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Linz's Mario Book—Updated!
It is morally defensible to establish a nation-state built around maintaining a specific and exclusive ethnic population
Total votes: 11
Casey's Very Cool Novels
Submitted by James S. Valliant on Wed, 2008-03-26 23:53
Many SOLOists may not be aware that our friend, Casey, is a writer of extraordinary power.
It's about time that I recommend his work to all of you in some detail. The books I'm about to recommend are no longer being printed, but, let me assure every SOLOist out there -- they will be valuable one day. Some used copies -- and even new copies -- however, are still available on-line through Amazon, Borders, and Barnes & Noble.
More than that, this is fiction that most Objectivists may not be used to, in genres some here may not be accustomed to. Casey certainly has a unique style that is anything but just another bad imitation of Rand's.
If ya know what I mean.
First, The Bot Story. This is the back-flap teaser -- and I can't do better:
"A grisly crime and a burning star challenge a stone-age people to question their ancient beliefs and rediscover their mysterious past.
"'My ghost will rise as big as forever...'
"A tiny bot child sees a fire in the sky and warns the ancient bots.
"To appease the gods, they commit a terrible crime.
"And, for the first time in nine millennia, bots will question their deepest beliefs and embark on a journey that will reveal their past and their destiny.
"The Bot Story is a thrilling tale of adventure and discovery."
As I have posted about this book:
"The Bot Story is both profound and fun. Beautifully written, so easy to read, and so original in its inspiration, it is clearly a contemporary classic. The author has created science-fiction on the level of H. G. Wells and George Orwell, something unseen in at least a generation. This is a must read!"
Next, let me draw your attention to The Seven Isles of Ameulas.
Since I was privileged to write the "Introduction," in January 2002, let me simply reproduce it here:
"The timeless quality of any myth or fairy-tale rests on allegory. So long as each of us sees the struggles of Gilgamesh, Odysseus and Arthur in some sense as our own, their tales will remain forever exciting and fresh.
"In precisely the same way, the sole justification for fantasy literature, as a genre, is its allegorical potential. If the intricately rendered world which is created truly exists only for its own sake, then the enterprise becomes, just as critics of the genre charge, meaningless escapism.
"And this, of course, is what fantasy literature has become--the form having long ago lost its function--with few really knowing why they write fantasy anymore apart from thinking that swords and magic are cool, and that gets old rather quickly.
"Much of the fault for this, unfortunately, rests on the shoulders of no less than the great Professor Tolkein himself. The linguistic purposes of Tolkein's own work dictated the creation of an entire history, a mythology, preserved in the form of poetry and song, and his own moral values, of course, shone through very page like the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor. But by attempting to deny any allegorical point to his work, Tolkein set off a chain-reaction of senseless dragon- and elf-worship.
"The Seven Isles of Ameulas is allegory at its most exquisite. The tapestry of styles and voices is interwoven to tell an epic tale and to explore new themes, not merely to create a pleasing pattern. The power of the Cirilen, like Plato's Ring of Gyges and Tolkein's Ring of Power, is a platform for understanding the latent potential of humanity--and the moral constraints it must recognize--even if its implications often stand in the sharpest contrast to the ideas of Plato and Tolkein. The archaic language phrases what should have been ancient--if not Biblical--wisdom. Trinadol's scepters are not so much props as they are the symbolic focus of an original theme. In the end, it is a commentary upon fantasy itself, perhaps the most elegant critique of escapism ever penned.
"Ameulas is an integrated epic of several tales, each so deceptively simple as to seem to have been merely found, as it were, within Michelangelo's marble. Its depths are further concealed by the cozy and familiar language of legend. Yet, unlike even the best of the genre, the thematic focus of Ameulas is psychological, comparable in its technique--if not its radiantly optimistic tone--to Dostoevsky.
"Although symbolic and psychological, the reader is well advised to avoid looking for Jungian archetypes, and, instead, to just sit back and simply enjoy this wonderful world. The present apologia is necessitated only by the fact that the contemporary reader may not be accustomed to finding philosophical allegory in books and may therefore miss it. Having to give such an apologia is regrettable only because, while the function of fantasy is allegory, the function of literature is fun and spectacle, and, from this perspective, such a story must be an end in itself.
"As for the fun and spectacle, I must leave it for the reader to discover. I daresay the reader has never met the likes of Neuvia, nor heard the equal to her daring tale of love. As for the sea voyage, you will be there, flesh and bone, mind and emotion. Even though there is a moral to this story, indeed because there is a moral to this story, these wizards are cool."
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