Discussion Board

Topic: CITY and The Night Lands

From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego,CA
Date: 12/23/2008


I think, nearly three months later, I've finally mentally digested THE NIGHT LAND and The Homage Sections of CITY...the quest for Nataraja.

The Last Redoubt and the Lesser Redoubt.

Diaspar and Lys.

Kalpa, the Chaos Lands, and Nataraja.

The Youths of the Great Redoubt going on quest, and X's Quest.

Alvin and his Adventures.

The half million years of Ancient Breeds going on the March.

The Four Watchers vs The Witness.

X's Armour and the Suits used by the Ancient Breeds.

At this moment I'm not sure which is worse, the Night Land around the Last Redoubt, or the Chaos Lands around Kalpa...worse as in harsher toward "human" life and "spiritual" survival.

Has anyone really addressed these aspects yet?

The first two times I read CITY AT THE END OF TIME had not yet read THE NIGHT LANDS...doing so has given those sections greater "depth" and also ties in with my general thesis about a new-Homeric level of literary tradition emerging in Science Fiction: The End of Time Cycle.

Re: CITY and The Night Lands

From: Roald Laurenson
Date: 12/29/2008

Hi Mike,

You know, what you said kind of make me reflect in another direction. This is to do with what Ursula K. Le Guin said in one of her prefaces: that if she'd known another way to discuss what she wanted to than by metaphor, probably she would have used it.

I read Greg's latest through, finally, a few weeks ago in the library. I was struck not by references to other works, but by the straight feelings of it -- the very rich and constructive feelings that finally come into play.

I found myself also very aware of a generosity, which is one of the things that I most often value in Greg's work.

And, in the image of the cats deciding, some generous and intricate idea which has a very fairy-tale feeling, where senses creatures in our real world bring to us take on a greater strength and meaning; and thus as we read, even more strongly 'make our world', to be as truly rich and mysterious as it is.

For surely anything we can notice, can become a part of our own sense of matters, and of the art with which we approach each of our own choices, imaginations, makings.

I think I am trying to appreciate imagination as something more than just the things it might have begun in, and to enjoy the specific ways it has each time it emerges. These are the real treats, that someone shares with us. And I share the idea with you, this holiday season, and look forward to more of your own.

All the best,

Re: CITY and The Night Lands

From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA
Date: 01/05/2009

The comparisons between CITY@etc and THE NIGHT LAND are more of a skeletal mythology underpining only one part of the Novel, that being the Chaos lands around Kalpa, and those who go out into the Land.

Just one small part, but an obvious part in the entire End of Time/Dying earth SubGenre.

As I've been telling greg in some private messages, I think this novel contains some of the best prose he has ever written. When he was at Mysterious Galaxy back in August of 2008 he referred to the Novel as Extreme-Sport for Characters, and the writing of it was Extreme-Sport for the Novelist. And it shows.

I could spend pages and pages just on the descriptions of how the Fate-Shifters interact with the world of possibilities. I may yet.

But I've read it three times since Publication in August, the second time within a Month...and this third time I caught a whole new layer, as I had read THE NIGHT LAND after my second read of CITY, and had that in mind for some of the parts I read.

And I could go on and on here, but I will stop for now.

Mike Glosson

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