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Showing posts from November, 2014

Book Review: "Dead Tree Version" by Ian McLeod

See my review of McLeod's novella here.

“Dead Tree Version” is a third-person omniscient novel chronicling the sudden and surprising success of USDA employee-turned-author John Madison Darwin and his misadventures with the adorable Carrie. This existential soul-search (or nihilistic meandering; pick your poison) is narrated over a period of months and features scenes ranging in tone from the darkly-humorous to the sitcomishly-ridiculous, taking place in both recurring locations (Darwin's apartment; Carrie's apartment; 'Cafe Nostrum') and non-recurring locations (some resort in Wisconsin; a 'con' in the Arlington Heights Community College gym). We are even, at times, treated to the magnificence of the Heavenly Throne, where G-d Almighty deals with a fictional (I think? Probably a composite character of some sort) angel/visionary named Burt Hugeunot, who appears to Darwin in dreams at key points in the story—portending ominous consequences that begin unfoldi…

How to Write: Neologisms in Fiction - To Use or Not to Use?

Are you a writer who made up new words for your story? Are you going to bring those terms out for your English-reading audience to interact with? Should you use a neologism in your fiction?
The answer depends on how much you want to "translate" the "language" of your characters into English. If you're writing a story where "English" isn't being spoken (such as in the Ark series), then in theory, everything is "translated" for your English-reading audience. Assuming this, the places where you choose to be literal with your terms is a narrative marker of significance or insignificance. Here's what I mean:

Having written a novel with more than a few neologisms, I found that employing neologisms was important in the places where an English word (or even a loanword like the Japanese sensei) did not do full justice to the breadth of my term.

I use the term didak to refer to a Magisterial Adept's "teacher." "Teacher"…