GRADUAL INTERVIEW (July 2006)
chris summers: Hi, I wrote to you for the first time last month. I'm a musician, and I make my living doing it, basically i've been doing it for round thirty years. I rarely ever get tired of it, but on occasions its hard to motivate myself when it comes to writing new material etc. but then the thought comes to me, as it always does when i'm in that situation, "Stop whining dude, you've spent your whole life doing the thing you love, and you never have to clock in at eight, and out at five, or take orders from some boring old fart in a suit, life is great" .......usually that does the trick, but not always. I was wondering, is it the same for you? Do you ever get tired of writing, is it a hobby too? after you were recognised, did all the fun go out of it, has it become just a job? I hope thats not the case. You must be heartened by the letters and wonderful comments by people, and I am in great admiration of your work. Obviously when you first started writing, getting responses like this must have made you feel over the moon, but now all these years and books later do you still get the same feeling inside when you read them. I hope my quetions haven't been too intrusive, and just one final one, Whats your favourite place on Earth??............Thanks for answering my first letter to you. Chris Summers
John: Mr. Donaldson,
A question was posted in the G.I. regarding the use of profanity in ROTE. Specifically, you were asked why you chose to use more profanity/obscenity than the previous Covenant books. The question states that they had “whited out all the profanity so the book could be in ‘proper’ Covenant form”.
It is my observation this is a little…disingenuous. I am reminded of the saying “Actions speak louder than words”. Covenant commits an act of rape upon his first arrival to the Land. I believe rape to be an extreme act of obscenity worse than any word/s could be…even though words are often used as weapons and can be very damaging (as your response to this question pointed out). I must wonder if someone who would “whit” out words of profanity would also “whit” out the rape scene in LFB. To do so would irrevocably alter the entire proceeding Chronicles, First, Second and Last. And I must wonder why someone would embrace the first two Chronicles, fueled, to a very large extent upon Covenant’s act of rape, but despair the use of specific words in the Last Chronicles.
Hum, I do not seem to be asking a question, but rather making a statement, and I I'm not sure if that is what you intended the G.I. to be used for. If not, I’m sorry. And it is not my intent to ‘attack’ the other poster to the GI. I just feel (as someone who has loved not just the Chronicles, but all your works) that your works have always been about something…well, dark. The people in your stories often experience terrible events. It would be unrealistic if Linden, in the ‘real world’, did not experience the use of profanity, but did experience other dark events, such as Covenant’s murder, the suicide of her father in her presence, the mental/physical abuse of Joan. And I must wonder why anyone would think it could be so?
Best wishes to you.
Recently, I came across a book by "Reed Stevens" called "Treasure of Taos: Tales of Northern New Mexico". Considering that you live in New Mexico, and that this book was published close to the time you still used that name (1992)...well, I would think this book is not yours, otherwise you would have it listed on this site. I have been unable to find out any information of this book or it's author. Do you know of this book, or its author?
James Sletten: I have greatly enjoyed your books over the years, especially The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. I appreciate this opportunity to ask you a question.
You have mentioned before that creating the character of Terisa Morgan helped you prepare for Linden Avery. I couldn’t help but notice certain similarities between Adept Havelock and Anele; midway through Runes, I realized that I was picturing an image of Anele that was very similar to how I pictured Havelock. Did Havelock contribute to the creation of Anele?
Michael from Santa Fe: This may be obvious, but does the title "Shall Pass Utterly" come from the lines in "Lord Kevin's Lament" where it states that "beauty and truth shall *NOT* pass utterly from the Earth"? And if so, I must say, "I have a bad feeling about this"... :-)
Mitchell: What is your opinion of the writings of Robert E. Howard?
Vincent: Hail Mr. Donaldson,
It's been a while since I came to this site and had the opportunity to read, not only your stories, but your insight and personal opinions. Honestly I don't believe there is any other writer out there who converses with the readers like they are 'real' people. I think that is wonderful and I hope you will continue to so for a long time.
