My Own Personal Grey

Mmm… Ken Scholes….


Back when I was a newbie author I went to a convention–my first convention as a "pro", though I didn’t actually have a book coming out for 3 months. In the Green Room I was introduced to a crowd of fabulous people who were all very friendly and nice to terrified me. Some of them I still manage to stay in touch with. Of those was a tall, ginger-haired guy…

And he was telling a story about himself that went sort of along these lines (this is the best I can remember it, not actually word-for-word):

See, I’d written this story about Lewis and Clark. Did you know that one of them owned a dog? Well, yeah, he did. And the dog was named "sea man"–you know like a sailor. And as I’m reading I come to the part where the dog rushes to the rescue of one of the men by the side of a river, barking as he came out of the undergrowth… but what I said was…

"And semen burst from the bushes!"

Oh my… semen… seaman… I should have read it first….

This very funny and self-deprecating man was Ken Scholes. And later I heard him read a short story of his own that was amazing and sad and surprising–about a colony of monkeys on the moon and what happens as they approach sentience…. It was creepy and wonderful and Ken delivered it well.

I read some more Ken Scholes stories and they were all strange and wonderful and had odd little endings that quirked off in unexpected ways and made me go "wow." One day while chatting to Ken at a con about various writerly things I said "you really ought to write a novel. You have such wonderful strange ideas, but you have to make them so short and they have so much potential to be big strange stories. People don’t know about you. Write a novel…"

Little did I know i was far from the first to say that or what was happening in the darkness of publishing as I did. But at the time, Ken said he wasn’t sure he could sustain a good story for a whole novel.

He was wrong. This came out today:

It’s the first of five and though I haven’t started it yet, the part Ken read tonight at his first-ever signing event was wonderful and creepy and strange. It’s not quite fantasy and not quite science fiction and altogether odd, but it’s pure Ken. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, to be sure, but it’s certainly going to be worth tasting.