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Artist's statement

     My storytelling is based on two ideas melded together.

     1. Stories are like paths.  We follow the well-worn ones because they are familiar and comfortable.  We break out into new unexplored territory for the sense of excitement and discovery.

     2. Humans recognize patterns quickly.  We make the trip from innovation to trope in just a few steps.  

     Speculative fiction, whether science fiction or fantasy, pushes the boundaries of storytelling by creating outposts in the wild landscape of imagination.  Storytellers flock to these beacons of light, delighting in and sharing the new discovery.  Soon, a path is worn, a pattern emerges, and the foreign becomes familiar.  Then we wait for the next great leap.

     It all happens very quickly.

     But what if, instead of rushing along the path, the story takes a tiny detour?  A step to the left or right and the landmarks are still recognizable, everything feels familiar and safe, but nothing is quite the same.  Shadows fall at an unfamiliar angle and the earth feels different underfoot.  It might take time to explore, but what a fascinating place this can be.  Where the thrill of revelation hides behind every assumption.

     These are the worlds I hope to create.  Come read them.

     -Bill Olson

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