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Susan Juby: Sci-fi and the bolognium theory
The Stephen Leacock-nominated author on why she can't consider herself a "real" SF writer. (Casserole has something to do with it.)
I am not qualified to dispense science fiction writing tips because my book, Bright's Light, isn’t true SF, as I learned after reading Larry Niven’s rules of bolognium. (Courtesy of David Gerrold’s Worlds of Wonder.) Bolognium are defined as those elements in a story that cannot be explained by current science. Niven suggests that if there are more than four pieces of bolognium in your story, it is probably fantasy. That’s how I discovered that I had created a bolognium casserole and baked it in a science fiction-shaped dish. I added some grated social commentary and topped the whole thing with allegory chips for fun. These are genreblending times."
Susan Juby is the author of Bright's Light, whose sci-fi credentials have been hotly contested. She's also the author of the critically acclaimed YA novels Getting the Girl, Another kind of Cowboy and the bestselling Alice series (Alice, I Think; Miss Smithers; Alice Mcleod, Realist at Last). She is also the author of the adult novel The Woefield Poetry Collective, a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. She holds a master’s degree in publishing. Susan lives on Vancouver island with her husband, James, and her dog, who would prefer to remain anonymous.