If I didn’t know it before, I know it now. The skill set required for writing is very different than that required for reading aloud.
I read from my new novel on Thursday night at Another Read Through, an independent book store on Mississippi Avenue in Portland. My “stumble through” must not have mattered too much, though. I had six attendees (I only knew two of them) and sold eight books – including two copies of my first novel, “A Larger Universe.”
The discussion period lasted as long as the reading. People seemed very interested in why I wrote and how I found ideas, especially for the “world building” in both novels. I’m not sure they were satisfied with my answers. No one took notes, but I got the impression that some in my audience will be writing someday, if they’re not already.
This was the second time I’ve read before an audience, but the first time I was the only author present.
The author “weaves” a most interesting tale while building a complex universe that encompasses not just humans but also “magical” beings from another dimension (or plane of existence) with varying powers, motives and emotions. While these beings can interact with the human world they are not all powerful but have limits, flaws and weakness. Even a hierarchy, much like those found in Greek, Roman, Norse Egyptian and the mythology of other ancient civilizations.
The blending of multiple characters’ point of view is handled very well, with clearly (for the most part) marked transitions. The author is thus able to give the reader a touch of humor and romance, along with the sense of adventure as mysteries unfold.
Why not five stars? It seemed to me that there was little character development. We do learn how some individuals were guided (perhaps manipulated might be a better choice of words) by outside circumstances and powers into fateful actions. However actual growth and changing world view seems to take place only in minor supporting characters such as the Imps and Dis.
True while the main human characters are at somewhat mature stages in life, when we encountered them. However there seem to be a lot of stereotypes. The humble solider who advances through the ranks to gain the attention of a princess. The seasoned veteran whose advice proves crucial. The princess who learns of the royal background of the “common” merchant / craftsmen allowing her to act on her feelings of attraction. The “mage” who uses an imprisoned magic being only to give credence to the saying “Be careful of what you wish for”
I was impressed by the various battles that take place, as strategy and tactics are highlighted as much as skill at arms and courage.
Overall I found the book entertaining, exciting, engaging and even educational, well worth the price and time.
Made corrections and submitted for the second proof copy.
Today, I received the first proof copy of my new novel “The Lesser Talisman.“
A hint of sunshine
And a touch of warmth brings out
The ladies in shorts.
From a person who logs into Amazon as panopticon7:
It’s not science fiction if the technology described is merely listed–to be science fiction, there needs to be an element of explanation; without explanation of any kind, whether through descriptions of use all the way through full expositions of actual or imagined physics, it is merely the panoply of science fiction, not actual science fiction. simply slapping labels on stuff–Gates, beings with many bodies, space stations, AI, sentient ships, guns that can shoot through anything–is imaginative fiction, no doubt, but without any aspect of explanation of the science behind it, remains only that and not science fiction. the test is pretty easy–if the plot works just fine without ever understanding anything about how anything works, it ain’t science fiction. if the plot can’t work without knowing the actual or imagined science, then it’s science fiction. and notice i say “science” and not just “rules.” rules are for fantasy. cause and effect relationships, whether speculated or actual, are the essence of science. magic (which is inherently fictional) only needs arbitrary rules at most–consistency is optional. conversely, science–even if fictional–absolutely requires internally consistent direct relationships within the described environment that is not contingent on anything in the story. in short, science fiction is not happening if what is offered is indistinguishable from magic. (yes, this is a Clarke corollary.)
The house is quiet,
A hollow shell without joy
Since our orange cat’s death