Authorial Voice, Scheduling, and a New Review

I wrote my most recent post about Guy le Strange’s book on ancient Baghdad in one long sustained burst, and upon revisiting just noticed that I use the phrase “by God” and “God alone knows.”

Those really aren’t regular parts of my speech pattern, but they are pretty common in most of my primary sources. Ibn Athir, for instance, seems to praise God every few sentences.  Apparently you really do begin to absorb the style of the books you read!

When I write Asim I strive to emulate the sound of these ancient writers, like ibn Jubayr and Usamah ibn Muquidh. But I don’t imitate them exactly. To the modern western ear so many mentions of religion distract from the narrative, and I would imagine that if I used them as often as Ibn Jubayr I might even be accused of trying to “force” the tone. Thus, while I mention God with some regularity in the Dabir and Asim stories, and  deliberately simulate the cadence and the fee of these ancient writers — adopting a slightly more formal sound — I keep away from precise duplication.

In other news, I’m still headed for the Terre Haute, Indiana Barnes and Noble for a book reading tomorrow at 6:00 pm, so I hope I’ll see some people there interested in hearing me talk about ancient Arabia and read a little from the book. The fear at book signing’s is always that you’ll end up doing nothing more than giving directions to the bathroom as people wander past your signing desk.

Also, a new review of The Bones of the Old Ones went live over the weekend. I’m not sure what Dabir and Asim would think of the review’s title, but I know they’d be thrilled to hear that their latest adventure was well received. I certainly am.

And, lastly, my old and very good friend Eric Knight (E.E. Knight of Vampire Earth and Age of Fire fame) has a fabulous sword-and-sorcery story up at Black Gate. If you dig sword-and-sorcery you owe it to yourself to go read it. Promptly.

2 Comments on “Authorial Voice, Scheduling, and a New Review

  1. Your ‘old’ friend Eric?!

    Hey old buddy – up to reading at the B&N in Milwaukee? I’d love to orchestrate a combo reading…I’m thinking Jones and Knight roadtripping…bring along Butcher and even Wolfe…any other Chicago authors?

  2. Danged right — we’re both old now! And we’ve known each other for at least ten years now.

    That’s a LOOOONG haul for me, and I don’t know Butcher or Wolfe personally, although I’ve exchanged a few sentences with Jim Butcher. But it would be nice to see you in your natural environment!

    Incidentally, I have only ONE Fargo and ONE Sundance left to read, and I almost hate to do it…

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