Saturday, April 02, 2016

Currently Reading (2)

Selections of Charles Dickens's journalism, part of background research for a thing I'm working on as a break from the novel I'm supposed to be writing. I love the moments when he turns his acute perception on himself, like this, from the end of 'Gone Astray', an essay about a child's eye view of the terrors and wonders of London's densely populated maze:
The venerable man took me to the nearest watch-house; -- I say he took me, but in fact I took him, for when I think of us in the rain, I recollect that we must have made a composition, like a vignette of Infancy leading Age. He had a dreadful cough, and was obliged to lean against a wall, whenever it came on. We got at last to the watch-house, a warm and drowsy sort of place embellished with great-coats and rattles hanging up. When a paralytic messenger had been sent to make inquiries about me, I fell asleep by the fire, and awoke no more until my eyes opened on my father's face. This is literally and exactly how I went astray. They used to say I was an odd child, and I suppose I was. I am an odd man, perhaps.

Incidentally, has anyone ever analysed the influence of Dickens on Gene Wolfe, with especial reference to Severain's voice in The Book of the New Sun?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Drowned Worlds

Very pleased to be part of this -- an original anthology of stories about the Anthropocene, where we all live now. Edited by Jonathan Strahan, it's due to be published on July 12. Jonathan has some more information about it, including the table of contents, over on his blog. My story, 'Elves of Antarctica', set on the Antarctic Peninsula, is a kind of prehistory of the novel I'm presently writing.
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