I’ve been a bit scattered the last few weeks, and jumping between five different books isn’t helping. I’ve read a quarter of Echopraxia by Peter Watts, I’m a fifth of the way into City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett, and last night I started Skinner by Charlie Huston. I’m also dipping in and out of two books about weird spirituality, but more on those if I finish them.
One of the things I’ve been keying in on recently is whether or not authors are deliberately hiding the coolest parts of their worlds from the reader. I don’t think it’s deliberate, it’s simply an accepted narrative structure, like the pre-third act reveal of a protagonist’s debilitating secret, or the “48 hours earlier” device that TV dramas can’t seem to shake. And f I were making of list of “Four Things Authors Do That Are Secretly Annoying”, obfuscating a world’s backstory would definitely be up there. It’s certainly one of the reasons I’ve been switching back and forth between novels of late.
Contrast this with Christopher Buehlman, who tells you everything you need to know to understand what’s happening as it happens, warns you that there’s more going on than you know, and deftly places evidence of the bigger picture right under your nose without calling attention to it. This is The Lesser Dead.
If you’re a vampire fan and you haven’t picked it up yet, click on over to Amazon and take a sick day. Come back and listen to us rave about it on this week’s podcast when you’re done.
Books discussed this episode include: My Sweet Satan by Peter Cawdron, The Lesser Dead by Christopher Buehlman, and Orbs II: Stranded by Nicholas Sansbury Smith.
Episode 35 is up on iTunes and available for direct download at the link below:
Oh, yeah, this post was delayed because I was baking cookies. Next time I’ll bring some for everyone who listens, I promise!