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The first few paragraphs are more for context, the last two were what I read to my Poetry Group.


Odd! When I began writing and trying to see, editors were like demigods to me. They walked in power, and bestrode the world. Their heads were cloud-high and their voice was thunder-loud and their glance lightning-sharp. Actually, I don't know about the last. I couldn't meet the eyes of editors; I was afraid to.

They had the power of life and death, and at their lightest breath, success (or failure) wafted your way. If their lordly whims were offended by anything in the manuscript, a negligent checkoff on a form meant that a secretary would return our marital with a rejection slip. Could a god do more?

But an editor can be fired, I eventually learned. And when he is fired, he is no longer an editor, merely an item in the statistics of the unemployed.

Not so a writer. He cannot be fired. He might be rejected, he might fail, he might starve, he might be forced to keep body and soul together by taking some menial (i.e. non-writing) employment, he might be ignored by the critics and denounced by the public--but he was a writer, a failed water, an unsuccessful writer, a starving writer, a writer. No editor could change that fact.


The rest of the book was good and bad for me. I enjoyed the actual mystery and trying to solve it. I liked the format of the story (very different) and the setting. I hope that Asimov enjoys his fans, writing, and the autograph sessions as much as he claimed in the book. That idea made me happy. But most books from this generation are strong reminders of how women are used mostly as sex objects, judged on their physical appearance, treated insultingly even when the intention was to treat them well (the concept of how to treat a female character well is sometimes shameful), and are the justification for the problems needed for the story to progress. At one point the main character in the book claimed to be a feminist, but he was most certainly NOT. There was one moment where an ugly women hit on him and stroked his arm and he made a small connection to the times he did that to women (although he was attractive, not ugly) and wondered if those women felt as repulsed by him in those times as he was by her at this moment, and that's the closest he got.

But oh did I love that quote about writers. :)

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