Sunday, February 26, 2012


This blog has been a considerable project from day one onward.  It's been dry for months, obviously, but that's only because it's been changing and I've had to change with it.  When I started Godhead, it was a fantasy novel. That much was obvious to myself and, I hope, to the reader as well.  It remained a fantasy novel throughout its first volume.  There were wizards, soldiers, world-weary noblemen.  Hidden skills were learned, quests begun, conflicts established, protagonists apprenticed to mysterious masters.

Volume two isn't like that.  It's given me pause up until now, and while I've got a small backlog I haven't really plunged into the narrative yet.  By nature the story's something of a mess, which makes it particularly difficult to change gears.  Nevertheless, I've come to accept that I'm no longer really writing fantasy(even though I totally am).  What I'm doing is something between love story and horror novel.

Do you know what horror is?  It's fantasy without a mentor.  When the Nazgul come riding into the Shire on their black horses there's no Gandalf to spirit the Hobbits away, no Aragorn to lead them through the wilderness.  There's no Galadriel, no Elrond.  Just Sauron, and Denethor going mad in his tower.  In horror Voldemort's horcruxes are pebbles at the bottom of the sea and expelliarmus doesn't save the day because there was no Dumbledore to shield Harry through his childhood.

Anyway, keep your eyes peeled.  We'll be getting back on schedule very soon.

And now, for something completely different...


  1. I agree with you -- but I would dispute you on this one. Maybe not "traditional" fantasy, but that sure sounds like a definition of the kind of fantasy created by people like Joe Abercrombie and George R.R. Martin (not to mention weirdos like Jeff VanderMeer and China Mieville). Sure, there might be some characters who know more than others about what's going on, but I don't see a whole lot of mentor figures, or much explaining being done, in any of those guys' works.

    Not that this would ever stop me devouring your words like an Eater does an urchin, but I must respectfully disagree to a certain extent.

  2. You're totally right that my point was incomplete. People like Abercrombie and Martin give us characters with wildly varying degrees of privilege and maturity, all of whom are ultimately unsafe because of the inherent danger of being alive in their worlds. I've never read VanderMeer, but Mieville is definitely all about incomprehensible danger and the inevitability of loss.

    I think with Martin we're actually getting a decent infusion of horror into fantasy. The world is unsafe because it's without staple tropes. Same with Abercrombie.