Thursday, October 18, 2007
Ask the Author #3: What Good Is Fantasy, Anyway?

Hello folks. I've been elsewhere lately. Things have been busy with writing and getting ready for my trip out to New York for the Quill Awards.

But just yesterday I got the following message from someone asking me to help her settle a debate between her and a friend:


Patrick,

[...] Anyway, her stance is that Literature (her cap) is about enlightenment and improving the human condition, while fantasy is just escapist crap. I know she's wrong, but I'm not a good debater. I'm not good with words. Can you help me out?

Thanks,

Sami


Sami, your question reminded me of a forum I got drawn into a while back. Normally I resist being pulled into online discussions, but this one struck home with me. The person who started the thread was asking, effectively, if fantasy really mattered in any sort of profound way.

This is the from-the-hip response I made on that forum a while back. If you're looking for some argumentative ammo, there might be a few things in here. At any rate, it does a pretty good job of summing up how I feel about the issue.

"Can a Fantasy book/author really change anything?"

[First post: July 10th 5:15 AM]


Years ago I was watching a documentary on the Beatles. There was a video clip where a journalist was interviewing John Lennon. He was protesting the war, doing ridiculous things to get press attention so that he could spread the word about his message. He spent his honeymoon in bed with his wife and invited the press. When the press showed up hoping for something racy, John and Yoko used the opportunity to spread their message about peace.

One of the journalists got exasperated with him at one point and said, "You dear boy, you don't think that you've saved a single life with this nonsense, have you?"

I remember watching that and thinking that I couldn't decide which one of them was being foolish. Lennon for thinking he could change things, or the reporter for being so cynical.

Ultimately, I want to believe Lennon. I want to think that a person can make a change in the way people think.

I think that can be done with a protest. Or a song. Or an interview. Or a fantasy novel.

Hah! I actually found the video clip on youtube. If you watch it for about 40 seconds you'll get to the part where the reporter says her line....



However, I don't think that political activism is the only type of change a novel can create. I think a novel can change they way you think about the world. It can expose you to new thoughts or make you reconsider old ones.

Hell, a fantasy novel can teach you things. Any time you learn something it changes your life.

Lastly, but not leastly, we shouldn't overlook pure entertainment. Back when I was in Grad school my life was a hell. It sucked really, really bad and I was stressed out beyond belief. That's when I read the Harry Potter books. They were great. They helped me relax and not freak out. They didn't heal my crippled limbs or stop me from being racist or fix global warming, but they improved the quality of my life. In doing so they hey changed my life in a little way. A good way.

[Second post: July 12th 11:18 AM]

I like what you said about escapism being productive. I think Robert Frost made a point along those lines in Birches.

"It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over."

That is one of the things that fantasy does best.

And laughter is not to be underestimated either. I write a satirical humor column for the local school paper. I write it because I like to make people laugh and it gives me a vent for my humor when my other writing needs to be serious.

After the most recent presidential election I was... distraught. Profoundly distraught and depressed. But my deadline was still there. I had to go in and be funny when I was in no mood. So I wrote about the elections. I made fun of the American populace, and the president, and both parties and myself most of all.

And the column pissed people off. They started a media event about it, got people riled up, and in the end, I almost lost my job because of it.

I remember thinking to myself, "Why do I do this? Why do I work 4-6 hours every week to write a column I don't get paid for? A column that offends people (as all good satire must) and costs me what small shred of respect I have among the other faculty at the university. A column that at best, gives people a cheap laugh?"

Weeks later I was grousing about the whole experience to someone in the University Center. A student walking past overheard and stopped.

"You're that guy that writes the College Survival Guide?" he asked.

"Yeah," I said. Inwardly I was cringing against another attack. The media coverage had not been kind to me, satirical humor quoted out of context looks really, really damning, and as a result I'd been having I got a lot of unpleasant attention. Everything pales in comparison to a death threat, or the promise of a beating, but even tongue-lashings get you down after a while.... "Yeah." I said. "That's me."

"I read it all the time," he said. "After the election I wanted to kill myself. But when I read your column I laughed. I really needed a laugh right then. A lot of us really needed a laugh right then."

It was like a great weight got lifted off me when I heard that. I remember thinking. Oh yeah. *this* is why I write. If we don't laugh sometimes we'll cry. I want to help out with that.

