An Open Letter to Rosemary Kirstein

Dear Ms. Kirstein:

WC is a big fan of your science fiction writing. Terrific ideas, vivid characters, excellent writing and an absolute killer plot. You don’t just stand tropes on their heads; you spin them in circles, slice and dice them and hang them out to dry. The three (or four, depending on how you count) novels in your projected seven volume Steerswoman series are among WC’s very favorite set of science fiction books, ever.

There’s just one problem.

It’s now been more than seven years since the last book, The Language of Power (Amazon link) appeared. Heck, that’s not even your record, which is 11 long, long years between book two, The Outskirter’s Secret, and book three, The Lost Steersman.

You write a nice blog, but it doesn’t often report on the progress of the books, or even if you are writing. The last word WC has seen was in September 2010. See what WC means? You said then about a year to publication. Guess not…

Here’s the problem. WC’s friend Dr. Ken Philip is an even bigger fan of Kirstein than WC. But Ken’s a lot older than WC. In fact, he’s 80 years old. He’s worried he might not live long enough to know how the series turns out. As your fellow science fiction writer, Jo Walton, said more than three years ago, ” If you can stand reading a series written by someone brilliant who writes excruciatingly slowly but has no inconsistencies whatsoever between volumes written decades apart, you’re really in luck.” (Those are her italics.)

So, Ms. Kirstein, if not for this avid fan, then for Ken Philip: how about the next book?


/Wickersham’s Conscience