Friday, May 29, 2015

It Ain't Over Til the Fat Lady Gets Shot

By Art Taylor

I was struggling to know how to respond to this week's question about what "genre mash-up" I'd most like to write in...until I got an email from a composer friend asking me about collaborating with him on a "mystery opera." We're planning to meet and talk about it soon—and just wish that we'd been able to chat earlier so I'd have more to say about it on my turn here at Criminal Minds! Updates later as plans progress. (And at least I got a catchy headline out of it .)

In the meantime, while I'm not a regular reader of science fiction and don't know that I'd successfully be able to write in that genre, I'm fascinated by the meeting of science fiction and crime fiction and have particularly admired a couple of forays into that mix. I've talked before on the blog here about William Gibson's Neuromancer, and several of Gibson's books tend to mix crime plots and near-future (or far-future) worlds to great effect. I also admired China MiĆ©ville's The City & the City; appreciate the works of Philip K. Dick, which consistently straddle the borderlines of several genres; and just loved Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union, which is more alternate history than science fiction but still worth mentioning. My wife Tara has been crazily fond of Ben H. Winters' Last Policeman trilogy—and I still need to catch up with those.

I guess I've suddenly defaulted to what I like to read or want to read instead of what I'd want to write! But always good to champion terrific books by others, right?

Happy reading!


Kristopher said...

The Sci-Fi/Mystery mash-up continues to impress. If you haven't read Lauren Beukes, you really must. Both The Shining Girls and Broken Monsters are some of the best this genre mash-up has to offer. I'm also a huge fan of Chris F. Holm's "The Collector" series.

As for the mystery opera, sign me up. We saw the World Premiere of the opera based on the film noir classic, The Letter, a few seasons back at The Santa Fe Opera (w/Patricia Racette in the lead). It was excellent. At the time, I remember thinking there should be more opera mysteries.

Of course, I have long had an idea for a cozy opera series, so it's no surprise that my interest is there.

Art Taylor said...

Thanks, Kristopher—both for the recommendations and for the enthusiasm about the idea of an opera. I've always wanted to go to the Santa Fe Opera myself someday, but the only time we were out there, our timing was off. Sounds like a good one!

Been sick today, so this is the first time I've actually checked in on my own post here. Glad to see your comment here!

Kristopher said...

The Santa Fe Opera is well worth a summer trip to New Mexico. It's quite an unbelievable place to view a production (especially when the production requires them to remove the back of the theater - which happens often. Seeing that desert in the background - often with thunderstorms on the horizon is incredible.

Certainly, one of my favorite opera houses in the US.