Friday, June 25

Megan Lindholm: The City Primeval

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Have you ever been in an unfamiliar forest, with night coming on, uncertain of which instructions will lead you back to your camp or a well-marked trail? You might wonder what else is out there with you, and you will listen, and strain your eyes to translucent the darkness, fearing that you have actually messed up into the territory of an unidentified predator, something that operates on guidelines that you can not comprehend. Something that sees you just as prey.

With Wizard, I felt there was an unacknowledged reservoir of power and resilience in the veterans I was seeing on the street. And, in many methods, my dream satisfaction was to attempt to write an ending for one of them that acknowledged that core of strength. I composed my story of the City Primeval, and those who wielded the power to both protect that city, and to save their own lives.

Doubt me? Pooh-pooh this concept as that of an afraid old lady? There is a natural law that Ive never ever seen broken. Predators follow victim. Its real on the tundra of Alaska, or the plains of Africa. And the more victim that is present, the greater the number of predators. Is that true of human beings? Of course it is. Check out a big city bus station, or park outside a homeless warming shelter, or a soup kitchen. Go to a crowded retail shopping mall when the vacation crowds are in complete shopping craze. Sit down and watch. You will not need binoculars to see them. The traffickers, the drug pushers, the petty burglars; they move through the crowd, trying to find an opportunity. Or they seek a place from which they can watch the passing herd, and single out the one that looks most vulnerable to what they are providing. Or taking. Beyond those predators are the creatures as soon as human who will take advantage of the weak of helpless, for reasons that just they can comprehend. Or for factors that, in their harmed minds, they can not explain in words at all. The vampires. The werewolves.

Is this excessively significant for you? For me, its not. For me, the primeval predators and their ancient risks to people are what make modern metropolitan dream so appealing. That slice of the dream genre acknowledges what everybody understand on a gut level. The magic didnt go away with the arrival of the Age of Enlightenment. The creatures that preyed on us through middle ages times are still with us. And they are still just as unsafe and dark as we can envision. And probably more than we can envision.

Seeing young males in worn fatigue jackets intoxicated in the park in mid-morning or gathered, back to a dumpster, in a street as night came on made me wonder. There were also minutes of seeing a couple of them sharing a cigarette on a park bench. Moments that revealed me that in some ways, they were moving in circles that I would never be able to gain access to, forming alliances and moving forwards in methods I would never see.

And not an ancient, forgotten city, however a modern-day one. Cities have actually constantly defied me; my sense of direction fails me when I can not see the sun or moon. And a huge city, where the foot traffic stays lively all night?

I wrote Wizard of the Pigeons over 35 years ago. Seattle was the very first big city that I went to on a regular basis. I saw a scattering of beggars on street corners with their softening cardboard indications.

A huge city is the place where our most ancient predators are common. In a city?

How can a city be any of those things? A city is constructed by people, numerous humans, and it takes years of habitation prior to it can be called a city. Even if its deserted and falls under mess up, even if the jungle or sands overtake it, or later on generations rob it of its memorials, and cart away its bricks and stonework to be utilized in other places, it still cant be primeval, can it?

It is an outright enjoyment to host a visitor post by one of my favorite authors– Megan Lindholm (who you may have read as Robin Hobb), who is here to discuss the story of the City Primeval– and the 35th anniversary of her novel, Wizard of the Pigeons.

In dream, there are various primeval cities, ones developed so long ago that everybody has actually forgotten them. A rediscovered city is one of the tropes of our genre, the perfect setting for a game of Dungeons and Dragons, or a tale of awakening old magic, or a Leiber or Howard yarn of Swords and Sorcery.

Yes, I do know what primeval means. Ancient.

Wizard of the Pigeons, 35th Anniversary Illustrated Edition: Bookshop

A city is built by human beings, numerous human beings, and it takes years of habitation before it can be called a city. In fantasy, there are various primeval cities, ones built so long ago that everybody has forgotten them. And not an ancient, forgotten city, however a modern-day one. Cities have actually always defied me; my sense of direction fails me when I can not see the sun or moon. I wrote my story of the City Primeval, and those who wielded the power to both secure that city, and to save their own lives.

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