Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bizarre translating adventures

A wonderful review (insofar as I can make it out through the gobblydegook of amazonian babelfish) of The Gift in Germany, from the German site Fantasy News (Phantastik News). Carsten Kuhr (may the Light ever shine on his path) calls The Gift a "rare gem" that stands out among the hyped Tolkien imitators. As he says in amazonian, which is worth quoting for its sheer oddness:

In almost lyrical about nennender shaping describes forests and meadows, marshes and mountains, and in this way creates an atmosphere felt very intensely the reader to draw their world. Additionally, we are drawn interesting people, and to doubt their mission, which is to develop and understandable feelings reveal. It's about betrayal and trust, love and fear, envy and friendship, and not least to loss and grief - deep feelings in a world in which feelings of great importance.

Well, you get the picture. What makes me want to kiss Kuhr, however, is this: he understands that the Pellinor books are epic fantasy in the tradition of Tolkien, with everything that implies: but he also understands that this doesn't mean that they are "derivative". In other words, he reads the book as much for its writing and characterisation, and in particular, for its emotional power, as for its story. And it seems the word is spreading - German fantasy blog Wetterspitze Info goes so far to call the Pellinor books a "great highlight of the coming year".

It sounds, too, as if Michael Krug's translation of The Gift is pretty marvellous. How cool is that? Berlin, here I come...


Monday, January 14, 2008

Happy New Year!

Yes, I'm still here, and gearing up to the challenges of 2008, which look - from this end, anyway - as demanding as 2007. There's a long list of tasks on my desk at present, and I doubt it is going to get any shorter. Not that I'm complaining! I'm in the very fortunate position of loving what I do.

One thing I did on my Christmas break was to make a much-needed overhaul of my home page. Which was fun - I like mucking around with web pages almost as much as I like playing video games. Some of you might be interested in an essay on fantasy I wrote a couple of years ago, just after I finished The Riddle. It's longish, but it explores some of the reasons why I like writing fantasy, and why I think it matters.