Tag: the wind blown man
-Elizabeth Bear at Ideomancer (which, BTW, has an awesome new look):
In Servant of the Underworld, Aliette de Bodard has created a rather good debut novel, replete with magic, blood, and complex worldbuilding. There was a great deal to enjoy in this book, not all of it the immediately obvious.
-Josh Vogt at Examiner:
(…)for those who enjoy mythology, subtle horror, and even “detective” stories, Servant of the Underworld blends these elements into a unique story. Fortunately, it’s labeled the first book in the Obsidian and Blood series, so hopefully we’ll be seeing Bodard’s next release soon. Looks like book 2 is called Harbinger of the Storm. Sounds…peaceful.
-And Hereward L.M. Proops at Booksquawk (who didn’t like it so much, alas, but you can’t win every time):
(…)those looking for something truly different could do much worse than check out this novel. Whilst not perfect, Aliette de Bodard’s debut shows a great deal of potential which could be better realised in the inevitable sequels.
-The book also gets mentioned over at SF Signal as part of the “What Book Have You Recently Read That’s Good Enough To Recommend To a Friend?” discussion.
-Finally, BestSF reviews “The Wind-Blown Man”, in the February 2010 issue of Asimov’s
Aliette de Bodard looks to China to create an alien society, alien cultures and technology – a world in which China is on a par, or better, with Western Christian society. For my money, I’d rather see Earth cultures used as inspiration to create truly alien societies, as that is true SF – but failing this, I’d much rather see the creative efforts as put in by de Bodard.
So, 74k words into Harbinger, with the longest chapter yet. The small incoherences (which I keep noting at the end of the book in order to fix them) are running to more than a page now. But on the plus side, the end is nigh. I can feel it–we’re entering the climax at the end of this chapter, and boy is it going to be huge fun.
Generally speaking in a fantasy novel you will find that the priests of the Death Cult are not very nice people. Or, at least the antagonist or people to be removed as obstacles. See Graham Masterton’s Pariah for example of the exact same god our protagonist here is the Servant of.
Not so here. Of course, your average fantasy novel is rather more likely to not be set in an Aztec city redolent with quetzal birds and jaguar spirits as opposed to ponies and pointy-hatted prestidigitators.
So, points for giving something different a shot.
A very nice review of my Asimov’s story “The Wind-Blown Man” here on Tangent Online by Carl Slaughter, as well as some discussion over on the Asimov’s forums (some good, some bad). The upshot is mainly that it reads like a fantasy, which doesn’t surprise me: it’s actually SF, but it’s hard to prove it when the science developed along an alternate timeline which has nothing to do with our own, with biology and genetics developing far more efficiently than mechanics and mathematics. It’s kind of interesting how everything ends up sounding like magic when you don’t have familiar technological landmarks. Mm. There’s got to be something I can take out of this…
That’s all for today. I’m off to watch Red Cliff 2 (I have to say the long version makes a lot more sense than the awful truncated version they showed in the French cinemas)
Yup, I know maths are integral to science as we know it now. But if you choose to view science as a system to explain the world, it’s conceivable that another civilisation might come up with a completely different system that would also explain the world and allow us to predict some of the things that would happen. Then it would do exactly the same thing science does today. Our science was mostly shaped by Western/Greek/Indian thought, which gives a place of honour to mathematics–but the Chinese have always been more interested in biology and how the human body was a microcosm of the world, so I went ahead and used that as a basis for developing the new science. Feel free to argue with me; I’m well aware this isn’t the standard belief by any means…