Derik Badman's Journal

2020-04-16 08:24

Lianne and I left the house at the same time for the first time in over a month to take a post-work walk yesterday.

I got distracted the other day and didn't finish writing about Tales of Neveryon, and now I'm already gotten through three more of the stories. I'm still really enjoying them. As I read them I'm trying to piece together memories of how the stories interrelate and how small parts of each end up relating back to the whole. I often wonder how much Delany had the large elements planned out ahead of time and how much grew with the telling. I'm not sure I've read him talking much about the series, nor much of other people talking about it. But it has been awhile since I delved into his essays and interviews, or did any searching for writing about the series (there is some). That was a lot easier when I was working at the library and had a large library of book near at hand and access to tons of journals on and off line.

One thing I love about the series is how much it is using the genre but not falling into easy clich├ęs or unexamined tropes. The world feels grounded, it is mysterious -- especially to most of the characters who have limited exposure to it, little learning, little way to learn more -- but also it has history and a sense of society and technological change. The introduction and spread of money as a concept is a topic in two of the stories (so far), and how it changes the way the people interact with each other. One character remembers in his lifetime when certain inventions that one takes for granted even in the genre become widely used. It's a world that seems to be always changing.

The characters talk a lot in ways that don't seem at all realistic, but it also doesn't feel wrong because Delany is such a good writer. Just sentence to sentence, he is enjoyable to read.

I wish my memory were better, as I'm always getting these flashes of memories about the stories in the series, but not always with any context to help me place them in relation to what I'm currently rereading.