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

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Experimental Critique

On the temporary page
1. The New Station of Francis Delacorte
the following comments were received.  TOF had desired to learn whether his limning of Francis Xavier Delacorte as he comes on stage in The Shipwrecks of Time has communicated the character he had in mind.  The comments were:
  1. Frank, definitively. One may infer that from his general uneasiness in the new situation. Coming probably from a working or ower-middle class he's almost certainly sure to be used to communal socializing, such as calling one by the diminutive, no matter how strange or exotic the name is. He may also feel a little inferior to his colleagues with more of an academic background.
    He's probably also a withdrawn and cautious, but honest and most of all human bloke, reserved in his actions because of the social conventions of his time. It would be quite interesting to follow him through the process of honesty and righteousness (in the old Christian sense of the word) taking the upper hand through a series of mystery-centred events.
    Oh, and as an ex-j.d. he's probaly still quite fit, which may serve a purpose in the story.
    Serves well?

  2. If this was set in 1980 or 2010, I'd be entirely in agreement with Tomasz that it'd be "Frank", a street-smart name, and not "Francis", an effete bow-time name.

    ...but in 1965? And from Fishtown, an ethnic Catholic enclave? I've known one or two blue-collar, Catholic-school raised, third child of six types who've gone by Francis or Francis Xavier or such. The Catholic culture of that era gives "Francis" a flavor that it didn't have at other places and times.

    I'm betting on "Francis".

  3. A curious sort of ex-gangster, this. He doesn't have the convert's zeal Flaco has; it's as though he just carried a switchblade because that's the kind of place Fishtown was, and went for the doctorate because that's how he was raised. Not the kind of person to buck a prevailing trend, I think. I reckon him a kind man and a thoughtful man, but not really a man of action if he can help it. He wouldn't rip me off on a car, but I think haggling would make him uncomfortable.

  4. From his attitude to the elderly Negro, and to Bull Connor, and his distaste at being served, he seems to be a decent fellow. We'll have to wait to find out more about him, and he probably isn't all of a piece, but that's a start.
 Tomasz is curiously prescient in a number of ways.  The others also had some interesting things to say.  We even have someone who remembers Flaco!!  I'm going to stick with Frank (or Francis) for one more scene that takes place a little later in the same chapter.


In the new scene, Frank has arrived at his new job and meets three of his co-workers.  Two will show up later in the chapter, another is yet to be hired, and the Prof, the Director of the Institute is out of the office. 

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