Friday, April 27, 2007

Tailchaser’s Song

from the diary: “Sunday 7/19/87

“Walked over Becky’s letter of ref[erence]. We went for a walk. She whispered, ‘A Gay Guy is living in Deanna’s house.’ [After Deanna moved out?]

“Ooh. Am I s’posed to be titillated? I said something about him being of ‘the proper, well-bred, intelligent people.’ She said something about how stupid that was and you know it’s unnatural.

“I said, ‘You’re wrong, you know.’

“She said, ‘It’s unnatural.’

“I said, ‘It’s not. I’m right and you know I’m right. You’re wrong and not right. I’m right. There’s nothing that you can do to prove you’re right cuz I’m right.’

“She was flustered, gathered her wits, ‘Well, there’s nothing you can say to prove you’re right.’

“’I don’t need to prove I’m right because it’s the Absolute Truth and you needn’t prove the Truth.’

“Reading a book Jeff lent me -- Tailchaser’s Song. It’s a nice pageturner. Adventure and all that. I’d forgotten how fun it was to indulge in one of these once in awhile.”

When I was a kid I loved talking animals. The first publisher Tad Williams approached when he’d finished Tailchaser’s Song told him, “’We don't do animal books. We'd make an exception if this were a potential best-seller, but it isn't.’" I guess the publishers would have been okay with Watership Down, had they already known it was going to be a bestseller, information its original publishers were likely lacking.

Do I remember anything about the book? Not really. In this excerpt Williams sets up some cat mythology: “Hearteater had been so long beneath the earth that the sun was blinding him. He clawed and rubbed at his steaming eyes, howling so piteously that Firefoot looked about for a way to protect him from the burning of the day-star. But when he turned away, the blinded Hearteater dug himself a tunnel, more swiftly than any badger or mole. By the time the startled Firefoot bounded over, Hearteater had disappeared back into the belly of the world.”


David Lee Ingersoll said...

I don't remember the plot. Just images here and there. The villain had eyeless, hairless monster cats as his soldiers.

I remember thinking that I was reading a Conan story set in a cat world. At the time I'd only read Conan comics. Not really even read them, just looked through them on the stands. So I wasn't exactly right.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Tad Williams says he cribbed a lot from Lord of the Rings.

David Lee Ingersoll said...

Not surprising. His Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy is more obvious with the cribbing. Unfortunately he puts the "ancient prophecy being fulfilled" schtick at the forefront of the story. So tiresome. Especially since it's obvious early (page 300 or so) on that there's going to be a twist(!) in how the prophecy works out and none of the characters are smart enough to figure it out (and the trilogy is over 1200 pages).