I remember mentioning to you that I was a writer. Well I have been writing what I think of as fairly fast, an average of 9 pages a day...not counting weekends and drinking days...and I was wondering, how many pages a month would you personaly consider fast?
Oh and I suppose the last thing I'd like to ask is, what do you feel about getting an agent to help publish someone's first book? Is it important to have their wider knowledge of the how's and what's of the business, or should I just start slinging manuscripts around? I know you can't recommend any agent or publisher specificaly because of a conflict of interest. My appologies if you have already answered this question, I just didn't feel like wading through the GI to find it...*laughing*
Christian Bonn: While I assume you are in great and vigorous health, how would you handle your ‘Last Chronicles’ in a [life- and livelihood threatening disease]? Would you want some designated author to complete your Last Chronicles for you posthumously? Would you rush to complete ’Last Chronicles’ yourself as best you could? Would you just leave the conclusion of your series to the imagination of your readers? Also, I wonder what type of precedent there is for authors who fail to outlive their many volume epics?
Forgive me for bringing up such a morbid topic in the gradual interview, but you seem accessible enough to consider and respond to this type of question carefully. Stay healthy!
Tom: Greetings, sir! I'm a representative of a younger generation of your readers, and I've got about six of my 16-18 year old friends into all your works over the last couple of years. I've had the pleasure of reading your books both as a child, unable perhaps to grasp many of the complexities and yet able to be whisked away with ease into your rich immersive worlds, and after having matured ((to an extent, at least ;-)), able to appreciate more of the ideas hiding under the surface. Allow me to be the sixty thousandth person to thank you for some of the most beautiful and inspiring reads I've experienced.
Now then, I'll try to ask a couple of things which haven't been asked before:
1. Lovecraft once said that "Any great and lasting book must be ambiguous. It is a mirror that makes the reader's features known, but the author must seem to be unaware of the significance of his work." Got any thoughts on this, and if you have the time, on his writings in general?
2. Another thing for which I must thank you is pointing me in the direction of Steven Erikson. The sheer scale of his work borders on insane, but he's an absolutely fascinating read. This is probably a less unique question, but I just wondered which *event* in the "Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen" series you have enjoyed the most thusfar? Personally Coltaine's chain of dogs moved me very, very much, as did the Mappo-Icarium situation and the ending of Memories of Ice. (btw I'm only up to "House of Chains", so please try not to spoil anything for me, or for that matter anybody else. ;-))
Thanks in advance for any replies you may give.
David Wiles: Dear Steve; In Andelain people encounter their dead.
Is it only for people who have a message from their dead? If I recall correctly, Covenant was in Andelain with Atiarian when the attack occured on the Wraiths during their dance at the Celebraton of Spring and there was no encounters for either him or Atiarian.
Also, is it possible to take a Caesure back before they were actually created.
Your stories are always a well met Waymeet to me regaurdless of the many times I have read them.
Sincerly, David Wiles
Dear Mr Donaldson,
Thank you very much for answering my previous question. Here is one about the Gap which has long puzzled me.
At the end of 'Forbidden Knowledge' we see Warden's guilt over committing a crime against Angus' soul, the implication being that this is a step too far and 'it's got to stop.' Yet the terms for making someone a cyborg, 'wedding' and 'welding', are clearly already established, so individuals must have been welded before. Why, then, does the case of Angus so perturb Warden, especially as, being 'the slime of the universe', Angus might be thought to be slightly less deserving of sympathy than almost anybody else?
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Andrew: As I recently read the GI, it seemed to me that you are genuinely peeved that your books don't sell more than they do. That theme is repeated in many comments. Since Runes was a NYT bestseller, that surprises me. Is that true? If so, how do *you* determine whether or not a novel is truly successful?
Anonymous: Were you ever asked to contribute a story to the "Legends" short story anthologies put together by Robert Silverberg? I ask because I certainly think you SHOULD have been, even if you declined to contribute a story. Just curious.
