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