February 20, 2003

Some Kind Words

IAN HAMET posted some kind words about us over on his blog, Banana Oil, for which I'm grateful, but I'm calling attention to it mostly because of a comment he makes about the book Law for the Elephant:

Then, today, he posted a piece about a book that sounds like a goldmine of background info (speaking as a writer), Law for the Elephant by John Phillip Reid. According to Will, it's a dry, dusty history of the California and Oregon Trails. Research Research Research!!!

And he's absolutely right. I don't know that I'll ever sell a novel, but I've written a couple, and started on a couple more, and one day perhaps I'll want to write a novel that involves the Gold Rush--or some science-fiction/fantasy analog of it. Perhaps I won't. But either way, Reid's book is a treasure-trove of detail about the emigrants, all drawn from original sources. Being a legal history much concerned with the emigrant's views on property rights, it by no means gives a complete or balanced account--but on the other hand it includes many details you simply wouldn't find in a more conventional history.

I've started reading a more recent sequel, Policing the Elephant; I'll have more on that when I finish it, which will be at some point in the indefinite future. Interesting, it is; gripping it ain't.

Posted by Will Duquette at February 20, 2003 09:17 PM