Arcanum is out, or 0 days to go
January 28th 2014
It’s not like there was any going back, and the actual release day seems somewhat less significant than it used to be – but here we are, January 28th 2014.
I suppose I have to find something else to do rather than worrying about the public reception of something that took me nigh-on 2 years to create: a spot of really involved sorting-out of some cupboards, or hoover the whole house (I do have to go out and get some milk, and fill the car with diesel – let’s try and not get those two things the wrong way round…), but part of me has set sail with the book, onto the open waters.
And it’s not as if I expect everyone to think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. If experience has taught me anything, it’s that most readers will be mostly indifferent about the release of another huge fantasy book, and will ignore it. And there’ll be some who actively hate it, and by extension, me. That’s pretty much part of the deal.
But there’ll be some who not just like it, but get it. They’ll understand what it was – flawed creature that I am – was trying to do. On that note, here’s an incredibly thoughtful review from Stefan Raets over at tor.com. He lays his cards cleanly on the table, and states upfront that he couldn’t get into Equations of Life, but wanted to see how I did fantasy. And broadly, missteps aside, he likes it. More importantly, he gets it.
It’s worth reading the whole review: he’s done his absolutely level best to make it as unspoilery as he can, so +1 internets to him for that alone… but he ends thus:
“Despite Arcanum’s problems, it’s a captivating novel as well as, in a way, an interesting commentary on fantasy as a genre. More importantly, it’s hard not to root for its characters, who have to overcome their backgrounds and shortcomings and the sheer fact that the entire foundation of their society’s fabric has suddenly been ripped away. It’s a story about very human characters who, all of a sudden, have to learn to be just, well… human.”
We’re good with that.