writing

It is written l…

It is written like this: “I checked out with K 19 on Aldabaran III, and stepped out through the crummalite hatch on my 22 Model Sirus Hardtop. I cocked the timejector in secondary and waded through the bright blue manda grass. My breath froze into pink pretzels. I flicked on the heat bars and the Brylls ran swiftly on five legs using their other two to send out crylon vibrations. The pressure was almost unbearable, but I caught the range on my wrist computer through the transparent cysicites. I pressed the trigger. The thin violet glow was icecold against the rust-colored mountains. The Brylls shrank to half an inch long and I worked fast stepping on them with the poltex. But it wasn’t enough. The sudden brightness swung me around and the Fourth Moon had already risen. I had exactly four seconds to hot up the disintegrator and Google had told me it wasn’t enough. He was right.”

That’s Raymond Chandler, mocking science fiction and providing an excellent example of how not to write it. It’s hilarious to see the inadvertent reference to Google there, keeping in mind this was written in 1950. But I found the quote through looking up a phrase in Ross MacDonald’s The Moving Target, “podex osculation” which Chandler also mocks in this collection of quotes about writing. I appreciate some good snark, which this certainly is, and no one could accuse Chandler of indulging in podex osculation. 

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