Tuesday, March 11

From Robert, in the previous comments section:

-I've been wondering, is there any significance to what you refer to your characters and when? I've noticed you seem to call Hari "Caine" when you're referring to his Overworld exploits and Caine "Hari when referring to his life on Earth. Also that when you referred to Kris as "Deliann" a few posts back it was specifically when referencing a point in the story when he and Caine were on Overworld. I've seen authors who stick to a specific system with referring to their characters; Dennis O'Neil stands out as he would always refer to the DC Comics character The Question as "Charlie" even though most of the world knew him as "Vic Sage". Is this choice in reference an intended separation that goes along with your "Theory of Personality", or if it's just instinctual on your part?

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Instinctual, I guess: I use Caine for the character, Hari for the Actor . . . even though he's achieved significant integration by the end of BLADE. Same with Kris and Deliann. One of the things I hope people will find interesting in CAINE BLACK KNIFE is the contrasts--and similarities--Caine Back Then and Caine Nowadays.

btw, I loved the Question. He had just returned in his own monthly series maybe a year or so before I quit collecting comics, back in the late 80s/early 90s. He was the coolest . . . and not just because he was the original model for Rorschach, either.

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-Something I've wondered for a while: If authors try to implant concepts and ideas into their books and what people get from said writing is a product of their own imagination meeting the words on the page, doesn't that create a sort of paradox within the process? Just something that struck me when reading your comments (not that I disagree with them, just an idea that hit me).

______________________

I don't try to implant concepts and ideas; that way lies madness and all manner of Goodkinditude. I try to use the underlying concepts of a story in an interesting way, that's all--to let them inform and enhance the action. Scott Lynch, in a love-letter to HEROES DIE he once posted on RPG.net, described it as "opt-in fiction." He was attracted, he said, by the way the Big Ideas are there, but you don't have to think about them if you don't want to. This is a model I've tried to stick to ever since (that whole Tyranny of Praise thing, y'know?), with varying success (worked out pretty well in SHATTERPOINT and REVENGE OF THE SITH, less so in TRAITOR and BLADE OF TYSHALLE, where the ideas sometimes intrude and hijack the story).

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-And finally, are there any plans for you to be doing another book signing tour for either Caine Black Knife or your next Star Wars book?

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Not currently. I'll let you know.

13 comments:

Shehzad said...

I'll be holding my breath for a signing tour. I still hope to be able to meet with you at some point!

steve said...

Rob and I were joking a few days back about showing up to a book signing for one of your Star Wars titles with our copies of Heroes Die and Blade of Tyshalle.

Interesting answers, adding to my mounting anticipation for Black Knife.

Robert said...

Thanks for the responses Matt. I'll have to ponder over your response to my second question a bit. I'm sure I have another question in the back of my mind, but I'll have to ask you when I'm not running on 4 hours of sleep and can think straight again.

If you haven't had the chance to read the 1986-1991 series of The Question, definitely do so if you have the ability/time/are so inclined. It's one of the few pieces of the graphic novel format that I can consider real literature that's more than just fluff. The character changes a lot over the course of the series as he's driven by his curiosity and the ultimate futility of his endeavors in Hub City becomes more and more apparent to him. It's another wonderfully unapologetic, honest piece of writing; and in my opinion was worth every penny I spent on the back issues.

Coincidentally, it was only after reading the series and Alan Moore's The Watchmen that I actually had the chance to read some of the original Charlton Question comics. I never realized just how much Rorschach was based off of the original character of The Question until I read Mysterious Suspense #1...only Rorschach was insane.

MWS said...

As R.D. Laing notably observed, insanity is a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.

And Steve? LOTS of people bring Caine books to my SW signings. I'm happy to sign them, regardless of whatever the appearance is supposed to be about. Hell, some people even smuggled old Barra books into Celebration III . . . and a lot of them brought their dog-eared HEROES DIEs.

So if I make it to your area, bring whatever you want my name on.

Hell, in Buffalo NY, one young couple had me sign their hard-bound coffee-table edition of the Kama Sutra.

Still haven't figured that one out . . .

Aaron said...

Matt,

What they were saying is simply this: To them, you are the sex.

Alex said...

I don't suppose you've read or have any opinion on Neil Gaiman's work? I'm interested in particular because it was about the same time that I started reading your non-Star Wars work that I picked up Neverwhere and American Gods, and Blade of Tyshalle and American Gods quickly rose to the esteem and warm kitten-eating fuzzy feeling that I previously had with Stranger in a Strange Land. And while I couldn't coherently or eloquently describe the relationship (I've had much too much coffee in the past two hours) I think that there is one that if I can't quite expand on, feel exists.

Bookmanjames@earthlink.net said...

Off topic, I guess, but...
When is Cain Black Knife being published and who is publishing it?

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