This conversation made me think of a piece of fan mail I got a couple days ago. I'm going to contact the person who wrote it and see if she's okay with me re-printing it here. If she agrees I think it will be a nice addition to this thread...

[The final post: July 12th 12:12 PM]

She said I could share her letter so long as I removed her full last name. I wanted to share this because when this e-mail came in just a couple nights ago, I thought about this thread.

Even if I never get another e-mail like this again I'll feel like I've done something worthwhile with my life....


Mr. Rothfuss

I read a lot of books. That's not to brag, it's just a fact. I read a lot of books, sometimes once, sometimes twenty times, and I'm glad that there's a lot of books out there because I'm more a little afraid that I'm going to run out one day. But I'm getting ahead of myself. This is really a thank you letter, so I should start there.

I want to thank you for your book, but I want to do it right. I read a lot of books, and it's been a long, long time since I've felt as passionately about a book as I do about yours. I don't know how to describe this feeling, really - I hope you know what I mean so I don't sound like a complete babbling idiot. It's like what I felt when I finished the Tolkien trilogy for the first time. It's the same thing I felt when I read my first LeGuin, it's the first time I read Ender's Game. It's being eight and fascinated by orcs and elves, and fifteen and shocked by the names of shadows that move inside of you, even if the shadow's name is your own name. It's finding love and pain and hope and a piece of yourself in the words on a page that were written far away by someone you have never met.

For the first time in a long time, I had a book that I couldn't bear to leave: your book. I bought it on a whim at five minutes to closing in a bookstore that I had never been to before, on a street that I have been on a hundred times. I started it at 11:45 on Monday night with a cup of grapefruit juice and a little seed of hope. I think you may know this hope, I think everyone has had it in one form or another. It's more than the, "gee I hope this is going to be a good trip" kind of hope.

Let me elaborate. (This is, by the way, kind of a personal letter. I hope you don't mind. You don't have to write back, it's okay, since this is really just a thank you.) I'm 19, just finished my first year of college, and living alone for the first time. I'm scared out of my wits, but not about finding a job or making it through school. I'm afraid that now that I'm an adult, there's no such thing as magic anymore. I don't want to be jaded any cynical and worldly. I like the crisp newness that varnishes the world. If I have to start paying bills and finding an apartment and paying rent, will I lose that shock, that joy, that awe that I felt when I saw things for the first time? (I had my first snowfall this winter. My first winter up north. It was everything I had dreamed it would be and it was utterly miserable. Who knew cold could be so, well, cold?) I am arrogant, I know, but I have to say it: have I read every good book? I wish I hadn't squandered so many good first reads in my childhood, when everything was new, when I didn't know how precious that first read is. That first bite of a taut red apple.

I started reading your book at 11:45pm and stopped at 8:30am when I realized that I probably still needed to show up for work. The first thing I did when I came home was pick it up again, and when I stopped I sat and stared at the wall and cried. Just because some things are over doesn't mean everything is. There are still people out there who can make magic, who know magic, there is still magic, I can still see magic. Closing the back cover was defeating; everything ends, and really there's nothing you can do about it. But it was exciting too. I was excited for another read, excited for the sequels, excited for the future.

I am going to go read it again now, and even though it won't be the first time, it will still be exciting. Thank you for your book. It is beautiful, and bright, and full of magic. Thank you for letting me write you this letter, even if you never read it. Thank you for the hope.

Monica Q.


Hope that answers your question Sami. Everyone else, hope you weren't bored by the horribly long post.

Later,

pat

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33 Comments:

Blogger athelass said...

"a piece of yourself in the words on a page that were written far away by someone you have never met."

Yep. That's exactly how my favorite books make me feel. I've been thinking alot about the place books have in my life since Robert Jordan's death. I've been reading his books for 15 years. I've read them all 5 or 6 times. All my kids have read them multiple times. I've loaned them to friends (I never loan or borrow books, as a rule). In fact, I have a whole set of paperbacks just for loaning out. I have first editions of all but the first two. I have a couple that are signed by him. Yet, I didn't know his real name until he died. I didn't know he was a Christian. Here is a person who has had a huge presence in my life and all I usually thought about him was "Why is he making us wait so long for the next damn book?!" I never wrote him to tell him how much his books became part of my children's growing up, how much enjoyment we had reading them together, how many hours we spent in discussion and speculation over them. I should have done that. He might not have cared. He might have gotten thousands of letters like that. But I should have said it anyway.