Rex: Even though there could be any number of reasons why you completed the draft of "Fatal Revenant" more quickly than Runes (even though "Revenant" is longer), I want to ask: do you think that you are getting extra impetus by the fact that you are finishing the Covenant story? Do you normally write faster the closer you get to the end of a story?
DrGonzo: [Much deleted here to save space. Not that I don't appreciate it: I do. But the GI is already turning into a tome. <sigh>]
1 . you evidently had good reason to have covenant sacrifice himself at the end of the second chronicles. working within your own constraints, the law of death is broken in the first chronicles which was a stand alone series you had no intention to continue at the time, when you came to write the second chrons you said that the idea for the last chrons developed as well. was this event just an eventuality that would have happened whether the idea for the last chrons had come to you or not? or is it an event that depends on the completion of the story? the law of death was already broken so its easy to kill of a character, even covenant.
(you probable cant answer this but i thought i'd ask anyway.)
2 . was your intended audience of a mature mind [rather than a child's], or are you generaly ambivalent to this issue?? also, without opening a debate, does the concept of censorship bother you from an authors poiint of view???
ok so i rammbled but there are some points in there so if you feel generous enough to answere them i would be grateful
David S. Hawkins: Mr. Donaldson,
I am not quite done with Runes yet, I am taking my time and enjoying it! I will probably finish by May sometime, at which point, I will dive back into the Gap for the summer
[again, much has been deleted to save space]
I know I should be asking you a question, so; Is the legend of the worm of the world's end a sign that the universe of "The Land" limited to the planet? If the world is destroyed by the Worm, does that in fact destroy the Arch of Time or the "universe"? The Worm appears to be the core of the planet, which surely would tell the tale of a doomed planet, but the Arch is bigger than the planet isn't it?
With anticipation of your future works!
Matt Fensome: Dear Stephen,
Through reading the interviews (both 'structured' and 'gradual') on this site I've noted a few names that recur - Conrad, Faulkner, Peake and Henry James in particular - as your literary 'heroes' or inspirations.
I'm of the opinion that most great genre writers are great because they read deeply and enthusiastically *outside* their genre, so I for one would love to hear a few thoughts, however brief, about these guys. I'm especially interested in how you feel they've influenced or inspired you as a writer of fantasy and sci-fi in particular.
Are these guys a natural choice for a fantasy writer's heroes, or is there some leap to be made here? What specifically about these writers do you admire or love? Have you tried to emulate specific devices or elements of their style in your writing? How far over the question limit am I now?
Finally - if you could send a question to Conrad or Faulkner or Henry James or Mervyn Peake's 'gradual interview', what would you ask any or all of them? ;)
Thanks very much in advance (and thanks again for the GI itself),
Alex: First let me say that I found myself reading your books by pure chance about a year ago and since that time I have come to own them all. I just can't help falling into the Land as I read and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book. Now to my question...
In the second chronicles Covenant dies and yet with the person who the story revolves around being gone the story continues without so much as a slight falter. Didn't you find it extreamly hard to continue a story without the person the story is about?
"Runes" was just as deep and rich as the books that came before. Linden has become strong without Covenant to draw her forward. The peoples of the land have grown and changed with the passage of time, yet again. It's all so much to account for and I can only guess at how hard it must be to convey such things as clearly as you have...
I hope that you will continue to write with such grace long after the land has passed.
Bob Meads: Mr Donaldson,
I have always been facinated by the obscure words you use in TC, and am currently reading "The One Tree". I have come across a word that the definition that Merriam-Webster gives is not satisfactory. That word is "unhermeneuticable". The word is uttered by PitchWife, about Findail the Appointed (page 366 , paperback).
The word itself doesn't come up on Merriam Webster's site. The closest is 'hermeneutics' which means: the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible).
this doesnt seem to fit the context, as Pitchwife relates:
"He perceives some unhermeneuticable peril --"
Can you tell me what it meant in this context?
