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and the tags say it all

Earthquake happened, and it is so far out of my experience that I thought it might be people on the roof, doing construction. Or something. I just never expected to be in the midst of one, and so it was so very weird.

Haven't anything else to say, except that I'm still on track with writing (omg, \o/), and at 13,500 words.

I keep trying to read the book The Court of the Air (Stephen Hunt): it's a steampunk sci-fi, I suppose you could say, and I keep putting it down. This is because it reminds me frequently of my own book - the settings are entirely different, and the characters, too - but it has that first draft feel, and the dialogue is dead. The author dumps information on you. One of the main characters shows up in the first chapter and then is absent for the next half-dozen. It skips from what should be a horrifying act (someone just got killed in front of her, hello?) and goes to somewhere else entirely.

I find myself comparing it always to the books I've just read - in this case, The Ladies of Grace Adieu (by the incomparable Susanna Clarke, who wrote Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell) and Sherlock Holmes's last few chronicles. The distance between those two works and The Court of Air is enormous. In Clarke and Doyle's books you don't have the sound of the author's voice ringing in your head - Hunt's work feels as though I know what he's thinking as he writes it, adds a bit of dialogue-tag to round it off; in contrast, Clarke and Doyle's writing is confident, and it sounds like the narrator. Watson, as the narrator, sounds like a separate entity - even with the random intrusion of footnotes (I've got an annotated copy), it is always Watson speaking, not Doyle. I want to like it, and I like the premise very much; I can't get past the prose.

(This is sort of like reading Star Wars: Shatterpoint (Matthew Stover, he of the admired Episode III: Revenge of the Sith book adaptation; I deeply admire his ability to use new lines and punch you with the formatting of his prose), and something like Terry Brook's Episode I adaptation, which, frankly, was pretty much the movie narrated in a flat voice with a few extra scenes. (I read it, and if it hadn't when I was a week without internet and the first day I got books, it would not have been read.) The first one has vitality and movement (Shatterpoint evokes the Vietnam War, from what I understand of the conflict, very strongly). The second is just a retelling, and the movie, as much as it was criticized, was probably better.

*

So deeply behind on reviews I cannot even say. And I owe denise a thousand apologies because I still haven't finished those FAQ-revisions - they're almost done, and they keep getting pushed off *blushes really badly*


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/95250.html.

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