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, July 3, 2013

Return of the Shipwrecks!

After several months in which the sciatica was too distracting for serious writing, TOF has returned to the WIP; viz., The Shipwrecks of Time.  Presently, plans are underway by the Youth Council to picket at Judge Cannon's house in Wauwatosa, and Frank has written a letter of apology to Sorgensson for lying to him during his visit. 

But for our excerpt, we are dipping back into the narrative to late February 1966, when Frank asks Carol to go to a movie with him.  It introduces a background note to the narrative.  Two earlier scenes I may also post later on: the premiere of Batman on TV, and the parade honoring native son Jim Lovell, who had spent more time in space (with Frank Borman) than anyone else. 


  1. It's off topic, but I got my pre-ordered copy of "On the Razor's Edge" yesterday and am loving it.

  2. now 171 pages in.

    As always, I'm enjoying the game of figuring out the phonetically spelled, linguistically drifted placenames and other nouns. First we were east of Manhattan, and now we are on the floor of what used to be the San Francisco bay, I think, although some of the ancient terms still aren't coming clear to me.

    I just hit this line:

    "One might as well fight for Jenkin's ear as..."

    Nice. Very nice.'_Ear

    In case you were wondering whether your readers appreciated the Easter eggs: yes, we do.

    1. Easter eggs? Whatever do you mean?

      Some of the terms from the Audorithadesh Ympriales era are Spanglish. So, the Bay Bridge in Spanish is... Then mutate some of the phonemes along the lines of F -> P etc.

    2. > Spanglish

      Oh, yes, I caught that, and I speak a bit of Spanish, so I can follow those. And, yes, I caught the F->P great consonant shift in the Murkanglais patois.

      But despite those two clues, there are still some words that vex me. One technique that sometimes works is to read the terms aloud. Iracatanam Antapakirantamthe surrendered SOME secrets that way: "Iraq [ Viet]name and Paki[stan] Iran ??"

      Elfwendevaxii and vaxi'prizga still elude me, but I'm working on them.

      I also enjoy the false retronyms - the explanation of "fedora" and "the Serious Star" (Sirius, I presume) made me laugh.

      I hate to spend my time praising just the linguistic games which, while great, really aren't the most noteworthy strengths of the books. (More on that at some other point).

      Hoping to be able to finish it tonight.

    3. Iracatanam Antapakirantamthe
      That's pretty straightforward Tamil. It means... "Capital of the Whole World."


      El fwende vaxii
      What is Spanish for "bay" and "bridge"?
      Suppose P->F, T->D, B->V, and H(rough breathing)->X

      If Prizga is ........... and vaxii is ...........

  3. Finished it last night. Great stuff. The last line was perfect.

    A question: I find that your novels, like Neal Stephenson's, seem to get away from me at the end - I become a bit unclear on who the various viewpoint characters are, who is betraying whom, etc.

    I've got two theories:

    1) your books speed up near the end and there's less redundancy to help a reader

    2) I speed up near the end, letting my eyes slide over minor details in my rush to get to the conclusion.

    Any thoughts on which is true?

  4. If you need any other Weird Medieval Books, apparently Philosophia by Pseudo-Virgil Cordubensis is pretty much everything you want in a medieval Internet kook. "Yeah, I'm an Arab from Cordoba, and you can tell because of my total lack of knowledge of Arab and Cordovan stuff. And I hang out all the time in Cordoba with my buds, Avicenna, Al-Geber, and other dead guys who never lived in Cordoba, much less lived at the same time. And I do magic and I'm awesome, and that's why you should read my philosophy book."


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