Have you ever made up new words? <grin>
kevin: In the Second Chronicles, was it your intent to base the Clave off the christain church? there is a lot of comparison, and I wondered if gibbon being possessed by the raver was an allusion to some of the evil ways of the church.
Sean Casey: You've talked in this interview about your reasons for using certain words, certain kind of words. Some of your writing can be pretty heavily laden with similes. What does your use of imagery bring to your work? Do you have any favourite images you'd care to share?
Lynne H: In one of your responses here in the GI, you named Jane Austen as one of the "giants." Although your context and hers are very different, and your canvas is considerably larger, I actually find that the two of you are not so dissimilar, particularly in how you treat your characters, respecting even the so-called "minor" ones. You're both very witty. And you work with flawed characters who somehow manage to "earn" (for lack of a better word) their happy endings (putting things a bit simply here to save time and bandwidth--this could be the subject of several pages). I would like to know which of Austen's novels is your favorite and why?
Also, as a public school teacher, I am curious as to what disappointed you about the reading assignments your children were given when they were attending school. Many teachers, unfortunately, take the books that were forced on them in high school and college and, out of laziness or lack of imagination, force them on their students. I can't imagine dragging my high-school freshman English classes kicking and screaming through The Great Gatsby. If any of your children's teachers had had the good sense to ask your advice, what would you have suggested?
Thanks for the opportunity to ask.
Sean Casey: In one of Stephen King's introductions to The Dark Tower books he says: 'There were probably half a dozen Merrys and Pippins slogging through the mud at Max Yasgur's farm during the Great Woodstock Music Festival, twice as many Frodos, and hippie Gandalfs without number. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was madly popular in those days, and while I never made it to Woodstock (say sorry), I suppose I was at least a halfling-hippie. Enough of one, at any rate, to have read the books and fallen in love with them.'
Were you a halfling-hippie? :)
Having been born in the mid-seventies, the associations between the hippie movement and TLotR are something I've only read about. How do those associations colour your perception of Tolkien's work? Did they at all influence your decision to write fantasy?
thinbuddha: Since I haven't seen this in the GI, I have to assume that it has been asked, and that you chose not to answer.... But I'll ask anyway, because I'm nosey:
Have you had any experiences with "psychedelic" drugs in your lifetime?
Darrin Cole: Gidday Stephen, A philosophical question of sorts.
In a universe of infinite possibilities, have you ever given thought to the idea that sometimes authors tap into realities that are actually out there, or that by creating a work such as Covenant Or Mirror or any of your other glorious children, that you could be casting these creations out on to the void to become realities. Not to take away from your skill at all, that your stories are all you is totally in evidence when reading the GI or any interviews etc you have written, just wondering if you have ever toyed with these ideas? In an infinite universe all things are not just possible but likely.
Michael from Santa Fe: In reading the GI I get the impression that you are a fan of movies, either going to the theater or watching at home, do you have a favorite film(s)?
Brian Matthews: I have read often in the GI that the GAP series is your favorite out of the four series currently completed. Some readers may dismay given the popularity of Covenent! Yet to me this makes perfect sense. As a professional storyteller, I believe you would approach each project with a set of objectives which you would like to achieve by the end of that series. Obviously, with the GAP series being the most recently completed, you would feel you have reached your best with that series. If we were to ride a caesure back to the early 1990s, you may have responded with, "I have done my best work with Mordant's Need." Likewise with the Second Chronicles in the mid-1980s: "I feel that the Second Chronicles accomplished more than the First Chronicles." Some years from now, we may hear that the Last Chronicles is, in your opinion, your best work to date. It is a natural progression of a professional storyteller.
There is no question asked above, just something I have thought about for several months before putting it down in the GI. (I also work very slowly <grin>). I eagerly await Fatal Revenent and thanks much for the recommendation of Steve Erikson; he is a wonderful author!!
