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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Curmudgeon is Back

TOF will be released into the wild Real Soon Now; and except for some residual weariness, is almost feeling like his Old Self.  Considering how his Old Self was feeling a week ago, this may not seem much; but...

Status report on skiffiness:  

On the Razor's Edge
The manuscript is in the hands of the editor and soon it will begin sliding down the greasy chute toward your bookshelves.  And you thought you knew what was going on...  Mwahahaha.

A tidbit:
In the beginning, there were three, because in these matters there are always three.  One was a harper and one was a Hound and one was nine. 
There were others, because in these matters there are always others.  There were other Hounds.  There was a Shadow, and other Shadows.  There was a Name, and other Names.  And had any of them done other than they had, matters would not have tumbled quite as they did. 
But a man is the master of his acts, provided he acts with virtue; and the chief of these virtues is courage.  Children lack courage because they see all fears as things to be removed by their parents.  But a man may regard fearsome evil and see the outcome as dependent upon his own actions, and so he may become master of them.  This is true even if he ultimately fails; perhaps, especially if he fails. 
One man had let his fears become the master of his acts, and so men died and cities burned.

There was a treasure, because in these matters there is always a treasure.  And there was a far quest, and an ancient tyranny; and forgotten legends.  There was longing and greed and ambition and treachery.  There was courage and cowardice, as one often finds when something very small stands against something very large. 
But at the heart of it there was a shining kernel, something hard and bright and unbreakable that had been hidden away and all but forgotten by its hiders.  At the heart of every treasure, as always in these matters, there was another treasure beyond all price. 
And so in the beginning there were three; but in the end, there was only one. 
I have been informed of an audiobook contract for all four of the Firestar books.  Woo-hoo. 

"The Journeyman: On the Shortgrass Prairie"
This is somewhere in the production tube at ANALOG.  They're having trouble with the Tamil font.  For fans of Teddy Nagarajan, the Wildman from UP JIM RIVER, an early adventure of his back on World.  I had already started on "The Journeyman: Among the Stone Houses," and now I have to pick up the thread.    

Elmira, 1895
In case I haven't mentioned this already -- the memory is confused -- it has been scheduled for ANALOG. Rudyard Kipling and Samuel Clemens and the Great Airship Hysteria. 

The Shipwrecks of Time
It's freezing cold in Milwaukee in 1966, but a few things are starting to heat up.  Frank is off in the Rhineland fussing through scraps in archives and libraries, searching for evidence of lost books, including the supposedly cursed Peruzzi Manuscript.  In Karlsruhe, he stumbled across a letter by one of the Bardi which hints at the contents.  He has just met with Herr Prof. Gustav Sorgensson in Aachen and is on his way to Louvain to follow up a hint.  Meanwhile, Wilma and Carole, back at the Institute in Milwaukee have become almost friends and, thanks to a scrap found by Frank, Wilma can establish that Roland was probably a genuine historical person.  Transcribing Wilma's translation of Le chanson de Ogier le Danemarche, Carole has noticed something peculiar.  Nelson is preparing a compilation of the membership in the Oster Conspiracy.  Leo is preparing for Three Days of Rage Against the War.  Fr. Groppi is about to shift the Youth Council protests from the Eagles Club to the private residence of one of its members, Judge Cochran in suburban Wauwatosa.  There has been a parade down Wisconsin Ave. in honor of hometown Gemini astronaut Jim Lovell and Engineering Week.  The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on the Miranda case.  A new term has been coined: male chauvinist.  "Computer" still means very large machines in special rooms and there is no such thing as a pocket calculator.  Batman is a big new hit on TV and The Avengers is attracting a following.  It all hits the fan in the summer of 1967.


  1. Well, there are pocket calculators. They're those metal things with the sliders in them, that you move up and down with your pen, and numbers written on the paper backers come up.

    Maybe they weren't called pocket calculators, though. [search engine use]

    Ah, this is what I meant. Ours was black and red and metal like this, but I don't think it was called an Addiator on top like this.

  2. After I finished reading In the Lion's Mouth I realized I needed to re-read The January Dancer and Up Jim River again. Not necessarily a bad thing.

    -Sean Dailey

    1. I had the same experience! Book the Third snapped First and Second into place very nicely.

  3. I can't tell if I like better the adapation of John's Gospel or the refutation of Joseph Campbell. Looking forward to On the Razor's Edge, though, that's for sure.


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