View Full Version : Agents

Home - Discussion Forums - News - Reviews - Interviews

New reviews, interviews and news

New in the Discussion Forum

Pages : [1] 2

July 13th, 2002, 02:38 AM
Who are the really big agents of the SF/Fantasy world? You know, the ones who handle the really big authors and therefore obviously dont take any new clients? Just curious :)

September 22nd, 2002, 11:03 PM
My agent was Karen Carr out of St. Louis; Finesse Literary Agency. Very nice lady and greatly supportive, but not Madison Avenue "mine is bigger than yours" type agent. She is no longer taking or supporting her current authors due to health issues. So I will be looking for another agent myself.

PublishAmerica, who published my book, will deal direct, as you know. That still leaves us out in the cold looking for an agent to do those other things that agents do, like court movie deals.

September 23rd, 2002, 06:34 AM
Ricia Mainhardt runs RMA and has a nice pic of her and Ray Bradbury on the homepage of her website.

Some of the names on her web-site include

Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson. Robert Heinlein.

James Barclay
September 23rd, 2002, 12:26 PM
But presumably, you aren't waiting for an agent before progressing other media avenues for your work, Moybin?

Although you might not get too many meetings with tv and film types, that doesn't stop self help like getting advice on and writing tv and film treatments, supplying books and treatments to companies you think might be interested (along with your publisher's publicity people who ought to be happy to help) and so forth. Same thing goes for games producers, comics etc.

And not all literary agents are experts on other media by any means. They are there to negotiate when someone approaches them but getting people to approach is as much down to the author (in fact probably more so) as anyone else.

September 23rd, 2002, 01:47 PM

Good points all. Sounds like you have some experience at this, too. Probably more than I, as only 1 book on my trophy wall right now.

I entered the current short story contest (this forum) and will see how that does.

Movies ... Unlike someone in New York, London, Sydney or LA, being here 150 miles out of Chicago is rather like being in Antarctica when it comes to TV & movie media access. Chicago's claim to be the "Second City" is just hype. Oprah and her book club was a cute publicity stunt, but it did no favors to authors. If Oprah don't read dem strange books, none of Oprah's lemmings reed dem poe boy novels.

Sorry, but I had to slap a little ebonics in there just for spite.

One of the biggest problems (and I've been on this soapbox before) is the fact that it doesn't take as much imagination to write or read fantasy as it does hard SciFi. I know a lot of the writers on this forum are getting all bristled up for a fight already.

But waving a wand and a miracle happens is a lot easier than trying to explain a revolutionary (and as yet undiscovered) principle that allows cold fusion, or opens a wormhole, or just happens to bypass the speed limit on light. To be convincing in SciFi I think you have at least describe some of the hardware to make your effect happen. A magic wand, an incantation, or a unicorn is not very hard to describe. A magnetohydrodynamic plasma rocket (and they actually exist) happens to be quite difficult to describe to a layman.

So back to the subject at hand. Aren't any movie moguls wanding around in the corn of Iowa unless they are on the set of the current shoot.

James Barclay
September 23rd, 2002, 08:19 PM
Originally posted by Moybin
One of the biggest problems (and I've been on this soapbox before) is the fact that it doesn't take as much imagination to write or read fantasy as it does hard SciFi. I know a lot of the writers on this forum are getting all bristled up for a fight already.

It is difficult to begin to express how wrong you are. I'm not going to get into a debate on which is harder, save to say that writers of quality fantasy invest enormous amounts of time ensuring that the entire worlds, economies, magic systems, family trees and all the other myriad things that go to make a credible world. The fact that they do not indulge in star drives and re-routing the flux capacitor to enhance the timespill coefficient does not make them simpler or require of them less imagination. And I can't remember the last time I read about a wand being waved to produce a world saving miracle in a fantasy novel worth the name.

Remember also that good fantasy or good hard sf, whichever, will rely on its characters to make it live. You can have as many smart theories as you like but if your book reads like a college thesis, no one will read it. Ask anyone on this forum you like. I'm not saying you don't characterise - I'm sure you do. But your stance that something technical requires more imagination to realise than something, err, not so technical, just doesn't stand any scrutiny whatever.

