I’m reading Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun—ashamedly for the first time. It’s a great book! So inventive and different and new despite being 30 years old. And it makes me marvel at how sad my own attempts at literary work seem in comparison.
One of Mr. Wolfe’s real strengths is balancing a base adventure novel with an attempt to express some deep truths about the human condition that lie beyond simple didactic presentation’s ability to properly convey. I struggle with that quite a lot in my own books, and most especially in the Bodhi Trilogy.
Most readers of the firs two books in my trilogy are reading adventure romps. And that’s great. I want the books to be able to stand-alone from that perspective. On their most basic level, they should function from cover to cover as a rousing tale about a dragon and a pixie fighting the forces of evil.
I think that any reader, though, will at least pierce through that level and deal with the fact that Bodhi is an emotional cripple and Kama’s a manipulative sociopath. That second layer of the onion is often the more interesting layer for me to explore as I try to craft these two into three dimensional, rich characters who go far beyond being simply “the good guys.”
Then there’s the other final layer—the mystic layer. I’m not all that metaphysical in my actual beliefs about how the universe operates on a mechanical level. But I have studied most of the major systems of metaphysics and mysticism of the modern Western world and many of the Eastern world as well. And each book in this trilogy is meant to be a spell of sorts. Like the films of Kenneth Anger, I intentionally commit an alchemical working with each book and douse them with very specific, if very occult, references to the Western magick tradition.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I do all that at once nearly as well as Wolfe does in The Book of the New Sun with his own three layers of narrative. I truly marvel at what he was able to accomplish.
Of course, I have to start out by asking if you’ve read Exegesis yet. If not, go do that right now! Leave work and get it done :)
Next, I thought I’d brag on myself a little. Not only do I write books and occasionally Photoshop together some concept art, but I also write music. I put out a faux-demo album for my high school band–about 18 years after we’ve broken up! I always lamented that we never did a demo back then and decided that now that I have access to some semi-pro recording gear and the know how that I’d just do it myself. Of course, I’m not going to win any awards for my musical endeavors. But it’s fun! You can check the album out here: https://soundcloud.com/o3-out-of-order
What do you create? Are you a novelist? A musician? A graphic artist? Something else entirely? All of the above? Hope you have something!
There’s an unsolicited 5-star review of Exegesis up on Amazon already! Really awesome to see. Have you read the book yet? Post a review.
Whoo-hoo! Hard copies of both Exegesis and the revised edition of Catharsis are in my hands :)
Buy It Here!
It’s new book Tuesday, and you know what that means… The sequel to Catharsis is out! That’s right—Exegesis, the sequel to my 2011 novel Catharsis is available via Amazon or through special order through your favorite book retailer. You can even ask your local library to carry a copy! I hope you enjoy this one. Some of the feedback has it as even better than the original! The action ramps up as Kama and Bodhi have to complete a quest to help Djwhal Khul birth the new Caprician Age.
If you do read it, leave me a review on Amazon! The more reviews, the merrier. Even if you hate it.
Another day closer to the official Exegesis release date! As promised, here’s a little bonus feature. I’ve revamped the cover to Catharsis and matched that style on Exegesis. In doing that, I bought a few photos/illustrations from iStock to use. While this one didn’t wind up on a cover, it made a pretty good Kama concept drawing. This was originally a dancer, but through some Photoshopping, she’s now a pixie in Spacer clothes!
That’s right! Exegesis has gone through several edits and rewrites, and I think it’s ready for prime time. This is more of a public beta than a Gold Master, but I think it’s good enough to enjoy. Check Amazon on Monday, and I’ll be updating the blog over the next few days with teasers and some cool stuff :)