The Early Days of a Better Nation

Monday, February 02, 2009

Working in the spaceship yards

Jo Walton re-reads The Sky Road over at It's great to see she's still as enthusiastic about it as she was on rec.arts.sf.written, way back in the 20th Century.

Starship Sofa has a podcast of my short story 'Jesus Christ, Reanimator', excellently read by SF writer and podcaster Matthew Wayne Selznick, and with a witty piece of cover art by Skeet. The actual reading starts at about 47 minutes in to the mp3, but listen to the whole thing.


The one thing that surprised me about Walton's comment is that she apparently didn't spot the fantasy sources of the storyline until this reading. When I read it the first time that just jumped right out at me. Mortal man meets mysterious woman who turns out to be ageless, right out of La Belle Dame Sans Merci and a lot of ballads, but with a happier ending. And if I spotted it, I would have figured Walton to do so; I'm sure she knows faerie lore and folklore better than I do.

But then, what people do and don't spot about novels is really unpredictable. My friend caprine (to use her livejournal handle) told me about a conversation where she asked in Naomi Novik's portrayal of the relationship between human beings and dragons had a subtext of the relationship between men and women in the 18th century (dragons are not thought to be fully rational and have no legal rights, but have strong emotional bonds to their human riders and can be kept happy with gifts of jewelry), and everyone else pooh-poohed it; I had thought that was too obvious to need demonstration. So I told her about "A Vindication of the Rights of Brutes" and assured her that I thought her reading made perfect sense. . . .

It was a pleasure to read "Jesus Christ, Reanimator" for Starship Sofa, Ken. I hope I did it justice!

Matthew, you sure did!

I was happy to see Jo Walton's review of The Sky Road, as it matched my own reactions to it when I read it the first time. It's probably my favorite of the Fall Revolution books, though The Stone Canal has a lot of memorable moments in it, and whenever I'm passing through one of my more misanthropic phases, I favor it despite [because of] its having the less appealing axioms.

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