FIND in
<--prev V22 next-->

From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) Digesting urth
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 99 19:20:00 GMT

Uh-oh, the Log Squad is on to us!

An ultraquick note to bring others up to speed on THE BLACK GRAIL.

This is a book firmly in the tradition of THE DYING EARTH.  It was
published in 1986, but is really an expansion of an earlier novel,
SORCERER'S WORLD (published 1970).

Of particular interest to me--well, as you all know, I've been
amassing datapoints hither and yon, trying to create a hard science
reading of Severian's narrative (or convince anyone to go along with
it).  How I have bludgeoned you with tables and charts, energy flows,
Urth circuitry, and what not!

Here in THE BLACK GRAIL, at last, I have found somebody who
understands--yet he understood in 1986!  So by bumping my way through
the thorny hedge maze, I have finally managed to catch up with him,
in more ways than one.

Look: THE BLACK GRAIL lays out an Urth-type scenario (dying sun,
terraformed Earth, remnants of supertek sivilizations, quasi-medieval
societies, etc.), but the big scale mechanics are all laid out for
the reader to grasp immediately.  Here are the circuits, here are the
energy flows, this is why they are doing it, and here are some other
neat astereoengineering stunts not used on Urth.  In a sense this
means that Mystery and Magic have been stripped away, but I don't
know--it is neat to see a different approach to some of the same
Stapledonian themes and issues.

Style-wise, THE BLACK GRAIL strikes me as more like Moorcock than
like either Wolfe or Vance (this is fine--I like Moorcock).  But
there is a lot of Vancean stuff going on (easy tracking THE DYING
EARTH and THE DEMON PRINCES, for example).  It is fun, it is a romp,
it is a hoot.

<A-ooo-gah!  A-ooo-gah!>

"This is the Log Squad!  Put your hands in the air!  Away from that
keyboard, now!"



*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

<--prev V22 next-->