July 4th, 2009

can't sleep books will eat me

(no subject)

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.


Anyway, it's really really cool.
spies steed horseback

she sewed my new blue jeans

We managed to get back from the farmer's market with only four varieties of cherries, and having spent only about five minutes singing along with the busker who was doing Amazing Grace to the tune of House of the Rising Sun, Blind Boys style.

Good times.

And now it's just me, a sofa, a laptop, a cup of strawberry peppercorn tea, a Saturday, and forty student manuscripts.


(348 miles to Isengard.)