That's why I came looking for you, Pat, and why I started reading your blog. I'm not going enjoy the creation without appreciating the creator anymore. And not only do I get to enjoy a great, great book, but I find you are a wonderful person as well! I could not believe it when you said you are willing to sign our books! I am working on a really cool idea of what to send you. I found a 1st/1st online with the gargoyle cover. It arrived a couple days ago. I can't wait to send it off to you!

In answer to the original question, I highly recommend Tolkien's essay On Fairy-Stories, which can be found in The Tolkien Reader. Here's the money quote for me:

"It was in fairy-stories that I first divined the potency of the words, and the wonder of things, such as stone, and wood, and iron; tree and grass; house and fire; bread and wine."

Sorry this is so long. It's four in the morning and I haven't been to bed yet. I've just had this stuff on my mind and I really like what you said. Goodnight and God Bless.

October 18, 2007 5:02 AM  
Anonymous Gareth said...

Hi Pat,
Read this post and just had to reply. Can fantasy change things? Well yeah it can. Whilst many think of it as escapism look at what else it has achieved, it allows the hero(s) to triumph against all the evil out there (that restores a certain amount of faith).

Also I can quote one example where a book made someone help someone else. It was one of David Gemmell's tales that a fan had finished reading, when outside he saw a woman being attacked by two men, without thinking he charged in and scared the guys away. Would you say that he would have done that had he not just finished reading a book about heroes?

Thats the question, so technically that one person reading a book saved another person who was in danger and perhaps also prevented a future of nightmares for the woman involved.

Likewise look at how Lord of the Rings was taken in by the hippy culture? Its not only inspired people, be they writer or readers but is still a best seller today, decades after its original release.

Fantasy may not change many peoples points of view but it will speak to a certain number of people in much the way that John Lennon did, or even JFK. Speech in any form has a power and can help, hinder or maim in its name. Perhaps that should be the core of the debate rather than singling out one particular genre.

October 18, 2007 5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think fantasy matters. I had a friend at school and In his first year at high school his sister ran away from home and he never actualy saw her again. For months he was depressed and weapy and seriusly considering suicide but in the end he picked up a book and then started writing one himself. After that he was (mainly) back to his old self becuase he poured most of his grief into his book.

October 18, 2007 6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fantasy world of your book changed me, changed my life. It's been not just an escape but a sort of anchor through some of the worst time of my life, over the last few months. It rekindled the hope that was almost lost in my heart that the world can be a kind place too. It made me want to write again.

I think the answer to this fan's question is that good fantasy is as good as any good writing (or good art, good music, whatever) at teaching and healing the human heart and soul.

Thank you for your book and your blog!

October 18, 2007 6:37 AM  
Blogger Hob Gammidge said...

What you and your fan both wrote just describe perfectly how I feel about reading and fantasy and books. It was poignant and precise. Thank you

October 18, 2007 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monica reminds me so much of you, Pat.

Enjoy your trip and award. I've so proud of you.

But dammit! Pat you need to set some time aside for rping.

I know where you live and you know how I get about rping. It has officially been a year.

If I offer to clear your house or go to cons and sciophant all over you, will you come back to our monthly Saturday fold? Even if just once a season.

Yes, I am shameless doing this in public but my next step is running naked through the streets with a sign hoping the news report about it will get your attention.

Love ya,

;) Kat

October 18, 2007 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is not much I can say to add to what has been said thus far.

I can add my name to those who find inspiration in fantasy novels to fight the good fight in the face of impossible odds.

I want to share a quote, “Fairy tales are more than true — not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be defeated.”

G.K. Chesterton

Thank you and all the writers who inspire.

October 18, 2007 8:53 AM  
Blogger Mary J. said...

Hey Pat,

I really liked this lengthy post. Lots of good stuff.
I wanted to thank you for sharing Monica's email. It makes me happy to know that I am not the only loon out there that cries when a book is over. Not necessarily because it's sad but because it's over...

