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Example text

Then she looked at me, rather sadly, and said: "Chip, you tell a good story. But, right now, there's a housewife somewhere in Nebraska, and we can't publish a first novel here unless there's something in it that she can relate to. And the fact is, there's nothing in your book that she wants to know anything about at all. " And after two more readings and an editorial conference, they didn't. The housewife in Nebraska has, of course, a male counterpart. In commercial terms, he's only about a third as important as she is.

And the more I'd thought about it and the more complicated a structure I'd planned it out to have, the longer it would take me actually to set down. When I was 23,1 wrote a long story in 11 days. The manuscript ran to 130 typescript pages—with wide margins: say, 75 pages of ordinary book type. But that was an endurance test I'd set myself, with mornings given over to first drafting, then, after a non-lunch, the rest of the day and a good bit of the night spent rewriting the previous day's work.

Needless to say, the conscientious SF writer tries to come up with a text that satisfies and subverts these expectations—exploits them, if you will—in rich, complex, and intriguing ways, satisfying in the long run whether satisfaction or subversion is the short-term effect at any local point. And, as I've also said, at the codic level, the two complexes of interpretative conventions (literature's and SF's) interpenetrate and overlap in many ways, many of which are linguistic, many extralinguistic.

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