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The World & Its Wonders
(excerpted from Locus Magazine, May 1997)
Photo by Beth Gwinn
other interview excerpts
Sean Russell studied philosophy before settling in Vancouver. His first published novel was an Oriental fantasy, The Initiate Brother (1991, DAW), followed by the sequel Gatherer of Clouds (1992). A second fantasy duology, set in the West at the time of Darwin, was World Without End (1995) and Sea Without a Shore (1996). He recently completed the first of two other connected fantasies, Beneath the Vaulted Hills, and is working on its sequel.
"My first sale to DAW became a two-book series, The Initiate Brother and Gatherer of Clouds, my books about the Eastern tradition. When I was writing them, I thought, 'What can I do that's different from Tolkien?' One of the things about LOTR is how little overt magic there is. What Tolkien did was create a world in such incredible detail and with such inferred history that you just believed it. You don't have to have all this flash-and-dash magic that I'm seeing in a lot of Tolkien imitations. They've misunderstood their source."
"World Without End grew out of an interest in Darwin and early science, the Age of Discovery, all those things. I started thinking about the development of science, and our attitudes toward the natural world. I thought, 'What would a world look like that was changing from a magical worldview to a scientific, rather than from a religious worldview to a scientific one (which is what happened in our culture)?'..."
"I've sold a trilogy to Avon. The working title is 'The Swans' War'. It's going to be going into a period of history that's been mined a little more often than the other two I've used, so it's going to be a challenge to do something a little different with it. This is going to be somewhat more medieval, and center to some degree around a tournament -- jousting, etc. But really what it's going to be about is two families that split a kingdom trying to put their children on the throne..."
|© 1997 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.|