The Early Days of a Better Nation

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

A few reviews of The Night Sessions

The US edition of The Night Sessions is getting some thoughtful reviews online: from A Progressive on the Prairie, The King of Elfland's Second Cousin, Shiny Book Review, and Lex Communis. That last explores the book's religious angle from the interestingly different perspective of 'an unrepentant neo-Conservative, Catholic' viewpoint, and is strikingly generous. The author has been good enough to post his review on Amazon, so if you want to give it a thumbs-up, you know what to do.

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the setting of a story outside of New York or Los Angeles does add an interesting dimension

Sounds like his reading experience is a bit ... narrow.

Hmm, you might have a point there ...

I write a nice review and people can still find something to criticize me about. This must be how authors feel.

Jeepers...critics. :-) reading experience is not narrow in the slightest. I was expressing how interesting I found the Edinburgh setting through hyperbole, although my basic point that there is a sameness in the setting of most science fiction books - somewhere in California, somewhere in the American Northeast, maybe London, if the author is a Brit - is a fair point.

I enjoyed hauling out a map of Edinburgh to find out that Leith is apparently a section of Edinburgh that retains its separate identity, albeit has long since been incorporated into Edinburgh. Likewise, I wouldn't have known who the model for Dr. Jekyl was but for looking up Major Weir.

Another story with a location that had the same effect on me was Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson which is set in Brisbane. It may be the case that there is another SF story set in Brisbane, but I don't know it. Jamieson is obviously a native of Brisbane and dropped enough local flavor to make me wonder what these things were that he was casually mentioning.

Ummm.... So is your Calvinist background really a pervasive influence? Can one really take the boy out of Calvinism, but not the Calvinism out of the boy? This seems a bit simplistic to me, but perhaps as a former Calvinist I am biased....

The walk down to Leith along the Water of Leith is delightful (albeit frequently interrupted by infrastructure).

See what I mean? "The Water of Leith." It's like something out of Tolkein, but people actually live there!

For me it would be "the Water of the San Joaquin is often interrupted by dessicated stretches of non-cultivated ground." Not nearly as romantic.

Actually, walking along the Water of Leith does at some points feel like walking through the Shire.

Leith itself, however, would not be mistaken by anyone for the Shire.

Even if you weren't brought up a Calvinist/Presbyterian, if your childhood and adolescence was in Scotland then Calvinism just seeps into your bones.

Leith itself, however, would not be mistaken by anyone for the Shire.

The word "Hobbitspotting" popped into my head when I read that and is refusing to leave.

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