I think if I had to present an argument for supporting fantasy as a genre it would be along the lines of this:
The world is such a dark place. Terrible, unspeakable things happen everyday. It would be crushing to not have a haven to go where (traditionally) good will triumph over evil, miracles can happen, and it is possible to live happily ever after.

October 18, 2007 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anyone who says that fantasy is irrelevent and escapism:
First, it is escapism, that is part of why it is so great.

Second, in one hundred years from now, Patrick Rothfuss will still be alive and inspiring young and old alike, just as have so many other great fantasy writers--hardly the sign of irrelevence.

Third: anon wrote "I think the answer to this fan's question is that good fantasy is as good as any good writing" which is true, but more to the point, and herin lies why there is such opposing views on the subject (and usually not alot of shades of gray). Good fantasy is only as good as the person reading it. Some people are predisposed not to see the magic in the world, and will never get it. They argue that fantasy is just boring escapism, and pointless. And in truth, they can find no point in it. I feel sorry for those people. Those of us who can find purpose in fantasy have more fin in life.

October 18, 2007 9:45 AM  
Blogger Cory said...

Best of luck to Sami. There are people out there that will not like others opinions or works. (I had a picture I took for my high school newspaper (10+ years ago) that I had 100+ people come up to me and say it was the worst picture they had ever seen. At the end of the day I was feeling a little down about it, but onwe of the girls from the picture came up and thanked me and wanted to know if she could get her own copy of it. The smile and thank you were enough to know that the other opinions did not matter.
Pat, you stated that you felt down and almost scrapped the whole story. Please let these comments and thank yous show you that we all appreciate your work and you have touched others for the better.

I will echo the sentiment of, "Thank you for your wonderful book". Please take as long as you need to make the second of equal or greater quality. As much as I would love to read it tomorrow, I know a hurried job will result in a lesser quality. :)

October 18, 2007 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever notice that the most bland and boring people you ever met are the same people who wouldn't be caught dead waiting in line for Star Wars or reading The Lord of the Rings? Is it genetic? Or is it as I suspected when I was growing up - that those are the people who were born without souls?

October 18, 2007 10:38 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Amazing.

Monica made everything wonderful about novel writing come out in the most perfect way possible. I never could've explained it half as well.

Pat, you do wonders for people just by writing. You know that. Someday, those losers who think fantasy isn't worth a second thought will pick up your book and see how wrong they really are.

October 18, 2007 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anon about my anon comment, I sort of agree that people who like fantasy are cooler and more fun. But I guess I think the point that the writing is only as good as the reader applies to all kinds of writing, not just fantasy.

Maybe the real difference between the fun and not-fun is how they like bad or mediocre fantasy. I'd read bad fantasy over bad Literary Fiction any day. What fun are real-life stories about people being dumb and hurting each other? If I want those kinds of stories, I can always visit with my relatives and coworkers. Or think about my own life choices... :) At least with schlocky fantasy, there's a good chance you get to read about dragons or magic or something cool like that.

October 18, 2007 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Gehennaheretic said...

That was a great letter. I remember feeling the same way when I was 19 and in college and on my own (though I was more excited than frightened) but now that I'm 31, and have spent many years paying rent and bills, dealing with government bureaucracy, working in a cubicle, and doing any number of mundane, boring, soul-crushing things, I know that the fantasy only dies if you let it. I hope you told her something like that.

It only dies if you let it die, though it sometimes takes great effort to keep it alive. It's the pains and triumphs, the adversities, defeats and victories that take the fantasy of youth and either crush it, or enrich it, realize it, and make it all the more precious. The choice lies with each of us.

I hope Monica doesn't let the world stifle fantasy in her life. It's wise to fear its loss. I must say I feel sad for her friend. So young and already on the grey and lifeless path. She'll probably be reading Oprah's book club selections soon, and when that happens, mourn, for a soul is lost.

As for the fantasy vs. 'High Literature' thing, here's some ammo next time you get asked that:

The canon of Literature was created to combat the rise of literacy among the masses. Once reading itself was no longer the mark of the elite, what one read became the new benchmark.

Genre fiction uses all the same tools as literature to explore all the same things, but adds other elements, such as space ships, magic, dragons, and aliens. How can adding tools to your toolbox possibly lessen your ability to write worthwhile fiction?