I really think you should think more carefully befoe tossing out sweeping generalisations on subjects about which you clearly know very little.

And while I'm having a go, being in Chicago should not be a barrier if your book, or treatment is engaging enough. You will find the telephone, the mail and the internet useful in disseminating information. You could always adopt the shoe leather approach and leave 'antarctica' for a while to get your work around personally.

Example of success: Richard Morgan lives in Edinburgh. This is not the movie capital of the UK, not even close. His first sci fi novel has been optioned for film by a US producer (and I do feel that Edinburgh and LA are a little further apart than Chicago and LA). Why? Good publicity and a little perseverance but mainly because it meshes technology, people and plot in a story that should make a terrific movie.

I thank you.

September 23rd, 2002, 08:38 PM
One of the biggest problems (and I've been on this soapbox before) is the fact that it doesn't take as much imagination to write or read fantasy as it does hard SciFi. I know a lot of the writers on this forum are getting all bristled up for a fight already.

Sorry mate, but I have to agree with NOM for the simple reason that I write hard sci-fi, but can't really write fantasy at all.
I find sci-fi easy because it is (to me) the sum total of everything we are, and whatever we might become, which I find easier to predict than what might have happened thousands of years ago in a time of magic and mysticism.
A basic understanding of quantum mechanics and a little imagination is all it takes to understand (or create) the physics of what is basically a fantasy world in it's own right.
All the techno-babble I hear in Star Trek generally get's on my bloody nerves. The fact that it's harder to describe this to the layman, doesn't make it better than fantasy as I imagine the physics involved in summoning a spirit from another dimension, or throwing a bolt of energy etc are pretty damn complicated too.
Flying faster than light and throwing bolts of it are equally impossible so why give one more creedence than the other?

September 23rd, 2002, 09:28 PM
I'll just say that I stand corrected by individuals I will consider as peers.

Star Trek is the worst of both fantasy and SciFi. No consistency, next to no basis in fact, reality, or believable alternate universe, however you wish to quantify the boundaries.

Yet I will stand by the basic tenet of my statement. Where are the Jules Vernes of this millennium? I would like to think that I'm getting close. But the real test of science fiction is time. The very best writers will not be proven accurate until most are long dead. In the fantasy field there will be no proving, because it's fantasy.

Now I will provide a small challenge. When was the last time that a completely NEW fantasy creature appeared in print? I don't read it, so I have no idea, but I must guess it has been a long, long time.

In the SciFi arena the very best alien (and not just in my opinion) is Stanley Weinbaum's Tweel. Stanley Who? you ask. Yeah, he died in the 1930s. Isaac Asimov credited Weinbaum with being one of his guiding examples.

The next best aliens are the Moties in Larry Niven's "Mote in God's Eye" (my opinion).

Just about every other alien is simply a morph of some oddball human. In print, a true alien will be completely believable and totally unfathomable. You know: ALIEN. That describes Tweel to a tee.

I'm not looking to start an arguement, either. I am trying to say that for the kids coming out of school these days, damned few of them are smart enough to say "in principle a tachyon would be undetectable because we are going in opposite directions through time".

Basically I'm saying American kids are a lot less educated than we were coming out of high school in the 1960s. Hell, back then we had motivation: get good grades or go to a rice paddie and get shot. Where's the motivation today? And dumb kids won't challenge themselves by buying and reading involved, technical books, be they hard SciFi or well developed, complex fantasy. I can't tell you the number of people I hear at Walmart saying they would have to read the Lord of the Rings now that they had seen the movie. I doubt many will ever finish the first volume.

Takes too much thinking, and the words are too big..

Lastly, good for Richard Morgan. But what I'm looking for is an indepth explanation of what he did and did not do. That, of course, is the secret ingredient, and unlikely to be spelled out. Who did he talk to. How did he find them. What were the percentages of rejections vs. acceptances. When do you throw your hands in the air and say "They really don't like my stuff."

And since publishers are getting younger by the day, where does that leave us?

September 23rd, 2002, 09:42 PM
When do you throw your hands in the air and say "They really don't like my stuff."

You don't.

September 24th, 2002, 02:45 AM
Originally posted by kahnovitch

You don't.

I agree, you have to keep going.:D Though I often doubt my sanity in doing so......