Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CSFF Blog Tour: Blaggard's Moon Day Two

So here we go. Yesterday, I promised to talk about my favorite part of George Bryan Polivka's Blaggard's Moon. Here we go. It's the time-bending nature of the narrative.

When I first started reading the book, I was a bit stumped (if you'll pardon the horrible pun) when I realized that the seeming main character, Smith Delaney, was tied to a pole in the middle of a lagoon, waiting for carnivorous mermonkeys to kill him. I was scratching my head, wondering how on earth Polivka was going to pull this off.

And then, even stranger, Delaney started remembering a tale told to him and his former crewmates by Ham Drumbone. As if that wasn't enough, we then dove directly into Ham's story, following Jenta Stillmithers and Damrick Fellows through their trials and travails.

So it went, bouncing from Jenta and Damrick to the pirates hearing their story to poor old Delaney, stuck on his pole. When I realized that's what was going on, I was a little worried. How well could this work?

As it turns out, very well. I never got lost in the telling. I was able to keep the overlapping stories straight and it really augmented the story, even though we had advance warning about some of the things that would happen.

It's a great storytelling strategy, especially if you can pull it off well. It actually reminded me of Mary Doria Russell's two sci-fi books. I'm not sure if I could do it, but after reading Blaggard's Moon, I'm surely tempted to try.

Go and see what else the tourists have to say this month:

Brandon Barr
Jennifer Bogart
Keanan Brand
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Alex Field
Marcus Goodyear
Todd Michael Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Mike Lynch
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespack
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson


Beth Goddard said...

Hi John!

How are you? I agree with you--it was a surprising way to tell a story, but it worked beautiful in the end. I'm amazed and impressed. Polivka is one of my favorite authors!

If you get a chance, stop by my blog. I'm on the tour, too, but not on the original list.

Keanan Brand said...

I enjoyed the unusual structure, and it actually helped to pull me even deeper into the story.