Le Guin’s Speech at National Book Awards

In 2016 The New York Times declared Ursula K Le Guin as “America’s Greatest Living Science Fiction Writer” I wholeheartedly agree. HERE’S her Wikipedia page. The following speech was cut and pasted on this site from an article that first appeared in The Guardian (U.S. Edition) on the 20th of November 2014 which you can find HERE .This passionate acceptance speech is one of the best ever given by an author. So timely. So true. Read on…

To the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks, from the heart. My family, my agents, my editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as my own, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice in accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who’ve been excluded from literature for so long – my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction, writers of the imagination, who for 50 years have watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists.

 Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.

 Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximize corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.

 Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this – letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write.

 Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.

 I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.”

Ursula K Le Guin

You’re a Crime Fiction Writer If…

*You’re pretty sure that your web search history trips the alarms of: the FBI, CIA, and NSA, Homeland Security, MI-5 and 6. Plus, you’re positive that all of the above are currently working on a search warrant for your sorry-ass.

*You’re positive that in another life you were a great cop or a kick-ass detective.

*You’re positive that in another lifetime you were a successful criminal.

*Your smartphone is chock full of Police scanner radio apps. (Ok, maybe a couple).

*The theme song from the TV show COPS is your jam. (Or ‘I Fought The Law’).

*You’re obsessed with the grand poohbahs of Crime Fiction.

*You spend your free time researching bold crimes and bizarre murders, therefore killing your chances at a normal love-life.

*You think about visiting ‘the body farm’ but you’re too much of a chicken to actually do so.

*Your obsession with guns and ammo makes the NRA really fucking happy.

*You’re ‘familiar’ with a few shady cats around the neighborhood, even though they scare the bejesus out of you.

VergeLeNoirQuote

Hello From Crooklyn.

welcome2broolynMe on the phone with a potential mover;

Me, “Hey there, my name’s Verge and I’m looking to move on Monday. Can you give me an estimate?”

Potential mover, “sure thing pal, when are you moving?”

Me, “Monday”

Potential mover, “I’m sorry, can I call you right back?”

“Sure.”

CLICK.

I hate moving with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. But that’s the way life goes, always getting in the way of creativity.

After fifteen minutes of waiting for potential mover to call back I started calling other moving companies, actually scratch that, I called one other moving company and the guy on the other side of the line sounded really pleased to hear from a potential costumer.

Later, potential mover calls back, he says;

“So you wanna to move huh, where are you moving to? Buddy”

Me; “I’m sorry, I already hired somebody else to do the job. Thanks anyway.”

Potential ex-mover;

“Yeah sure no problem…”

CLICK

And just like that I said goodbye to Manhattan and said Hello! to Crooklyn (Crooklyn a 1994 semi-autobiographical film co-written and directed by Spike Lee—thanks Wikipedia—plus is the affectionate nickname I use when referring to one of New York’s toughest neighborhoods.)

Brooklyn is a different world (It seems that way to Me.) dig this: No Starbucks, Duane Reade, or even a Dunking Donuts for miles where I live now. No yuppies, no hipsters, no dreaded gentrifiers—and I fucking love it. (Okay I kinda miss Dunking Donuts.)

Remember I said I hate moving? Well here’s the thing; the moola I’ve been saving for the purpose of hiring an editor is gone, which means it’ll take a while for me to publish the short novel I’ve been working on for some time now. But do not despair my friends because it will get done. In the meantime I’ll be working on other material I’ve been wrestling with prior to my move to Crooklyn.  vergelenoir.com

That’s it, that’s what I’ve been up to these days, New Year, new home, new challenges.

Happy and Prosperous New Year my friends!

Fuhgeddaboudit.

CLICK…

Quote-Unquote

“You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken – unspeakable! – fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts!

Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them.

A little mouse – a little tiny mouse! – of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.”

Winston Churchill.