Bob: Mr. Donaldson, thanks for the awesome series. I cannot wait to read Fatal Revenant .
I have a question that has bothered me, and I havent seen an answer in the GI, so I apologize if I have missed it in the TC series or the GI:
When someone is summoned to the land, they stay until the summoner is killed; this seems to be Law, except for Hile Troy. He was summoned by Atarian Trell-Mate , but she died during the summoning. Shouldn't he have likewise been called back to his balcony ledge to die in the apartment fire?
Perry Bell: Hello Stephen,
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.
I was wondering if you find writing Anele's character to be challenging or irritating in any way. I know it is a challenge to write any character, but Anele seems like he would be harder to write.
Also, do you like the Haruchai less/more now that they have become masters? Just curious. :)
If these fall under spoilers, I apologise.
Thanks again! I anxiously await FR.
Dave P: I first read Lord Foul's Bane back in high school, which is something like 25 years ago now(1982 or so). A friend of mine recommended the book, and I gave it a try. After a chapter or two, I couldn't get into it, and didn't really like the way it was going. I tried to give it back, but my friend convinced me to keep reading. We had some inane high school deal, where I would get to punch him as hard as I could or something like that if I didn't like the book at the end. If I liked it, I would have to read on through The Power That Preserves.
Well, let's just say, I didn't get to punch my friend (not that I would really want to anyway). I finished LFB and got through the rest of the trilogy, and then couldn't wait until each of the second chronicles was released.
So my question is this - have you ever had a book that you just didn't like at the start? Something that you wanted to put down, but finished anyway, and eventually loved it for the writing, content, or other reason?
Anonymous: Have you ever had a chance to read or know of any children's fantasy / sci-fi for ages 10-13 that you would recommend? Thirty years ago I read a series by Lloyd Alexander that was decent. There is just so much on the market now with the success of JK Rowling that it is hard to get a fix on well written material for that age group. Thanks.
Andrew Kamell: Hello. I have always enjoyed your books as great storytelling, as well as being fascinated by your various perspectives on moral/ethical/spiritual issues. In fact, you threatened to leave the bookstore in Albuquerque when I asked you about spiritual things. ;-)
One of the constant dilemmas your characters face is about whether it is OK to do something evil for a good purpose. Some of your characters reject this absolutely; others are willing to do some things in that way. Linden is constantly struggling with the statement "Good cannot come from evil means," but then doesn't follow that and has good come from it (as well as evil).
The early Christians, following Jesus's teachings such as "turn the other cheek," rejected violence, killing, and war absolutely; a few Christians have continued to follow that every since. When the Christians took over the Roman Empire, and didn't want to just surrender to the barbarians, most changed to accept violence, and killing, in certain very limited circumstances of a "just war." This was supposed to be very limited; it was responsive (not preventative); it was to be in response to a certain, ongoing evil; the evil that it was to stop must be greater than the evils of war; the response must be proportional, and so on. In other words, their answer was "occasionally, but use great caution." A third strain (which totally ignores that whole aspect of Jesus' teaching) is militant, neoconservative philosophy where "we are in the right and therefore are justified in doing anything to forward our cause; our ends justify our means." Terry Goodkind expresses that in a fantasy setting; the administration does in real-life.
Anyway, I hope you don't mind me putting some of my own thoughts in here. Would you be willing to share some more of your thoughts on the validity of "good can't come from evil means" and your thoughts on war/killing, whether & when just wars exist, etc?
M. Coleman: In response to your comments about Arthur C. Clarke and so called reductive materialism you can just as well say reductive subjectivity because after all the mysteries that Clarke writes about have reality and substance (out-there) while identity, emotion and imagination are limited to the individual. Other races in infinite space are very likely while something like Tolkiens Gandalf is essentially a religious figure and therefore impossible in nature.
That wasn't a question so I'll ask one here.
