Saturday, August 30, 2008

~ the wad

It came to me at the bottom of a cold dark well. I would write a fantasy novel. In fact three, a trilogy, something as surreal and rabelaisian as China Mieville, but which would sell like Terry Pratchett.

A month later and I haven’t yet got bored of the idea. In fact it’s going rather well. Slow, but well. I can’t imagine how I will ever complete it, but I’m not letting that get in the way. I’m going to send some finished chapters around the place and get some reaction, then I’ll either bite the bullet and write the whole thing, or do something else.

The novel is set in two interconnected worlds: Nonesuch, dominated by a planet-girdling forest called (at this stage) The Weald, and Telesium, the spirit world, accessible by Séance, by the herb sleither, and by rites of the shrouded Velleity. So far, I’ve spent most of the time building the universe, naming the plants and animals, the seasons, the rules of Nature, the history of human civilisation … making a map, the all-important map. Though, as is my way, I still waste time with intricate, richly textured details that may never see the light of print, I have been uncharacteristically strict with myself. I have a believable world, three or four chapters in draft and one polished off.

At present I’m worried about the name of the male protagonist, Lamarc. It’s not bad, but it’s not of the rank of, say, Alsace, his father, or Teasel, his mother, or Tetany, the evil queen. If you’ve got any suggestions? The victim of the recent light plane crash in Moorabbin had a beautiful name: Akash Ananth. Either would be better than Lamarc, I think. But I’m not sure. Perhaps too sub-continental …

Anyway, here’s a snippet ... Unknowingly drawn by the mysterious discorporate entity Almathea, the child Lamarc is venturing perilously into the phantasmagoric Weald …


Deeper in the wildness, in close musty pockets where the sun scarcely penetrated, he had observed a very curious and poorly understood creature - or perhaps part of creature, or perhaps plant - known as the wad. It was a cube roughly the size of a human head, composed of a moist translucent meat-like substance, veined with something blackish that could be seen to flow and packed with pebble-sized organelles in pale shades of red, blue and grey. Behaviourally, the wad was elementary. It fell; unexpectedly and from on high - from no visible resting place or eyrie, seeming to materialize in mid-air. It would slap into the earth, scattering leaves and mulch, then proceed to decay in natural order, offering its stored minerals and energy to the Weald. No doubt the wad could kill, if one was caught beneath it, but to Lamarc’s knowledge no one had yet had such tremendous bad luck.

The wad was a very strange thing, but it was a useful reminder that everything to do with the Weald was fundamentally strange. If Lamarc was ever in danger of acclimatising to the outlandishness of life in the forest, the wad was always there to pull him up. A queer thing in its essence. No apparent rhyme or reason. Brute strangeness.

In these congested areas, he could feel the Weald in everything. It transfused from soil to air, from leaf to root to thallus, from rain to tongue; everything swollen and heated with the workings of the ecome.


Some other news … The re-release of the Beargarden album All That Fall is looming. The delay has been my fault. I’ve insisted on writing liner notes that contain a potted history of the band, and since I’ve been hiding under a rock until recently, nothing has got done. Now I’m working again and the biography is almost ready. It’s long and full of dirt.

We’ve been spurred to action by word of movement regarding the long awaited Dogs in Space DVD release. We want to release an Ears album around the same time, but, according to our schedule, we can’t do that until the Beargarden is done and dusted.

Apparently, commentary tracks are being prepared for the DVD, so Mick Lewis (Ears guitarist) and I have decided to our services to R. Lowenstein. We’re so excited about it, we may do it whether it’s included or not.

Stumble Upon Toolbar DiggIt!


Mr. Kim Guthrie said...

m I'm an ignorant cuss when it comes to literature but it's sounding good in a kind of Tolkien kind of way which is just a means of anchoring it to something and a compliment.
If you still have my email send me one so I have yours? I've posted some pix from the lightening visit to Melbourne on my (visual) blog if you're interested?



Ann O'Dyne said...

The famous R Lowenstein ?
who was a mere Swinny student when MissingLink paid him for that premiere video?

The fantasy is excellent - Get yourself a literary agent now - that's the first step to the money.

click on my name sometime, and be lead to my blog.

peace and love

princey said...

Yes Sam, bite the bullet and go for it! Life's too short!
Great news about rewinding back to the eighties and giving us The Ears and Beargarden, I'm so excited!
Love Amanda

Jadey said...

I love the world you've made and I love the name Akash Anath. Its decisive and kingly.

The richly intricate details you're creating now will end up as special side books, treasure and folklore for the discerning fan.

mel said...

So excited about THAT movie! You were so anti THAT movie at the time it came out :) It was amazing/amusing a few years ago when the house was for sale and the marketing campaign highlighted its fame as the house in Dogs in Space, not sure if that's just pop culture or iconic.

Sam Sejavka said...

AO'D - yes that Richard who did a clip for The Ears Scarecrow ... which I believe he still had a copy of. It was shunned by TV owing to the ax-murdering scenes.

Jadey and AOD, thanks for bolstering my confidence. I'll need it on the long road ahead.

Sam Sejavka said...

Hey Kim, I put up a link to your visual diary. [Cool if you could return the favour!]

cheerio pip

Sam Sejavka said...

Mel, I've decided to let bygones be bygones. There's no point holding grudges for crimes committed long ago in ignorance and naivete. It just adds to the accumulated hate of the world.