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17335re. another new book

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  • John D Rateliff
    Dec 1, 2006
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      Hi James. Welcome to the list.
      Sorry for my earlier bluntness. Having now seen the interview on
      TheOneRing, I see that this isn't a story about Tolkien, Lewis, &
      Williams at all but fantasy-world analogues to them, which is quite a
      different thing, more like Kreeft's BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL. If I'd
      understood that up-front when reading the book, I think my reaction
      would have been different -- I know I wasn't put out by Orson Scott
      Card's fantastically unfaithful take on Wm Blake in RED PROPHET
      because it was clear from the start that this wasn't just alternate
      history but outright fantasy disguised as alternate history and thus
      the character wd probably not correspond to the real Blake in any
      significant way.
      I really wasn't able to read HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS as a fantasy
      novel because the real-world analogues got in my way and prevented me
      for achieving "secondary belief", and I'd love to hear from someone
      who was able to approach it without those preconceptions and just
      read and enjoyed it as fiction. I know I did think the Noah chapter
      was the best part, and think I'd have liked the book more if it'd
      dropped the bridge from our world and just done more of the
      SILVERLOCK thing of fictional characters from different works and
      genres interacting. But perhaps that would have strayed too far from
      yr initial intent.
      Anyway, congratulations on the movie deal and good luck on the
      remaining books in the series.
      --JDR


      On Dec 1, 2006, at 9:09 PM, auricdor wrote:
      > Heh. Sir, you've caught me out.
      >
      > The fact that the story is a fictionalization hasn't kept me from
      > attempting to adhere to as many factual aspects of my chosen
      > protagonists as I could manage - however, as you point out, my
      > presentation of his abilities (at that point in his life) was clumsily
      > worded.
      >
      > I'd compressed certain aspects of his academic attitudes and
      > performance (as I'd interpreted them), and re-presented them in my
      > fictional version - but I think you're dead on with your specific
      > criticism. All I can guess (at this point, nearing completion of the
      > second book), is that for that moment in the story, I was serving the
      > immediate dramatic purpose more than thinking of the fidelity of a
      > straight presentation of real facts.
      >
      > Certainly, I'd never intended to have the book taken as academic in
      > any way - my H.G. Wells is ENTIRELY fictionalized, for example, at a
      > time HE was still living as well - and to that end have gently pointed
      > out that my story is more about John, Jack, and Charles, than it is
      > Tolkien, Lewis, and Williams (if you see my distinction). And I did
      > telegraph this in the first chapter, by having them retire to 221B
      > Baker Street - which does not, in fact, exist.
      >
      > Still, I regret that you didn't enjoy my book, and I hope that you'll
      > give the next one a look come October, to see if it might better suit
      > your taste.
      >
      > Best regards,
      >
      > James A. Owen
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