Besides, Literature is usually boring and all too often poorly written by hacks too in love with their wordsmithing skills to bother to tell a good story. Their work is about the author, not about the human condition, as it so often purports to be. "ooh, look at me! I wrote a 200,000 word stream of consciousness novel in second-person iambic heptameter! It's about an orphan whose foster parents beat him every day, but the nazis come and kill his them, rape his puppy, and he starves to death in a ditch on the street after contracting ebola. Then the puppy pees on his corpse. Then it ends. It's depressing, so you know it's a great statement on humanity. You won't be able to read it, but who cares, I'm so great!" Fah.

The real classics do not last because of their fancy sesquipedalianist showboating but because of the story they tell. Frankenstein is a sci-fi work. Dracula is an urban fantasy. Dante's Inferno, Faust, Hamlet, A Christmas Carol, The Faerie Queen, and any number of other literary works have the same elements of the fantastical that you find in modern fantasy and sci fi. Look at Coleridge and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner: 'They moaned they stirred they all uprose, nor spake nor moved their eyes. It had been strange even in a dream to have seen those dead men rise.' and 'About about in reel and rout, the death-fires danced at night. The waters like a witches oils burnt green and blue and white' How is that not a fantasy story? The genres are a marketing convention, nothing more. It is all entertainment, messages or no.

Anyway, I enjoy your work tremendously, and when I finished the book, I did not cry for its ending because I know that I've read only a part of it, and I'm looking forward to next year's installment. And the one after that, and then, well, only you know what you may do next.

Hail the Big Bushy Beard,

Gehennaheretic

October 18, 2007 3:04 PM  
Blogger Arevanye said...

I think there's a chord of longing that fantasy touches unlike any other genre. I love this quote from C.S. Lewis:

"We do not want merely to see beauty . . . We want something else which can hardly be put into words - to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses, and nymphs and elves."

I would go on to say that we've also peopled air and earth and water with fantastical and frightening creatures like dragons and balrogs so that we thrill to danger and triumph along with our heroes. It might be that traffic jam, or the rotten boss at work, but fantasy gives us fuel to endure the much harsher world of Real Life.

October 18, 2007 6:34 PM  
Blogger chris said...

If the lady who emailed the original question in is reading...challenge the person by asking "Do you Consider The Iliad/Odyssey, Milton's Paradise lost, The Greek Comedy's and Drama, Shakespeare's plays, etc are not enlightening and not about improving the human condition.

Many of the greatest works of Literature are fantasy.

I hate snobbs...

October 18, 2007 7:26 PM  
Blogger chris said...

If the lady who emailed the original question in is reading...challenge the person by asking "Do you Consider The Iliad/Odyssey, Milton's Paradise lost, The Greek Comedy's and Drama, Shakespeare's plays, etc are not enlightening and not about improving the human condition.

Many of the greatest works of Literature are fantasy.

I hate snobbs...

October 18, 2007 7:26 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Pat,
The "fantasy" argument and the John & Yoko bag-ins connect to me, in that it's people looking "foolish" to the masses in order to find something better in life...better than the Elections results, as you also mentioned.

It brings to mind another C. S. Lewis quote (an author I actually haven't read much from): "When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."

I'd rather stand on the side of fantasy writers/readers and dreamers.

October 18, 2007 7:44 PM  
Blogger dive said...

Your book made a change for me.

October 19, 2007 6:02 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

We live in a mutilated world. Escapism found in fantasy not only provides a window that we can see something positive, but in case like your book reminds us what it is like to be full of hope that good will overcome evil, that love can conquer war. I think we need more fantasy stories. Homer, Galileo, Aristotle, Tolkein, C.S Lewis Pat Rotfuss, Neil Gaiman, all provide us with hope for that fantasdy is the most powerful of mediums out side of asking a child what they dreamt last night.

October 19, 2007 6:51 AM  
Blogger KYDS3K said...

i want to read that column . . . is it available online anywhere?

btw, the Pointer Online could use some serious re-tooling . . . :-)

October 19, 2007 9:30 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

/swells with indignation/

Fantasy crap?

Yes, literature *is* about enlightenment and "the human condition," of course. It's by humans and for humans and always about humans, even if it appears only to be about talking rabbits or political pigs or a turtle crossing the road.

All truth is truth -- one can't pick and choose truth based on origin or palatability. If it's true, it's true, and post-modernism can take a leap.

