imriel452

New Information on Threnody

2 posts in this topic

So I received my beautiful slipcased copies of Shadows of SIlence in the Forest of Hell and Perfect State today, and there was a preface in SoS that wasn't included in the previous versions of the story - I have typed it below for you, word for word, as I think it provides some interesting insight into Threnody...

 

"When George R.R Martin approached me to ask if I'd be willing to contribute a story to Dangerous Women, I was ecstatic. George is known best for his Westeros books, but he is also an excellent author, having put together many anthologies. His recent themed anthologies with Gardner Dozois ave become something of a "Who's Who" in the fantasy and science fiction world. It was a real honor to be invited/

 

After he told me the theme was "dangerous women", I at first thought of Perfect State, the other novella in this collection. I had a very rough draft of that done, but hadn't submitted it anywhere for publication I sent that to George and Gardner, and they felt it wasn't on theme enough, and asked if I had anything else.

 

I didnt, not yet, but something had happened recently that had planted a seed in my mind. I had been involved in some genealogy work, and had run across the name of a Puritan woman called Silence. 

 

That intrigued me. Who would name their daughter Silence, and for what reason? Charity I can get. Faith makes total sense. But Silence? Perhaps she was late int he birth order, and her parents were really hoping to sleep through the nights this time.

 

Either way, the name stuck with me.

 

I'd had the idea for Threnody, the Cosmere world when a group of pilgrimesque people fled the Old World because it was overrun by a terrible evil long ago. It was actually a very early Cosmere world, developed around 1999 or 2000. (Though the name didn't get assigned to it until Isaac gave a suggestion upon reading this novella.) Having an intriguing Puritan name and a world that took inspiration from early American history seemed a ready-made match, but I had to ask myself, how was Silence going to be dangerous?

 

I was worried that the anthology was going to be stuffed full of women either in the "femme fatale" vein or the "I wear black leather and kick demon butt" vein. I've often felt that we, in fantasy, sometimes do a poor job of representing people (both male and female) who are powerful and capable in ways other than their ability to stand in a fight. Yes, giving a woman a sword is one way to make her dangerous, but I resist making every powerful woman into one who has become so by forcing her way into a traditionally male-dominated realm of face-to-face combat.

 

The world was mostly formed in my head, though over the years I'd added the diea of the shades for various reasons. One was to show off a few hints regarding the Cosmere afterlife, and another came during my initial research for the Stormlight Archive, where I read a lot about classical Hebrew life and philosophy. The original idea for Threnody was to make a system of magical rules with their roots int he Law of Moses and Jewish tradition. (Not mixing blood with milk, not kindling flames after nightfall on the Sabbath etc.) Many of these rules transformed over the years, leaving their roots behind in the same way that the Stormlight magic system left behind its roots in the fundamental forces of physics. But you can see those hints still having an influence on the tone and setting of this story.

 

This intersection of these ideas developed into this story, one that soon became one of my favorite Cosmere tales. I hope you enjoy it! (And no, for those searching, Hoid does not make an appearance. Unfortunately, he needed to be somewhere else in the timeline at this point.)

9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was in the version I got, definitely intriguing.

 

jW

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.