Re Dalemark Chronology

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Fri Apr 12 19:49:10 EDT 2002

On Wed, 10 Apr 2002 15:13:37 -0700 (PDT), Ven wrote:

>Melissa said <
><Someone told me they thought _Cart and Cwidder_ 
>was poorly written because
>it was a fantasy novel and then suddenly they all
>had guns.  :)  It *feels*
>like 17th century but it seems meant to be late 
>18th century instead, especially in _Crown_.>
>I don't know much about the detail of these
>periods but my reading of the guns issue was that
>this was very early in their development, hence
>the authorities were able to restrict their use,
>making them rare. 

I don't know enough about the period either.  That's something I'm still
piecing together--like the shocking revelation that the Musketeers were
called that because they used muskets!  How's that for being slow off the
mark?  :)  I suppose the point that Dalemark doesn't have to coincide
exactly with our world's development is the important one.  I mean, whether
or not it fits with our world, DWJ makes the situation with firearms very

What was funny was that when I was having this conversation, and the guy
brought up the thing about the guns, I didn't even remember that there
*were* guns in _Cart and Cwidder_.  So I couldn't really explain what was
going on.  I think it was a case of thwarted expectations; he believed it
was standard medieval fantasy instead of a kind of alternate history, and
the idea of firearms mixed with magic was outside his experience.

>In fact it is clear that this
>is a transitional time in Dalemark, probably
>industrial change is as much responsible for the
>fall of the Earls as anything. Consequently  
>development is patchy with some districts being
>more advanced than others.

This is what I liked most about the series.  I *loved* the development of
industrialization and the politics, and how there was still magic despite
all this.  It stands apart from a lot of fantasy books in which magic
replaces technology, and I found that fascinating.  It's probably also why
_Drowned Ammet_ is my favorite.

Melissa Proffitt
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