Lincoln In The Bardo & The Golden House

Rushdie Saunders

 

I read the first several miniature chapters of George Saunder’s Lincoln In The Bardo with some misgivings. I knew and loved Saunders from Tenth of December and was accustomed to his style, but the overbearing nature of epistolary literature has always rubbed me the wrong way. And this was a whole novel of that? Very hard to grab onto, yet the reviews glowed and gushed. So I pushed on.

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Science Fiction vs Literary Fiction

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I considered myself a science fiction writer all the way through my first novel, Pareidolia. With portals, time travel, impossible rooms, and recovered alien artifacts, there’s no way it could be anything else.

I figured I ought to have a glancing familiarity with my genre, so I assigned myself a long reading list, starting with Frankenstein and ending with the hottest new sci-fi novel of the moment. It didn’t go well.

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The Idea Tree

tree

I just wrote a 70k word novel that started with a single idea, and I never want to forget that. It’s been an uphill climb to start my second novel, and I know I’m not the only writer who fights with this. What’s the point in writing anything at all without a fully-formed and explosively fantastic idea?

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Pareidolia: August 1, 2000 Timeline

The events described in the last ten chapters of Pareidolia all occur on the same day. This wasn’t a plotting challenge as much as it was a technical nightmare. I was all for describing different events from different character perspectives earlier in the novel, even with a little overlapping thrown in, but this was a whole other level of insanity.

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Pareidolia: Chapter Thirty

Enjoy this excerpt from my first novel, Pareidolia. The premise is available here, and the table of contents can be found here.


MARCUS

Society Hill, Philadelphia | Tuesday August 1st, 2000

It’s not like, you know a big deal or anything, is what Erin’s telling me back in the library now that the head honcho has retired upstairs for a brief rest after his trip. She’s seen him before, not too long ago either. Back when he was here in town for that New Age expo.

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Pareidolia: Chapter Twenty Nine

Enjoy this excerpt from my first novel, Pareidolia. The premise is available here, and the table of contents can be found here.


MARCUS

Society Hill, Philadelphia | Tuesday August 1st, 2000

I’m crossing the hallway to check out another room when I hear Mandy’s voice from downstairs. It’s not pitched or raised, but there’s an unmistakable urgency in it.

I rush to the lower level. They’re in the living room, only there’s three of them now. Mandy, Daryl, and someone else.

The third person is Balero.

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Pareidolia: Chapter Twenty Eight

Enjoy this excerpt from my first novel, Pareidolia. The premise is available here, and the table of contents can be found here.


ZEKE

Downtown Philadelphia | Tuesday August 1st, 2000

I’ve just explained to Todd that Leah, her father, and probably Courtney are by now probably all sitting in small dark respective rooms with two-way mirrors, bad coffee, and cat-and-canary-smile-wearing feds. Todd’s hunched over on his knees, leaning off the edge of the bench. Looks like he’s about to puke. He doesn’t say anything for a while, then manages to get two words out.

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Pareidolia: Chapter Twenty Seven

Enjoy this excerpt from my first novel, Pareidolia. The premise is available here, and the table of contents can be found here.


MARCUS

Society Hill, Philadelphia | Tuesday August 1st, 2000

We get to the top of the stairs and Mandy just sort of stands there and looks around, eyebrows raised, listening. Daryl’s a few steps behind us, frozen mid-step. Why are we being so quiet?

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