3121Re: A new Delany novel is on its way
- Jul 7, 2008Thought I'd resurrect this little thread for an update.
Chip is still expanding the book. When I first reviewed it, it had
become a 55,000 word novel grown out of the original 16,000 word
novella. It's now nearly 97,000 words and growing.
And it's marvelous. Chip has added more SF and light future history
elements. This has added quite a bit of texture to the novel in that
it more clearly feels as though we have jumped into the future. The
relationships and characters are deeper and more complex.
But the best part is that it's pure, brilliant Delany. The more I read
it, the more I love this book.
I can't wait for it to be finished so everyone can have a chance to
experience this fantastic novel.
--- In email@example.com, "nivekgnir" <kdring@...> wrote:
> Issue 7 of Black Clock magazine contains "In the Valley of the Nest
> of Spiders", a 16-thousand word novella by Samuel R. Delany. Through
> the Valley of the Nest of Spiders,due from Bamberger Books in the summer
> or fall of 2008, is a more than threefold expansion of that work. The
> novel follows Eric, a young man just eleven days shy of his seventeenth
> It would not be unreasonable to look at Through the Valley of the Nest
> of Spiders as a companion piece to Dark Reflections, Delany's most
> recently published novel. But where that novel centers on themes of
> loneliness, sexual repression,fear, and the difficult life of the
> artist, Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders, in sharp contrast,
> celebrates companionship, love, sexual openness, and freedom. Like Dark
> Reflections, Spiders moves through time. However, Dark Reflections
> starts in the present day and goes back towards Arnold Hawley's
> teens. Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders takes a different
> track, starting in the present day, jumping ahead to the twilight of
> Eric's life, and then moving back in 20-odd short chapters to the
> present day once again. Though it does move several decades into the
> future and off-handedly mentions fictional future events and
> technologies, I would hesitate to call this a science fiction novel.
> (Then again, I wouldn't argue against that label, either.)
> Another major contrast is that where Arnold's background, friends,
> and experiences provide him with strongly intellectual surroundings and
> attitude, Eric's life and surroundings are anything but. Yet I
> believe it would be a huge mistake to take Arnold's life
> (intellectual, lonely, and sexually repressed), compare it with
> Eric's (satisfying, rewarding, yet unsophisticated), and read it as
> a rejection of intellectualism by Delany!
> Towards the end of Dark Reflections, we learn that Arnold Hawley ran
> away in fear from a situation that would likely have changed the course
> of his life. Early in Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders,Eric is
> told a story by Bill Bottom, a neighbor of his. Bill, like Arnold,ran
> away from a situation that had the potential for great happiness. He
> concludes by asking Eric to promise that when he is presented with his
> own choiceand, Bill insists, that moment will cometo choose
> happiness, no matter how afraid he might be to take that path. Whatever
> the genre may be (science fiction, gay porn, mainstream literature?),
> this is a novel of love, relationships, and the consequencesboth
> good and badof taking that chance and making the choice to go after
> what makes you happy.
> I personally enjoyed this novel very much. Perhaps more so than any of
> Delany's books since StarsIn My Pocket Like Grains of Sand. It made
> me happy.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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