A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Time is Here, By Golly

Yesterday, Margie and I wended to the wilds of Manhattan, where we had lunch at Rolf's German Restaurant, with its tastefully understated Christmas decorations (see left).  We were hosted by my esteemed editor, David Hartwell of Tor.  I had Jäger Schnitzl mit Spätzl with creamed herring for appetizer.  I asked if anyone wanted to help me eat the fish, but I had no herring aid. 

David indicated that he had finished reading In the Lion's Mouth and in his opinion, it was "magnificent." 

Now I am not one to disagree, but I thought it was crap.  Of course, that's what I always think when I have gotten to the end of a book.  All of its flaws are so glaring!  But there you have it.  He said he especially liked the linkage to Huizinga's book, which he had sensed in the Shadow culture even before he got to my acknowledgments.  How did he finish it so quickly, I asked.  He said he couldn't stop reading it. 

He also agreed with me that the book is too long, and that therefore he wanted to split it in half and make two books out of it.  He thought that Part 1 and Part 2 each made a complete book.  He would of course have to pay me more money.  I did not have it in me to contest this or plead how unworthy I am of such largess. 

Now I am stuck with how to title the two books.  One part will be In the Lion's Mouth.  I am leaning toward Bride of the Lion's Mouth or perhaps Abbot and Costello Meet the Lion's Mouth for the other.  Another possibility is In the Lion's Mouth: Ravn Olafsdottrs Saga and In the Lion's Mouth: Donovan buighs Saga.  Still another possibility is to call the second book A Gathering of Shadows or perhaps The Shadow War

There will also be the problem of introducing material from the first half of the book into the second half so that it can be read alone. 

We talked a little bit about potential new books, maybe giving the harper and the scarred man a rest. 

Afterward we went back to the Tor offices to say hello to Tom Doherty.  He wasn't back yet, so while waiting I read in the new biography of Heinlein.  What I read was an appendix regarding Heinlein family genealogy.  And it said that some of the Heinleins had in pre-revolutionary days gone from Philadelphia (where they had first settled) to Northampton County, PA.  Hey, I thought.  That's where I live.  Then it mentioned that one of the brothers changed the spelling of his name to Hineline. 

When I was a kid there was a big white ramshackle building at the end of the block, separated from our house by a weed-grown field where a greenhouse used to be.  The big building was an apartment building that seemed to have grown from at least two separate buildings that had fused.  Anyway, it was called the Hineline Apartments.  A curious and curiously distant connection. 

Then we drove uptown to Spectrum for the Christmas party.  Margie wanted to allow plenty of time for traffic; so naturally the West Side Highway was empty of cars and we made the trip in six minutes. 

The party was partyish.  Stan Schmidt of Analog and Sheila Williams of Asimovs were there.  So was Tom Doherty, and a bunch of others from Tor.  Betsy Mitchell.  Names that now escape by colander-like mind.  Stan Schmidt was wearing a plaid shirt almost identical to David Hartwell's trousers and I awaited David's arrival with great anticipation.  Alas, he had not shown by the time Stan had to leave.  Some last-minute noshing and Margie and I also took our departure, inasmuch as we had a ways to go.  Now, 70 miles was not what we called a long drive when we lived in Colorado, but everyone in the east seems to think it is.  My technique is to go to sleep when starting out and waking up when we arrive.  Fortunately, Margie was driving. 

1 comment:

  1. I know you're probably joking about the name worries, but I like the version where both are named "Lion's mouth" and have a sub-title.


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