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New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel? (Read 17533 times)
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New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
25. Mar 2004 at 01:33
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Since Blaylock was unable to participate in the recent chat session, I contacted him and asked him about current and upcoming writing projects.

Quote:
"At present I'm finishing up a young adult fantasy that has something to do with the unfinished machinations of The Digging Leviathan, except set now, and narrated by an 11 year old girl who considers herself a cryptozoologist.  I'm quite moderately happy with it.
Lots of fat men in unstylish trousers.  
Cheers, Jim"


This is just too cool!

It already sounds pretty funny and entertaining.

Not to mention, it sounds like a return to earlier themes that many of his fans really cherish!

Later,
W. Chris "Silver" Smith
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B. Pulley
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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #1 - 26. Mar 2004 at 08:39
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[quote author=B. Pulley  link=1068828636/0#11 date=1069511022]
...but I'm not sure if I'm going to read anything of Mr. Blaylock's beyond that for fear of another experience such as Winter Tides.  
[/quote]

Hmm.  I may have been a bit hasty in stating I wouldn't be reading any of Mr. Blaylock's newer works.  Smiley

Young adult fantasy though?  Was Digging Leviathan written as young adult fantasy?  If so, I'm afraid I must have missed something somewhere.  In any case, it was a nice read.  

B.

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Jeff M.
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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #2 - 26. Mar 2004 at 16:17
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Very exicitng news! I will definately be putting in an order for this one. Thanks for posting the info, Chris.

Jeff
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"He'd worked his way through half of G. Smithers, having long ago come to the conclusion that reading is perhaps the finest thing in the world to do in one's leisure time."
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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #3 - 26. Mar 2004 at 16:40
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Replying to B. Pulley's question about whether Digging Leviathan was young adult fantasy:  I don't really consider it such.

However, everyone has pretty well noted, consciously or unconsciously, that Blaylock's works tended to be much more whimsical in many ways back at the beginning.

I think there was a lot more influence earlier in his career of some of his favorite readings, like some Robert Louis Stevenson or even the Wind in the Willows or something.

I think that the Land of Dreams was intended to be something of a young adult fantasy, when he first envisioned it.  Certainly, having children as main characters generally influences the publishing world into thinking of a book as "young adult" or juvenile, regardless of its writing complexity or maturity of tone.

I think that there are works of fine literature which transcend the stereotypical bias that folx have about juvenile fiction -- that it cannot be also high-quality literature.  I would put Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle In Time" in this category.  Also, I recently read "Freaky Green Eyes" by Joyce Carol Oates, and was very, very pleased and impressed by the quality of the work.

Just from the concept snippet Blaylock's provided of this new work, I think all of us can be very excited by the prospect!  And, his quality of writing is always a pleasure to delve into.
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Patrick
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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #4 - 26. Mar 2004 at 20:21
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Well, I have to admit that I'm torn between elation (Leviathan sequel, yes!!) and disappointment.  Even when I was young, I found "young adult" fiction to be insulting.
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Jeff M.
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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #5 - 26. Mar 2004 at 21:42
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I think people get the wrong idea when they hear "young adult" fiction; it often brings to mind books like the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.  Keep in mind that the Hobbit was intended as a childrens book when it was written, and I don't know too many "children" that have read it.  

I guess my point is that designations like "young adult" are really quite general, and encompass so many levels of literature that they have very little relevance.

Not that a silly little thing like that would stop any of you from reading it anyway Wink

Jeff
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"He'd worked his way through half of G. Smithers, having long ago come to the conclusion that reading is perhaps the finest thing in the world to do in one's leisure time."
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Dave Garrett
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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #6 - 31. Mar 2004 at 03:19
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In regards to the designation of "young adult", it seems that any book today has to be pigeon-holed into some catagory in order to be with like books--romance, western, science fiction, fantasy, horror, are all genres, and are just convenient labels for book sellers, book stores and the publishers. Now  *everyone* seems to have that in their brains. Young adult seems to mean to the publishers--if the book has a protagonist that is a teen, then it is young adult. So do not think we are talking Hardy Boys, or Nancy Drew, etc. Think Earthsea books by Ursula Le Guin, or His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. This is some of the best stuff ever written in fantasy and if you listen to the labelling and dismiss it as kids stuff you will miss a lot of great books! And any book, no matter what catagory they call it, has to have good story, good characters, and good writing. I am really happy that any book is coming out by James Blaylock and I ignore any labels attached to it. End of rant. Thank you. I wonder about the book that was sold (that we were all waiting for)  called Heaven's Cathedral, has that been abandoned or just shelved while he ponders some revisions? Or is it same book? Dave
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Patrick
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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #7 - 31. Mar 2004 at 11:28
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Uh, with all due respect, I'm not the one who brought up Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys.  I read the Hobbit in 3rd grade and A Wrinkle In Time in 5th.  Frankly, I don't admire any of the books that have been cited here as examples of fine "young adult" fiction.  Give me credit for knowing what I do and don't like, okay?