How do you keep a character like Lord Foul from dominating everything in the story as he is such a charismatic figure? In what specific ways do you elicit the expected sympathies, I assume, in Thomas Covenant and his band instead? Tolkien was not successful in my case in getting me to feel for the fate of the rolling hills and dales of The Shire. I always thought Mordor was a much more interesting and fascinating place and Sauron a more powerful construction then Gandalf. Tolkien was a repressed Anglo-Catholic and he invested more of his pent up creative energies in the evils of Middle Earth to the benefit of his books. I feel the same thing in reading Stephen King and your own books as well.
Pier Giorgio (Xar): Hello Steve! First of all, thanks for answering my previous question (but I suppose these thank you notices are now standard issue for returning GI submitters *grin*).
Time and again, I have found out that if I wish to write a certain story, I first need to build the world where the story would be based; however, this process of creation is not limited to the little slice of the world I would need for the story. Rather, in time, it leads me to build the whole world, its cultures, its history, its geography, even if a large part of the world will never even be hinted at in my story. I think Tolkien described this process as "sub-creation"; in time, I have grown to feel great affection for my world, regardless of the stories I set in it. In this, my creative process differs substantially from yours, according to how you described it in the GI; as I understand it, your primary commitment is to the story, as opposed to the world you create to contain it. But my question is - have you ever grown to particularly love any of the worlds you have created for your stories, independently of the story you set in it? That is - has it ever happened to you that, even after completing a story, you have later found yourself thinking of the world you set it in, simply because it got under your skin?
Allen: I've been reading Edward Said's book "On Late Style" and a rather odd question occurred to me. In his book Said says that some grand masters live to achieve a late style that "crowns years of aesthetic effort and achievement." One form of late style - embodied by Shakespeare, Wagner and such - is that of maturity, an unearthly serenity, and ripeness. But another kind of late style - see Beethoven, Theodor Adorno, and Giuseppe Lampedusa - is that of fragmentation, irresolution, tension, and contrariness.
Unless you intend to skip your late style - always a possibility considering your quest for immortality - what form of late style will you enter into after completing Covenant's struggles against Despite in the arena of the Land?
Thank you very much for your efforts.
Ossie: Lately on the GI there have been several questions regarding parts of your work lost due to editing: bluntly, "can we see/will you publish lost chapters, edited sections, an 'author's cut' etc". Your response seems fair enough: the final work is improved due to this editing & you would prefer people not see it before that. But if I could perhaps paraphrase the impression *I* get that people are really asking: are there any cases where you truly did not want to cut (or add) material, and remain convinced it should have remained even now, but for whatever reason "lost" that particular battle? "What Has Gone Before" comes to mind - you have discussed the history of this: are there others? Thank you again for all the pleasure your work has given me - waiting eagerly for FR.
Robert Evans: Since an Indonesian volcano is currently in the news, I was wondering how much study of geology you've done. The "Fire-Lions" of Mount Thunder are a remarkably apt description of pyroclastic flows, years before video footage of these fascinating phenomenon became widely available. You also mention volcano phenomena in other places, such as Hotash Slay and in the Wightwarrens. Is geology/volcanology a particular field of interest for you?
Thanks for any reply!
Louis Whaley: Dear Steve,
I am not at leisure to read now as much as I did in the 80's, when I started the Thomas Covenant series (I was introduced to it by someone much younger than I, when I was an undergraduate; now I'm married, a father, and a graduate student). I was hoping for a movie but after LTR I see the limitations and now I'm ambivalent. Now when I think movie, I think miniseries on television a la SciFi channel treatment of the Dune series; do you care to comment on the visual presentation of (your) SF-fantasy work on televison? From what I've looked at, writing novels is much more difficult than screenplays; couldn't you control the visual presentation of your work by writing the screenplays yourself, because after Ballantine gives permission for you to write them, don't they lose a degree of control over the final product?
