off. Further information come over to my patron paint, where you will find my notes for this episode, and also my scribblings over the words of willing gets on himself. If you enjoy, let's go ahead and like this video and subscribe to the channel for all the future episodes . Oh, the technology of fiction. 10. Your turn to shatter reality.: Hi, guys. Thank you so much for tuning in for that short talk about for my money, the all time greatest science fiction writer of all time willing Gibson. And now I want to set you a little practice, exercise and project to get you into shattering realities in the way that William Gibson does. How does Gibson do this? First of all, as we explored in the talk, Gibson builds a reality in this section we were looking at. This is the reality. All of, uh, somebody taking this trip across Mexico on having a brief, passionate love affair on on that reality. The details of that bus trip, the details of the decaying tourist resort On that level, the reality is absolutely compelling. You could almost believe it. A za true memory from Gibson's life perhaps even is based on a true memory as a piece of travel rep a Taj. And this is our starting point. We're learning how to shatter realities like the great willing Gibson. I want you to write 1000 words of a true memory from your life of a reality that you've actually experience is very clear. You only write 1000 words, that's all. You have to explore this reality and as much depth and detail as possible. What that reality is, is up. Do you take a few moments, think it through, find something that comes up the surface of your mind and then bang out 1000 words on that reality? Maybe give it second draft. Make it completely riel. Ondas Compelling. Take all of your rightly skills into that part of the project. And then Part two. What is Willing Gibson do with the reality that he's built? He shatters it with eyeball kicks. Startling moments. You can look back on the short talk for examples of eyeball kicks that winning gets and uses startling moments that shatter the reality with SciFi Were weirdness with fantasy. Take your 1000 word piece and shatter it with 34 or five. No more than that 34 or five eyeball kicks that shatter your reality with weirdness with fancy with SciFi imagery and ideas. This is where your imagination comes in. How can this be shattered? Let's say that my reality is a memory from my childhood, growing up in the tobacconist on the sweet shop that my mother ran when I was about five years old. I produced 1000 words in that reality. Where could it become weird? Well, what if the sweets in the tobacconists, some kind of alien egg there are completely shattered the reality? And this is the kind of thing that I want you to introduce into your 1000 words, but make it no longer the 1000 words. So when you have a 1000 word reality when you have shattered it with 345 eyeball kicks, submit that as a project that I'm gonna give you feedback onto that project both in terms of the reality of Bill on the way that you have shattered that reality with my ball kicks, I'd also like you, please, as an act of generosity, Teoh other students who have taken part in this short course to feedback on other projects which being submitted it possible two or three. That would be absolutely fantastic. Thank you again, guys, for taking part. I very much look forward to our feeding back on your projects.