Incidentally, I don't see how the labeling in this case could be a result of "marketing".  The author is apparently still writing the thing.  If he is using the term "young adult fantasy", then he's obviously writing with a different audience in mind from his previous works.

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B. Pulley
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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #8 - 01. Apr 2004 at 09:35
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[quote author=Silver  link=1080178438/0#3 date=1080330014]I think that there are works of fine literature which transcend the stereotypical bias that folx have about juvenile fiction -- that it cannot be also high-quality literature.  I would put Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle In Time" in this category.  Also, I recently read "Freaky Green Eyes" by Joyce Carol Oates, and was very, very pleased and impressed by the quality of the work. [/quote]

I agree.  Even now, quite a few years since I've been considered a juvenile, I still have a certain fondness for the (older) works of Paul Zindel.  Many of his books still find a place on my bookshelf.  "A Wrinkle in Time" is there somewhere among them as well.  Wink

Believe it or not, I recently found myself re-reading "Harriet the Spy."  Ahh, the memories...

B.

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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #9 - 02. Apr 2004 at 00:32
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Regarding Patrick's question/comment about labelling -- I think I was trying to point out that "young adult" fiction could be taken to mean a couple of different things, depending on the person who's using that term.  So, unless you were certain of what they meant, it's possible that you could be mistaken about whether you would or would not like the new book.

One could be using that term if the book: has younger main characters; or if the book is written at a lower reading level; or both.

Land of Dreams had younger main characters, so Blaylock may've considered it "young adult fiction" when he wrote it, but I think it's written at a reading level that's higher than high school age, generally.

A couple of the main characters of "Digging Leviathan" were teens, so it's not necessarily that big of a stretch to have this sequel have a teen protagonist, too.  Was "Digging Leviathan" a "Young Adult Fiction" work?  More importantly, did you enjoy "Digging Leviathan"?

If you did enjoy it, then I would guess that it might be worthwhile to you to try out the new book when it comes out.

I don't think the labelling or pigeonholing into a genre really matters in this case.  Good writing can transcend the genre, is what I was trying to communicate.
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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #10 - 07. Apr 2004 at 18:26
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One interesting postscript I might add:

Blaylock's sister apparently has been a zoologist, so I wonder if she inspired the cryptozoologist character, in part?
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klause
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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #11 - 09. Apr 2004 at 00:40
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All this talk about "Young Adult" classification is interesting, but let's not lose sight of the Central Point:  More DIGGING LEVIATHAN!!
Yea!

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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #12 - 23. Apr 2004 at 09:21
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Digging Leviathan II
The Goblin Keeper
Thirteen
Hidden Cathedral

The list of non-existant (?) novels by Mr. Blaylock grows. It's great to imagine what could be in them...

'Goblin Keeper' is mentioned on the cover-notes in the UK edition af Digging Leviathan. I suppose that it evolved into 'Stone Giant'.

'Thirteen' is mentioned on the cover-notes in the UK edition of Digging Leviathan. I have no idea what that one could be. Could it eventually de-volve into 'Thirteen phantasms' ? Maybe it was a novel describing the protagonists adventures in the fifties?

'Hidden Cathedral'. I've only heard of it on this web-site. No clue to the story, but the title brings pictures in my mind.

And now: 'Digging leviathan II' or whatever... Wonderful!

Maybe we could persuade Mr. Blaylock to make a list of titles for some 20 or 30 novels, that he probably never is going to write. But where the title is exciting. It could be fun imagining the novels...
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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #13 - 23. Apr 2004 at 16:50
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Peter,
The Goblin Keeper was indeed renamed "Stone Giant".

The Thirteen was renamed to "The Last Coin".

I believe Blaylock may've abandoned "Hidden Cathedral" when it wasn't going how he wanted.

I'm not sure what his proposed title will be for the Digging Leviathan sequel.

It's not unusual for authors and publishers to use "working titles" prior to completion of a book, and then have the titles changed for publication.  Sometimes this is because people can't make up their minds -- other times the publisher feels it can be better marketed under a different title -- and sometimes perhaps the book transforms over the course of creation into something better represented by a different title.  

later,
W. Chris "Silver" Smith
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Re: New Blaylock book - Digging Leviathan sequel?
Reply #14 - 27. Jun 2004 at 06:11
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Update - this new book is apparently to be entitled "Zeuglodon".

A Zeuglodon is a long, sinuous, whale-like dinosaur and has been proposed as one possible candidate for the creature inhabiting Loch Ness -- on the theory that these particular creatures may still be alive on the earth.

http://unmuseum.mus.pa.us/zeuglodo.htm

It's a very apropo name, IMHO, since it's something of a synonym for "leviathan", I would think!

No news yet on publisher or release plans or anything...
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