Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Old M(e)an(der) River


I'm working on a couple of stories today -- "The Woman Who Shook the World-Tree" and "The Fire Gown" -- and if Sean drops by, I may request his help in plotting "Tawny Petticoats."  So this will be brief.

Just in case you ever wondered what's with all the flooding along the Mississipi, here's a geological map of a short stretch of the river, showing where it has also been.  It's an old river and it meanders.  Simple as that.  Of course, the recent and ongoing climate changes don't help matters either.

Beautiful stuff, though.  You can find more such maps here.

And if you want to read more about Dancing With Bears . . .

An interview with me which, for reasons comprehensible only if you read it, was titled "As Tough as Rats,"  appears in Diamond Book Distributors' ezine/blog/newsletter.  In it I hold forth on the origins of Darger & Surplus, my thoughts on Russia, and the one historical figure I'd most like to meet.  Among, of course, other matters.

You can read "As Tough as Rats" here.



HANNAH'S DAD said...

If you liked the Mississippi map you may well like http://historyshots.com/store.cfm. I have their 'Race to the Moon' chart, and would put it on my wall if I could only find some free wall.

I've just bought _Dancing With Bears_. Sadly, it will be a while before I have any idea of its contents, as I've nominated it as payment (from myself to myself) for doing another 30 nights or so of extra French homework. The things we do to trick ourselves into working...

Lastly - I've just been rereading _Stations of the Tide_ and finding it not at all the book I vaguely remember reading many years ago. It's having much more of an impact the second time around.

A question if you don't mind answering - did you write it consciously as a reflection on/dialogue with/whatever _The Fith head of Cerberus_? (A book which I've never read, just absorbed info about through cultural osmosis, so I may be way off beam)

Michael Swanwick said...

Well, there's no getting around the fact that my aboriginal people were inspired in part by his. But if you read Wolfe's book -- and I highly recommend it -- you'll see that my book would have been very different had it been directly engaged with his.

The strongest influence on Stations was Gabriel Garcia Marquez -- another writer I vastly admire -- but I couldn't say my book was in dialogue with his. I was simply trying to evoke a Wolfean/Marquezian kind of verbal beauty.

And here I must stop because beyond a certain point, acknowledgment of influences becomes a form of bragging.

I, of course, being too modest for that.