Comment turned to post. Plus: other news


my favorite seashell

In reply to my “Kindle Greed” post, David said:

Glad to see someone else is experiencing the Robert Charles Wilson love! It was Spin that put me onto him too. And, like you, I then had to tear through his catalog.

To which I replied:

I’ve been trying to turn on all my pals to Robert Charles Wilson — I hope I actually have time to read Bios and Axis. Just the other day I finished the audiobook version of Julian Comstock, which I thoroughly loved.

Usually stories in which the protagonist is a writer turn out shaky at best. But Wilson has such a graceful hand with the point-of-view, letting Adam Hazzard use his very best 19th century styled prose to describe the events both carefully and eloquently — and at the same time allowing the reader to see straight through to everything that Adam is missing! This careful observativeness combined with obliviousness, still including all the information that we need to see what’s really going on — what a tour de force!

Plus: got all misty-eyed at more than a few passages.

Also: laughed right out loud sometimes.

Geez, what more can you ask of a story?

Well, yeah, sense of wonder… but in this book poignant longing for lost glory stood in its stead.   Worked for me.

(Oh, and I must say — the audiobook narrator, Scott Brick, did a stunning job. Adam Hazzard’s voice in my mind is now the voice of Scott Brick. Hazzard’s sometimes over-eloquent prose was delivered with such gentle sincerity that I could not help but love him and his innocent striving for what he viewed as excellence as a writer.)

In other news: I started reading The Habitation of the Blessed: A Dirge for Prester John, Volume One and I’ve already fallen in love with Catherynne M. Valente’s amazing prose — again. I’ll say more when I’m done, but so far, prospects are good!

10 Responses to “Comment turned to post. Plus: other news”

  • Sabine Says:

    I am loving the Habitation of the Blessed as well. It’s one of those books, like Gormenghast, that forces me to read slowly and savor the prose. But I also have to stop reading after a chapter or so, just to cool down my brain.

    As far as I can tell, I’m about 1/4 the way through the book. Drat the ebook lack of page reference!

    • Rosemary Says:

      It’s interesting to me that you compare it with Gormenghast… when I attempted to read Gormenghast ages ago, I found that it just did not hold my interest, and I gave up. Perhaps I should try it again (seriously, it was like 20 years ago that I tried it).

      As for Habitation of the Blessed, I’d like to suggest that we read it this week, and beginning on Thursday, discuss it right here. By “we” I mean anyone interested, and by “right here” I mean that I’ll create a post on that date called “Habitation of the Blessed and further discussion” and start it off with my take on the book; then in the comments anyone and everyone can post, and we can do as much back-and-forth as any of us can stand.

      It’s not necessary to have completed reading the book in order to say something — just your current impression. And you can say as little or as much as you choose. But ideally, we need to do it all before the official hardcopy release of the book on November 1st.

      You can get the Kindle version here: The Habitation of the Blessed: A Dirge for Prester John, Volume One – Kindle version

      And the hardcopy version is actually available from Amazon now here: Habitation of the Blessed – paperback

      I’d like to try to get a sense of how interested people are in doing this… or even how interested people are in just seeing this done by me and whoever else.

      So, post a comment here. Just a “Yes!” would suffice. You could use the “Like” on Facebook, but I don’t know how accurate a count I’ll get from that. A comment here is more certain to be seen.

      What say?

  • Sabine Says:

    Sure, except I won’t get much further until Wednesday. Next few evenings are busy.
    And I’m actually only 17% of the way through the book, says Ada Lovelace, my Kindle ereader.

    • Rosemary Says:

      Sabine —

      Yeah, I figured you’d be busy until Wednesday. But given that the book’s official release is a week from Monday, it seemed like a good idea to open things up starting Thursday, so that people would have time to chime in all the way up to the end of that weekend.

      And you don’t have to finish the book to speak up!

  • Sabine Says:

    PS: love the picture!

  • Rosemary Says:

    And interestingly, I too am exactly 17% through..,.

  • Melinda Fleming Says:

    I’m one of those lucky people who have read (and re-read) everything published by yourself and Catherynne. Your books are in my “Hard Copy to-be-passed-down-to-future-generations” book collection.

    Just ordered both Spin and “Prester John” from Kindle. If you recommend RC Wilson, he must be good! But if they’re as good as I’m used to from you & Catherynne, they’ll have to be procured for future generations in hard copy too.

    One of my retirement dreams goes as follows: take all my wonderful, for all-times books, and reproduce them by hand on acid-free paper so they can last for centuries. Get a book artist to bind them beautifully. Each according to it’s own personality.

    • Rosemary Says:

      Melinda —

      Thanks for being so thoughtful toward future generations! I hope you get your wish. It would be lovely to know that centuries from now there will be some perfect physical version of my books available for new readers. Plus, if civilization collapses and we lose the Internet, I’ll still be present in spirit.

      As for Catherynne — she’s a relatively new discovery for me. I had been for some reason completely unaware of her existence, until Readercon in 2009, when, as is my habit, I had slipped into the audience the Poetry Slam. I always try to catch at least part of that event when I go to Readercon.

      That night, she and Amal El-Mohtar got up and read their collaborative poem, “Damascus Divides the Lovers by Zero.” I was stunned, completely stunned, completely blown away. One of those situations where your body just doesn’t know what to do any more, so it decides to cry. It wasn’t just the poem, it was the reading as well — but the poem is, yes, still wonderful if read.

      Later, I found myself at my autograph session, with her doing autographs right next to me. We didn’t chat much — she was very busy signing books! But I purchased from her the Rysling Poetry anthology that included “Damascus Divides the Lovers by Zero” and on a whim, “Palimpsest”.

  • Sabine Says:

    Rosemary, So where are we chiming on the Habitation book? Here, or will you have a post on Thursday for us to comment on? There are already a few things I’m itching to discuss, but some of them might be spoilers.

    However, I will say, and this isn’t a spoiler, that having a Kindle and being able to look things up online right away is for this book both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I do it, sometimes I just wanna read the story and save for later the looking up to see if something’s real or made up.
    This book has the rich, mythic feel of something by Gaiman, but yet in a different style.

    I just finished chapter 3 and had to force myself to stop.

    • Rosemary Says:

      Sabine —

      On Thursday, I’ll create a post called “Habitation of the Blessed and Further Discussion.” And we’ll cut loose in the comments to that post.

      Unless there’s another way to run it (Oh, digitallly wise sister of mine)?

      I agree about the mythic feel… And I admit to having refreshed myself on the Prester John legend, briefly, before starting to read “Habitation”.