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bear by san

March 2017

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can't sleep books will eat me

Just got back from a really delightful Clarion West Party, and I have realized over the course of a wonderfully social day that I am still thinking--and telling people--about gregvaneekhout's debut novel Norse Code. I was talking with friends today about something that the book does really well, which is that it gets a peculiar and wonderful aspect of Norse mythology: Einsteinian time. Time as a navigable dimension,as it were (and I love that he has Fenrir, among others, explaining this.)

Essentially, in Norse mythology, all events are inevitable because they have already happened and are eternally happening. A wyrd or fate is not an inalterable future, so much as a part of the present we have not yet experienced. It's a tremendously fatalistic worldview, it's true, and so inimical to modern American culture that it's rare to see it done well in English-langage fantasy, or even touched upon--acknowledged--at all.

Greg does a great job with it, and that delighted me, and I meant to mention it before.

What's also tremendously cool about Norse myth is the way things are both symbolically and literally their names. So Thor (as an example) can be an individual--the god of thunder, who carries a hammer which strikes like a thunderbolt (which IS, in fact, a thunderbolt, Mjollnir that smashes...); and he can also symbolically be the god of thunder, a personification of random violence and flash-fire temper; but he is also, all at the same time, quite literally, thunder in his own person.

Ahem.

Anyway, it's really really cool.

Comments

Meeting you was totally awesome! Thanks for the awesome conversation and the unexpected hugs. And the vampire recommendations. (And now this recommendation.)

I'll see you again next week! I'm curious to see what your students offer up as a theme...
I can't wait to see you next week. that was too. much. fun.
I had looked at this book and considered getting it -- will throw it on the pile.

It was great seeing you at the party! And you inspired some awesomely weird dreams for me last night. I dreamed that because I couldn't come see you read, I had arranged to see you give a paper at the International Institute of Climbing (the IIC -- yes, it came complete with initials, the TLA.) It wasn't until about halfway through your paper that I realized most of the audience were zombies. Experienced zombie climbers. Who then tried to give both of us intellectual arguments why being a zombie was Teh Best Thing EVAH!

Yeah, I'm puzzled as well.

Have a great time with your students this week.
0.o


So THAT's where you get your ideas.
Yeah, I really enjoyed that book and thought it did several things very very well. I never thought I'd like a book with a main character named "Mist", but hey. (-:
Albert fucking Einsteinsson aw yeeeaah!
Mwahahahahaha.
I think I am now actually interested in Norse Mythology.

Huh.
It's really nifty stuff, once you divorce it from Marvel Comics. *g*
Luckily, I don't have that history with it. ^_^ I'm just lazy about wanting to get into anything new.

But Runemarks was the first book I read using it directly, and I guess I've been being buttered up since then.
(Loved that book; the twist in it that particularly made me smile was that the gods had a modern syntax, while the mere mortals were formal and old-fashioned. It made so much sense, somehow.)
Wait, Beta Ray Bill wasn't in the original?

good word of cybermouth

i had seen the book in the bookstore but dismissed it as yet another of the flood of dark fantasy/romance novels in vogue at the moment but i'm going to really check it out now when i get to usa next week.

tho i did smile at the title.

(dark fantasy/romance novels have their charms, i'm a big sookie fan and use to like anita blake, but there's only so many white, hetro's with supernatural issues and repressed emotions falling in love while fighting evil a girl can read. :) )

Re: good word of cybermouth

This one has a romance, but it's underplayed, and it is refreshingly free of brittle, mouthy women.

Re: good word of cybermouth

Oh, and the protagonist is a Latina.
Yet another person who saw it in the bookstore, went "It could be good? or awful? I can't tell." based on the jacket copy. If you recommend it, though, I'll try it. (I do already have a weakness for all things based on Norse mythology, so I was pretty tempted.)
It was great meeting you at the CW party!

(I'm Keffy - my LJ is under my surname.)

Thanks for this recommendation. I'll definitely have to pick up Norse Code. I love stories that deal with time/fate/etc in ways I don't generally see in fiction.
We're so glad to add Greg to our local author assortment!
so I picked it up on your recommendation. I had a very different reaction.

A good book on the whole.
Sorry you didn't like it--as I mentioned in my previous post on the book, I had some mixed feelings about it. I did, however, like the way it handled mythology.

However, um. Where exactly did I say it was one of the best Norse fantasy novels I'd read? Because I have no recollection of saying that. (Sorry. I'm starting to develop a real trigger issue with people attributing stuff to me that I never said.)

I *did* say that Greg did an excellent job with the mythology, and I disagree that anybody got out of their Wyrd on this one--the world was destroyed and a new world arose (or at least, that was my reading), which fits the storyline of the Voluspa. That this happened in sort of a flip fashion suits the genre conventions of Norse Code: it's a light urban fantasy, after all; I don't expect brooding morbidity.

Or at least, not for long. *g*

But it's definitely not similar to ATWS, and I never meant to imply that it was. I'm coming at the mythology from a much more depressing direction, as is my wont.
It's Norse - It's supposed to be depressing! It's not that I didn't like the book, it's that it's not what I expected from the gushing. It was a good light urban fantasy...But I was expecting something more in your line than what it ended up as.

The worldwyrd did change, as Mitgard was supposed to die, with everything in it. One of the readings is that there are now two universes rather than the one, and that's also...twitchy. The handling of that particular part of the mythos was poorly done, I feel. It did make it much lighter with a happy ending, so it's all good...though not particularly norse.