Victor Hugo, Victoria, Phoenix discussed on Book Club with Julia and Victoria


Form kind of influences the theme, both of romance and of time travel, so our last sci-fi element, these letters are from the future. So we'll talk about how all these genres tied together and why we think it makes it a great book. Sweet. So first off, romance. The writing style, I think, is what really hits you out of the gate as like, this is different. Yes. When I sit down to read a book that has been pitched to me as sci-fi, and I know it has been written in the last 5 years, I'm not expecting the writing style that we got. It is quite flowery in places, quite romantic, very descriptive and poetic. I found this wonderful meme that a ball had also reposted and so we will link in the show notes, but your favorite part of the show where I just describe a photo. I will now describe it to you. This is two birds saying, wow, check it out. And they're like, what fiery foliage? Supremely scarlet. They're looking at these leaves that are red. Seducing these sanguine vividly vermillion. Seriously, cerise. Remarkably rupiah's partially peace categorically cochineal. It's really red. Reader had tweeted it. I'm all said, found this sort of you writing your parts of this is how you lose the time war. And it's great. Do you want to give us an example of what we're talking about here? Yes, I would. Okay, so this is like the very, very first page, this sort of an example of what this book sounds like. So when red wins, she stands alone. Blood slicks her hair. She breathes out steam in the last night of this dying world. That was fun. She thinks, but the thoughts sours in the framing. It was clean at least. Climb up times threads into the past and make sure no one survives this battle to muddle the future her agency's arranged. The futures in which her agency rules in which read herself is possible. She's come to not the strand of history, and sear it until it melts. She holds a corpse that was once a man. Her hands gloved in its guts, her fingers clutching its alloy spine. She lets go, and the exoskeleton clatters against rock, crude technology, ancient. Bronze to depleted uranium. He never had a chance. That is the point of red. See that right there, I was already explaining the mutually exclusive futures I just didn't understand at all. What it meant. Anyway, so you get like, even that one sentence, the thought sours in the framing. That's like such an old school way to write a process statement like a feeling statement. Like in the framing in the telling in the whatever with an ING verb, like no one does that anymore. And it just gets flowery or from there. Yeah, like the meme, right? They're just coming up with more and more poetic and sort of metaphoric ways to describe things, especially colors. And sometimes, like, the pros was so flowery and metaphorical that I at least had a hard time knowing what I was supposed to take literally and what was metaphor, especially with all the technical stuff of them moving in and out of time in ways that are kind of hard to conceptualize, you know? And it's so interesting to have a romantic take on sci-fi, right? Like you talked about how unexpected it was. I feel like we normally rely on extremely technical language like Star Trek, right? They try and make it all sound real all scientific. And this book says, screw that. We're going to make it all sound like poetry. Like, we literally wrote did Victor Hugo co write this. That man loves a sentence, and he loves an adjective. Because he's just trying to make it as beautiful and deep with so much feeling, right? Whereas I think we normally think of sci-fi as the absence of feeling. This book has so much feeling in it because of the way that it's written. And then like further along, as you get more into the story, it gets more romantic with a capital R, like the sort of romantic style of writing and also more romantic in the sense that there's a romance. Occurring, as the love story develops. So this letter that Victoria is about to read is like sort of the Pinnacle of the romantic writing style and also the romance. It's like where they admit their feelings for each other. Yes. Dear blue. I wish I could see your triumph. Knowing something of your mission, of the nature of your embedment. Having committed the beat of your footsteps to my heart, I sense the change you will wreck upon us. The season turns. You will be free from your recovery and from your task. I'll be sent no doubt to undo the damage you caused, and will run again, the two of us, up thread and down, firefighter, and fire starter, two predators only sated by each other's words. Do you laugh sea foam? Do you smile ice, and observe your triumph with an angel's remove? Sapphire flamed Phoenix, risen, do you command me once again to look upon your works in despair? I distract myself. I talk of tactics and of methods. I say how I know how I know. I make metaphors to approach the enormous fact of you on slant. I send you this letter on a falling star, reentry will score and test it, but will not melt it away. I write in fire across the sky, a plummet to match your rise. Your praise cuts me because though I speak so easily of certain things, though I rush through ground that to you seems mind, it's only earth to me. But your last letter, I am so good at missing things. At making myself not see. I stand at a cliff's edge in hell. I love you blue. Have I always haven't I? When did it happen? Or has it always happened? Like your victory love spreads back through time. It claims our earliest association are battles and losses. Assassinations become assignations. There was, I am sure a time I did not know you, or did I dream that me, as I've so often dreamed of you, have we always fulfilled one another in the chase? I remember hunting you through Samarkand, thrilling to think I might touch the loosening strands of your hair. I want to be a body for you. I want to chase you, find you. I want to be eluded and teased and adored. I want to be defeated and victorious. I want you to cut me sharpen me. I want to drink tea beside you in ten years, or thousand. Flowers grow far away on a planet, they'll call cephalus, and these flowers bloom once a century, when the living star and its black hole binary enter conjunction, I want to fix you a bouquet of them, gathered across 800,000 years, so you can draw our whole engagement in a single breath, all the ages we've shaped together do you want to pick up? Sure. I veer rhapsodic, my prose purples. And yet I don't think you'll laugh, or if you do, the laughter would delight me. Maybe I've over read the simple word with which you close your letter, but I can never over read you, and the word you chose is not simple. Maybe I overstep your bounds. And to be honest, love confuses me. I've never felt it before this. I've had joy and sex, I've had fast friendships, neither feels right for this, and this feels bigger than both. So let me say what I mean as well as I can. I sought loneliness when I was young. You've seen me there on my promontory patient and unaware, but when I think of you, I want to be alone together. I want to strive against and for. I want to live in contact. I want to be a context for you and you for me. I love you and I love you and

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