And there is a LOT of truth in fairy tales and fantasy, which is why we have entire centers dedicated to the study of folklore and legend and cultural memes. Beowulf says just as much about the human condition as anything on Oprah's book list.

"Real life" tells us how it is. Fantasy tells us how it feels and how we can model it. And there's a reason we still have those fantasies first told thousands of years ago.... No one remembers pure escapism for long. ("Atom Age Vampire," anyone?) What persists is what has real meaning.

October 19, 2007 10:05 AM  
Anonymous nick said...

Wow. Theres no words for how amazing that letter was. I'm so glad she let you share it, Pat. By the end, I was crying because she was, and because she understood.

What good is fantasy? What good is anything, anyway? Why should fantasy be any less important than another event in our lives, when it has as much effect.

Thank you.

October 19, 2007 11:21 AM  
Blogger Kelly Swails said...

My God. Monica's letter nailed why I've loved reading ever since I was little kid. That was the best frickin' letter ever. Thanks so much for sharing it.

October 19, 2007 7:13 PM  
Blogger Christian said...

As a writer, I must say that The Name of the Wind is one of the great books I've read this decade. In fact, I purchased numerous copies, because I believe that my other writer friends -- those who fancy themselves fantasists (I think I just made that word up) -- can learn from your epic. And so now each of them own copies given as a gift. I'm very much looking forward to the second novel.

Cheers,
Christian

October 22, 2007 5:10 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

you're racist?

October 22, 2007 9:15 PM  
Blogger athelass said...

Great discussion. Gehennaheretic, I have to tease a little. You are complaining about wordsmiths using the words "sesquipedalianist showboating ". WOW! Now that's irony! Really good points about Beowulf and the classics. I'll use that with my son the fine arts major who is a total literature snob. We have this argument all the time. I'd venture to say Beowulf says more about the human condition than EVERY Oprah pick put together. Although I must say I'm glad I read The Road before she picked it ;)

October 23, 2007 3:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the argument in favour of fantasy as literature, I refer to Gene Wolfe: "My definition of good literature is that which can be read by an educated reader, and reread with increased pleasure." Also: "All novels are fantasies. Some are more honest about it."

October 25, 2007 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Gehennaheretic said...

Athelass... I did that on purpose. The skills of a wordsmith are necessary and valuable. The snobbery of one is not.

November 2, 2007 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Rothfuss,

I read your book when it first came out. It was one of those rare occasions when I take a blind flier on a book/author based on the cover (yes, I DO judge books by their covers!!). I was glad I did. Thank you. I've been waiting patiently for your next book. COME ON!! Just kidding. But seriously, how much longer do I have to wait? between you and George R.R. Martin I'm going nuts waiting for something worth reading. If you have a soul you'll finish the next book and make me happy. You DO have a soul don't you?

November 8, 2007 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Guy G-W said...

Pat,

I don't know if you will even see this, seeing as its more than a year and a half after the original post..

But I wanted to say how much I identify with Monica and understand the hope that can come from reading a book that captures a piece of you and finds a way to express it in a way you had never have imagined.

I can't think of a way to thank you or express the way your book has influenced my life, but you've made me a fan and a loyal one at that. I can't wait to see you star rise high :)

Thank you again

Guy G-W

March 3, 2009 11:54 PM  
Blogger draphsor said...

Some years after it came out (how did I miss this?!? fortunately my friends finally came through for me), I've now read it for the first time. Thanks for sharing that eloquent thank-you note, as it spares me from attempting (and failing) to capture the same feeling in words. Your writing touched me, and virtually meeting you through your blog is a great joy. Best of luck with everything, and thanks you for the book. I look forward to many more, and hope the universe conspires to make it possible for you.

February 22, 2010 12:56 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

A few lines from Jim Butcher's "Dead Beat" literally changed my life.

[note: I'm paraphrasing so as not to add a spoiler about the dinosaur, and because I lent my copy to a friend and don't think I'm getting it back]

"Wow, that must have been difficult to do."
"It wasn't hard, but it was a lot of work."
"Isn't that the same thing?"
"No. Lifting an engine block out of a car would be very simple, but it would take a lot of effort."

And thusly, my entire view of life and adulthood was changed.

March 8, 2010 10:06 AM  

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