Slightly OT: Nebula Awards

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at
Thu Mar 4 05:47:22 EST 2004

> Melissa said...
> > Here's what I think.  Elizabeth Moon is one of those 
> > writers who is a fantastic storyteller, but only 
> > nominally good at the craft of writing.
Dorian wrote:
> The problem I have is that, while she tells a great story and creates
> wonderful characters, she doesn't seem to be able to cope 
> well with emotion.
> ... (most specifically, at the climax of the Paksenarrion
> trilogy).  

I like her space operas better than the Paks books and I think Dorian's point may be an explanation- in a sense, she isn't trying for the epic in the space operas, so you don't have a chance to be disappointed. (I dislike the climax of the Paks books, and one storyline in the Heris Serrano books- the girl who is kidnapped- for a different but related reason. As Devra said in another post "I hate when I *see* the artifice that's set up, rather than being emotionally struck by the art". To me, the events come across as gratuitously nasty, set up to exploit our shivers at the thought of that sort of thing. I don't like graphic gore and pain, in general- Jon Courteney Grimwood is way too much for me- but some authors can write scenes of a similar intensity to Moon's without coming over as set up. I don't know why.)

My favourite of Moon's previously was Remnant Population. I think the character of the old woman is really well drawn, the setting is terrific, (she always does backgrounds well, for me) and I think the book avoids the problems above. But I think Speed of Dark is much better than anything she's done before. Possibly the autistic narrator sidesteps problems with describing emotion because she's had to come up with different ways to describe it?

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