Where I am Today (metaphorically speaking)

I have a few links on the Internet to show you today. Darren Owens of the book blog Bart’s Bookshelf has been very kind lately. For starters, he gave The Young City an excellent review:

In 1884 people didn’t ‘live in sin’ of course, so when they first arrive and it is assumed they are already married, they have to play along. So the book naturally deals with sex and whether Peter & Rosemary are ready for it, and this is handled really nicely (and at times with some nice moments of humour). For this reader it is only right that it is brought up and dealt with, and is in fact absolutely necessary, otherwise it would be a real injustice to the rest of their growth as a couple. (Parents with younger fans of the books may want to be aware of these elements, but really, I can’t see anyone having a problem with them.)

I’m not a history buff or a Canadian, but the 1884 Toronto world James’ drops them both into feels both real and genuine and different enough from any ‘past world’ I’ve come across in books before, to keep things interesting The sub-plot of their friend Faith for example, who is struggling to become one of the first female doctors in the country, intertwines nicely with Rosemary’s attempts and struggles from the other side of the time-difference fence, where she has to put aside her modern-day attitudes and morality to fit in with the rather more sexist conventions of the day.

Be sure to read the whole thing!

Now, as if this wasn’t enough, Darren was kind enough to interview both me and the characters Rosemary and Peter. You can see part one of the interview here, and part two here.

Thanks, Darren! It was a pleasure writing for Peter and Rosemary again.

Not to be outdone, Toronto blogger Jenn of Mad Tales has also reviewed The Young City and offers up these kind words:

The Toronto described in the story is exciting, and in many ways, dangerous. It is unrecognizable yet familiar. I love to read stories of the history of the place in which I live. There is always something exciting to be learned, and it grounds the tale. In this story, the river into which Rosemary and Peter fall is Taddle Creek. The story takes place just as it is being buried. I had never heard of this creek, or if I had heard it mentioned, it hadn’t registered, because I didn’t have any point of reference for it. Since reading this book, I’ve heard of it a number of times. Once, in an environmental discussion group, while we were discussing how city life attempts to control water, from a person who had lived in a house much like Rosemary’s brother, which was built directly over the creek. Once today, as there was a music group with the name of Taddle Creek performing at a Doors Open venue. I feel like I have this wonderful new special knowledge of my city, and that is fabulous. Just what a novel like this should provide!

Thanks to both Darren and Jenn for their kind words.

In other news, I’d like you all to extend your congratulations to my lovely wife Erin who, a couple of days ago, wrote “The End” at the end of her latest revision to Plain Kate. She’d been hard at work on this rewrite these past two weeks, working on editorial suggestions provided by Arthur A. Levine himself. Arthur, incidentally, wrote that he was at Book Expo America as part of a panel about “books you are excited about”. Given a few extra minutes to talk about books he hadn’t talked about on the panel, he started going on about Plain Kate before remembering that it’s not due out until fall 2010, and this book was supposed to be about 2009 releases. Oh, well. But there’s nothing wrong with getting a little extra buzz early, is there?

The Night Girl is going well, with the rewrite having passed the 52,000 word mark. The story may finish up near 70,000 words, which would make it longer than The Dream King’s Daughter, and the second longest story I’ve ever worked on. (The longest was the Doctor Who fan novel In Tua Nua that I co-authored with Joseph Keeping back in the mid 1990s. The previous second place finisher was Greg Gick’s Crescent, Cross, Star and Pentagram, which I helped edit for Chris Kocher’s Ninth Aspect, clocking in at 66,000 words) This revision of The Night Girl may be done by the middle of this month. Keep your fingers crossed.

In other news, my friend Collen brings to my attention this YouTube video, which proves that most anything is improved with the addition of light sabers…

And, you know: as bad as the fight scenes from 70’s Doctor Who are reputed to be, this one wasn’t bad.

And moving on: from the guys who brought you the literal version of A-Ha’s Take on Me video, we now give you the literal version of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart:

Link courtesy Melle.ca.

Finally, from the Sinister Mr. Bester, we have this superbly trippy trailer for, of all things, a game. I showed this to Erin, and she said to me “this is really trippy” before the Sergeant Pepper coats came on and the video shifted to the Beatles’ later years. Just watch:

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