STEVE M: With regard to the TC Universe. You have previously stated that you only create as much of a background/history that is needed to write the story. I also recall an earlier discussion involving a lack of real "religion" in the Land. Keeping this in mind the TC books are filled with themes and motifs involving redemption, Good v. Evil (albeit final battle or not), a Creator, salvation and/or a savior, need I go on? Ostensibly all blatantly religious themes. Furthermore I harken back to a specific chapter in the First Chronicles where TC has a run in with a couple of religious evangelists. So much for the introduction, what I am getting at is this. There is very little background/biography of TC as person; what is life was like, childhood, influences etc. Of course for purposes of the story you are telling I recognize that is impossible and impractical to really write the "biography of Thomas Covenant", however, such a complex character unquestionably has an even more complex biography so his life i.e. his character for all intents and purposes begins when he contracts leprosy (again we have another sickness/disease with biblical overtones; don't even get me started on the implications of healing the leprosy). With all of the aforementioned in mind, the question that I have goes to your general intent in creating the TC character. Did you envision him as character with deep religious beliefs or values? Was it your intention to convey a religious upbringing? Statements such as "Hellfire" or "Bloody Damnation" certainly suggest this fact. I know that this question may seem a bit long winded but may be helpful in further understanding such a complex character. What were your thoughts on these issues as you created and developed the TC character and Universe?
Andrew Roy: Dear Mr. Donaldson:
Thank you so much for this forum and answering my questions to date. I find quite a few interesting interpretations of your work in this forum as well as many questions that had not occurred to me.
My first question involves the Coursers from second chronicles. I had read second chronicles first which may be a root cause of my misconception (if indeed it is a misconception).
I had always thought that the Coursers were Ranyhyn that were twisted into Coursers by the corruption of earthpower that is the Sunbane. I don't think anything I read ever confirmed this notion, but the only way to find out is to ask.
Next, one of my all time favorites Nom the Sandgorgon! This whole concept of the contained fury in Sandgorgon's Doom is amazing. When Nom was called upon by Covenant and rent himself a Raver, he became intelligent. Before this encounter, it seemed like the Sandgorgons were forces of nature, weapons of the Kemper, to be contained and used as necessary.
Do they still exist in the Land? Have they been freed? **I'll totally understand if I have to wait for the answer for another book or two or three.** But I'd really like to know, did Nom know to come before he was called like the Ranyhyn do, or is he just that fast?
And lastly, in the GAP series, which is totally amazing, which charater's perpective was the most fun to write from. **My bet would be on Nick or Angus, but I can't be sure.**
Peter "Creator" Purcell: "As a general rule, I find that questions are only "entirely devoid of merit" when I permit myself to scoff at them. In other words, a question is only "entirely devoid of merit" when I make it so. ("Creator" questions leap to mind. <sigh>)"
Who would ask those? *said with as innocent a tone as I can manage!!"
James M.: Stephen, I recently reread the GAP series and noticed a bit of a striking difference between this series and the Covenant books. Please bear with me while I try to articulate into words what are, at best, mere impressions.
The GAP books seem, to me at least, more literal than the Covenant books. They seem more logical, not necessarily in plot but in character development. I noticed in the GAP books several discussions between characters that were very direct and literal about their current situation. They addressed their immediate situation directly, mostly between Morn and Nick in the second book.
Conversely, the Covenant books always seemed to be more impressionistic in nature. What I mean is that importance seemed to be placed more on Covenant's emotional reaction to certain events and there was a lot of guesswork involved in trying to figure out exactly what was going on, or exactly why Covenant reacted this way or said this thing.
I guess my question is, if you understand what I'm saying, was this difference in writing style deliberate, was it dependent on setting (sci-fi vs. fantasy), or did it just happen naturally?
Joe: Hi Stephen,
You seem to have such a great sense of humour but so little of it is reflected in your work. The humour that is present is so subtle! Is that intentional when you create? Have you ever intentionally written something funny only to cut it later because it didn't fit with the current mood? (which I admit is usually bleak!)