fire and hemlock people

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Sat Aug 20 14:06:27 EDT 2005

Minnow said...

> The same feeling as in F&H is in *Time of the Ghost* and *Hexwood*: really
> nasty people (or godlings) choosing victims.  It ought to be there in *The
> Homeward Bounders* as well, but somehow it isn't, and I think that may be
> because the They lot are universally victimising everyone, rather than one
> or two chosen and viewpoint or near-viewpoint individuals.  The larger the
> nastiness and the wider it is spread, the less one identifies with
> individuals being picked on through no real fault of their own.

 I think you may have just put your finger on why "The Homeward Bounders" is 
one of my less-liked DWJs  I never could figure it out before, because the 
book contains a lot of elements I love, but remains for me unloved.

And now that you've said it, I think it's that non-personal thing.  Jamie is 
a random victim (that's even stated in the book), and he never manages to 
become anything other than random.  Which may well be what DWJ intended, but 
I think I prefer fictional antagonism to be a bit more 

I'm also now thinking, in F&H and in "The Time of the Ghost", the protags 
actually fight against the antags.  They get up and do stuff.  ("The 
protagonist must protag.")  Jamie has a strong tendency to "go with the 
flow", and merely react to what happens around him, whereas Polly and Sally 
both initiate things.

And again with "Archer's Goon" - Howard reacts.  He doesn't initiate, he does initiate, but it doesn't seem to accomplish much when he 
does.  He complains that his father is a passenger, but I think he is too. 
"Archer's Goon" is a fun-and-fluffy book, but it doesn't kick me in the gut 
the way F&H or TotG does.

Dorian (rambling). 

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