Lev Grossman, author of The Magician's Land, recalls the journey that took him from a Harvard and Yale-prescribed life of reading classics to writing fantasy novels, and how much it liberated him.
I was in my 30s and dealing with different problems from Harry’s. I wondered if there was a way to make my magician’s life look more like my own.
So I made my magician older. I made him American — he doesn’t talk in the crisp, correct manner of English fantasy heroes. I gave him a drinking habit, a mood disorder, a sex life. I wasn’t going to give my magician a Dumbledore or a Gandalf. There would be no avuncular advisor to show him where the path was. I wanted my magician to feel as lost as I did.
The first time I wrote a sentence about a person casting a spell, it was like I heard distant alarms going off. I felt like there must be a control room somewhere with a bunch of people sitting wearing headsets and looking at a red dot blinking on a map, and the dot was me, and the people were saying, He’s breaking the rules! We can’t let him get away with this! I was writing against my education and my upbringing. I was writing against reality itself — I was breaking rules, and not just the literary kind but the thermodynamic kind, too. It felt forbidden. It felt good.
Finding My Voice in Fantasy [Lev Grossman/NYT]
(Image: Armando Veve/NYT!)
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 2, the first of the two spacecraft that carried the Golden Record on a grand tour of the solar system and into the mysteries of interstellar space. Science journalist Timothy Ferris produced this enchanting phonograph record that tells a story of our planet expressed in […]
Looking for a tiny PC that still has space for a gaming-quality video card? SFF PC Cases is a remarkably detailed spreadsheet listing dozens of models, complete with cost, dimensions, volume and even important build tips. The very smallest are not practical for powerful builds, but the critical “Maximum GPU length” field is right there […]
Laurel Hope Roth, a former park ranger turned artist, has spent parts of the last decade creating intricate crocheted Biodiversity Reclamation Suits for Urban Pigeons.
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
This project management bundle will help you get organized and learn how to lead a team to success. You can pay what you want for these five courses when you pick them up from the Boing Boing Store.To help you become an invaluable asset for your company, this bundle includes a curated collection of professional […]