Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

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Reviews, Reviews.

a trio of reviews for leviathan four: cities.


from affinity8:

"The strongest stories in the collection are Ben Peek's "The Dreaming City," Jay Lake's "The Soul Bottles" and "The Wizard of Wardenclyffe" by Ursula Pflug...

"The Dreaming City" was particularly fascinating for the way it mixed fact and fiction while exploring the aboriginal fight for Sydney, Australia. The shifts in time and place were a little jarring at first but worked well, and I like how Peek portrayed the aboriginal hero Pemulwy (even when he's stabbing Englishwomen) and incorporated Mark Twain, who visited Sydney on one of his many travels. I too have been to Sydney, and Peek's writing reminded me of the harbor quite well. The ending didn't work for me, but that was a common problem I had with this collection."


from mastage:

""The Dreaming City" by Ben Peek is almost a great story. A story of Mark Twain dreaming in Sydney Harbour's dream, it's a wonderful Australian story that had me wondering just how much of it had actually happened, and left me wanting more than ever to visit Australia. The reason the story doesn't quite achieve greatness is that, as one of its characters once said, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug," and it seems that in this story there were a lot of almost right words, keeping sentences that should have been fantastic merely workmanlike. Still, a highly recommended story."


and matt cheney at

""The City of God" gives way to "The Dreaming City" of Ben Peek, where Australian history alternates with myth and Mark Twain learns about the plight of Aboriginal people. It sounds ridiculous in summary, but it's actually marvelous, and Peek cunningly mixes fact and imagination. The ending may be a bit of a sermon, but the impulse to sermonize was one Twain himself knew well."


a fourth review, dropped in the user comments by by nihilistic_kid (who organised galleys in return for reviews).



"In Ben Peek’s 'The Dreaming City', Mark Twain endures a mini-Inferno so as to witness Sydney, Australia’s colonial past through the eyes of his guide, a long dead aborigine. This story does much with the concept of a town ‘heart’ and how this heart – for good or ill – may come into being and silently alter those within its sphere of influence."

which is all just cool.

(and i think, right here, in this one book, with these comments and others i've listed, i've had more said about this story than i have for my complete body of work over the last nine years of selling fiction. which is fair enough, in hindsight, and since i think the story is actually one of my better ones, and represents more of what i'm about and capable of these days, i'm quite pleased.)
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