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bear by san

March 2017



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writing gorey earbrass conscious but ver

she's a Ph.D. in i told you so. you've a knighthood in i'm not listening.

peake reviews Carnival for SF Site.

Yeah, he's probably right about the structural issues. And some other stuff.

But I like plot! SFF novels almost never have enough to suit me.

(For me, the conversation about gender and Utopia and societal expectations was the most interesting part of the book. But hell, I just write 'em.)


I think Paul and Maureen are going to be at Wiscon. Have you ever met them? And would you like to? They're old friends of mine.

Yes. They are *lovely* people, and Maureen squired me around Canterbury last year.

I hope they are coming....
It's not a book without a plot! Sure you need characterization and themes and world building but the PLOT is the core of the book.

What is this guy's beef?
I think it's a perfectly fine, intelligent review.

The book he got was not the book I was trying to write, but I can't argue that what he sees in it is in there.
dont care... critics are idiots.. And he edited a book... wheee... I liked it, but i'm prejudiced.. 'n' I b a critic my own damn self. i would have expected a gratuitous duel early in the book, just to show they weren't fucking around, but you didn't. That was a constantly surprising book.

Where is my damn signed New Amsterdam, damn it!

These tenterhooks are uncomfortable..
I'm trying to learn to be more gratuitous....
Too much plot? Nonsense! Carnival made me realize just how much I like my plots thick and densely layered, like a really good chocolate cake. I actually had to read it in bites rather than in a few big swallows like I usually do with books.

I see how that'd be too rich for some people, but hey, there's room in this world for both angel food cake plots and death by chocolate plots. I'll stop before my metaphor gets completely out of hand.
...I bore easily if there's not enough going on.

I know.

It's sad but true.
Then we are both sad people, indeed.
I agree with you. Completely. But I also agree with peake in that it does, indeed, remind me of novels of the "Golden Age." As it happens, I like that kind of book.
Ah, I don't disagree with that. It didn't stand out to me on the initial read-through as I didn't quite realized how, um, not-entirely-complimentary the statement was. *g* (I likes me some Golden Age SF too.)
Huh. I read a different Carnival by Elizabeth Bear. (Just finished it last night, so my response is still simmering.)

I agree that the central question of the book is a classic SF one; I see it as "how do we keep some people safe from the Governors".

Most of the other points I saw differently because I saw it as a pattern-structure, not a dense linear one. The pieces make up the pattern. The pattern leads the reader towards his or her own "aha" by putting the main characters through everything they need to experience. Oh, and the Dragon was a critical team member to be won over to me, not a deus ex machina. The happy ending came from the change in system, not because everything would be rosy forever, but because chaos gives temporary relief to previous forms of opression (one of the themes I saw).

But it's just my read, just my answer.

(For the record, I'm very curious at the impact of the Assessments on any sense of community. I noticed the lack of overt racism or even race-based separtism, and I have a hard time believing time and space alone could do it. But suddenly destroying community altogether... that could be another book I'd like to read.) (As though you needed more!)
*g* Which is also not my take on the book--but again, a totally valid one.

I agree about the pieces. I'm not a particularly linear thinker, or writer, and I tend to think of stories as shapes and mosaics.

Thank you!
You're welcome -- thank you for writing it!

I enjoyed your subversion of the classic romance trope: the other person can never know/forgive what I have done, plus: how can I choose between the one I love and the rest of the world. (There's more than one set of those, too.) And I also noticed and enjoyed the balance of Robert's "feminine" duties (massage, playing with kids) and that he did them very well too.

Have you read any of Jennifer Crusie's posts about pattern structures? I find them quite interesting. (Will try to dig them up later if you like.)
I have, thank you.
I read (and enjoyed) Carnival, buy that review should really have a spoiler warning for those who have not.
All reviews are full of spoilers. It is their nature.