Sunday, October 08, 2006

S.M. Stirling: Fantasy Crack Dealer

Okay, up front, I'll admit that the title of this post is intentionally provocative, in the hope that S.M Stirling would grace me with another visit. At the same time, I have to assert that his posting online of the first ten chapters of A Meeting in Corvalis is nothing short of the same tactic used by drug dealers throughout the U.S. He gives us just enough to get hooked, then CUTS US OFF AT CHAPTER TEN.

Despite the fact that I intended to buy the novel anyway, I just feel so cheap...

UPDATE: Yes, I bought the hard back. And the rush I felt as I peeled off the dust cover and opened it up to chapter 11 was worth it. So far, I'm quite pleased with this volume. The second seemed to be more of a bridge. I was expecting more of the conflict with the PPA to be more extensive. In this volume, the war really seems to take off.

I think the one thing I do have a little trouble with is the idea of Arminger's pope declaring the Mt. Angel faction to be schismatic. What isn't quite so clear is how the pope and all of the PPA religious attained their positions. That would really determine who were schismatic and who wasn't. I guess I have more of a problem with this just because we get a loose association of the Church with the bad guys, except for the Mt. Angel Catholics who are declared schismatic. But we don't really see much of an exploration of their beliefs or the ecclesial structure. About the closest we get to an exploration in the Catholic personality is Mattie, who was clearly not properly cathechized (or she wouldn't have engaged in a synchretistic ceremony, however innocent).

I'm only on chapter 10, though, and Mr. Stirling did go to the illustrious Dale Price for background notes, so maybe I'm just being persnickety.

Anyhoo, despite a few grievances, I love the book. Mr. Stirling's attention to detail is excellent—reminds me a bit of Bernard Cornwell (and I'm a big Sharpe fan).

UPDATE 2: Okay, got to the part about Mt. Angel, and I guess I can't complain anymore. I can definitely see Mr. Price's fingerprints on that chapter. If only the rest of our archdiocese were as orthodox and enthusiastic.

BTW, I'm in the lovely little town of Hershey, PA this week for some training. Postings will probably be rather sparse.
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