Nell Zink

All articles by this author

Early thoughts on <em>Purity</em> by Jonathan Franzen

Early thoughts on Purity by Jonathan Franzen

I’m not terribly optimistic. On average I hate all books. However, I love Purity.

In both Purity and A Little Princess, the meek inherit the earth. Some people might say that’s unrealistic, but note Jesus’ word choice. He said the meek would “inherit” the earth. He didn’t say anybody was planning to hand it over to them! He merely implied that after everyone else was dead, the meek would get their chance. The novel Chevengur by Andrei Platonov—a contemporary of Bulgakov’s—shows the way: it revels in the self-sacrificing heroism of humble warriors as they meekly pursue their ideals until everyone else is dead. They’re not bad people. Just armed. I hope somebody translates Chevengur into English soon.

Dispatch from Worldcon

Dispatch from Worldcon

“This one will be sexy,” the novelist whispered to me.

Since its inception in New York in 1939 (attendance 200), Worldcon has wandered. All-volunteer collectives bid for the right to host it, funding each con by enrolling members in an otherwise nonexistent World Science Fiction Society (dues start around $50 and rise as the convention nears). This year’s Worldcon—held in conjunction with Loncon 3—drew a record 10,000 advance memberships, 4,000 of them from the US.

Two Scenes

Two Scenes

Justin Bieber interns at Akashic

If you’re smart you take a number before you even start writing. They say not to take one until you have a finished manuscript. But believe me, there’s always time to finish a book between the time you take a number and when it’s your turn.

Quasi Una Fantasia

Quasi Una Fantasia

This essay will be a fantasy: varied and halting, devoid of high points, ceaselessly striving and failing to end. It begins with an intimate revelation: I have never had an abortion. Thirty years of untrammeled feminine heterosexuality, zero pregnancies. I never wanted children, so I used other methods of birth control, and they worked.

Early thoughts on <em>Purity</em> by Jonathan Franzen

Early thoughts on Purity by Jonathan Franzen

I’m not terribly optimistic. On average I hate all books. However, I love Purity.

In both Purity and A Little Princess, the meek inherit the earth. Some people might say that’s unrealistic, but note Jesus’ word choice. He said the meek would “inherit” the earth. He didn’t say anybody was planning to hand it over to them! He merely implied that after everyone else was dead, the meek would get their chance. The novel Chevengur by Andrei Platonov—a contemporary of Bulgakov’s—shows the way: it revels in the self-sacrificing heroism of humble warriors as they meekly pursue their ideals until everyone else is dead. They’re not bad people. Just armed. I hope somebody translates Chevengur into English soon.

Dispatch from Worldcon

Dispatch from Worldcon

“This one will be sexy,” the novelist whispered to me.

Since its inception in New York in 1939 (attendance 200), Worldcon has wandered. All-volunteer collectives bid for the right to host it, funding each con by enrolling members in an otherwise nonexistent World Science Fiction Society (dues start around $50 and rise as the convention nears). This year’s Worldcon—held in conjunction with Loncon 3—drew a record 10,000 advance memberships, 4,000 of them from the US.

Two Scenes

Two Scenes

Justin Bieber interns at Akashic

If you’re smart you take a number before you even start writing. They say not to take one until you have a finished manuscript. But believe me, there’s always time to finish a book between the time you take a number and when it’s your turn.

Quasi Una Fantasia

Quasi Una Fantasia

This essay will be a fantasy: varied and halting, devoid of high points, ceaselessly striving and failing to end. It begins with an intimate revelation: I have never had an abortion. Thirty years of untrammeled feminine heterosexuality, zero pregnancies. I never wanted children, so I used other methods of birth control, and they worked.