Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek
benpeek

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Oh Pure and Radiant Heart Review and Other Things

My review of Lydia Millet's Oh Pure and Radiant Heart is up at Strange Horizons (sh_reviews). You want to read it. You want to buy the book. Argue not. The book contains one of the finest final lines I've read in years. To tell you would spoil it, so just, y'know, buy/borrow/read.

In other news, I've finished the last clean through and touch up on A Year in the City. It is done now. Finished. No more. I promptly ripped out twenty thousand or so words to begin preparing it for submission, which was pretty easy. The joy of having a mosaic novel. I'm just waiting on the last reader, the fine and lovely Mari Ness (mariness), and after I fix all the mistakes she shows me up for, I'll put the academic section in, go get four copies printed out, and get it bound. Monday, I hope. Then, then, I swear to you, there won't be one more boring post about my thesis and how I'm chewing painkillers for a form of entertainment and no longer remember what the outside looks like, much less my friends, or even attractive women. There'll be no more of that. This blog will go back to being interesting, rather than just a place where everyone pissed off at me drops by to check on my slowly deteriorating mental health. I will find some nice drugs. Nice women. Nice bridges. It'll be fine. We'll all know love.

When I began writing A Year in the City, I had this idea of having every different narrator in a different font, possibly a hand writing font. I was even going to do some fancy layout things. It appealed to me, and still does, but the thing I quickly learnt is that such a thing is best done when you have some design skill, or knowledge of fonts, at the very least. I've got a bit, but not enough to look vaguely professional, so I shelved the idea. However, in the final pass, as I made a voice stronger, I decided to use a bit of that, and I think it's managed to bind the final elements of it together quite nicely with two extra fonts. Just small things really, but they work well. Sure, I hate it still, don't be fooled none, but I have a satisfied hate. And if this makes no sense to you, or it just makes it sound like this book is just the biggest wank you've ever had to sit and listen about, well, you know, all goes right and I'll have doctorate and all the useless party tricks that go with it... way I figure, you gotta do something useless and wanky for that little addition to your name.

oh, hey, lastly: expensive headphones really do make a difference in sound. I am humbled and happy. Thanks for all the advice to those who gave it.
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