Goes behind the Curtain
…About the Blood Of Three Worlds
Ike* and his recent professor, Dr. Ads [see end note], enjoy occasional out-of–the-classroom discussions. The course is over. Both have encountered—and read—TBOTW.
Ike: “This book is weak in places.”
Dr. Ads: “Like where?”
Ike: “Well, sometimes I didn’t know if I was missing something, or what I should expect next in two worlds that were so different yet so alike.”
Ads: “Such as…”
Ike: “For one thing, no hand-held electronic devices appear in this 21st century story that seems to happen in the past but doesn’t. How can a modern story develop without them? And of all people, an astrophysicist/Bible preacher emerges as a significant character in a—basically—y.a. story.…”
Ads: “Well, as to ‘devices,’ you missed one 5-second exception. Maybe you should think of this as a niche book. As to the preacher character, the author has told me that he knows somebody almost like Dr. Harwell, and even an unusual old woman like Esther Crandel.
Ike: “A niche book for whom? Young adults? Senior citizens? Ordinary adults? Romance lovers? Science lovers? Outer space fanatics and other escapists? Or Bible people and New Agers? Theology types? Even—what do you call ‘em—“missiologists”?
Ike: “What do you mean, ‘Yes’ ?”
Ads: “ ‘New Agers’ might be disappointed. But I think some from all the other groups you mentioned have read and might recommend it. The story is hard to fit into a narrow category. And for marketing, you’re right: that sort of info is not helpful. Any other weakness, Ike?
Ike: “There are rabbit trails, Ads, just like you taught us about: for example, ‘Earthball’ on a new planet? Really! Using an unknown language to express deep feelings? And ‘memory exercises’ that I would call ‘Esther Crandel’s Clock Catechism.’ Don’t these stray from the plotline?”
Ads: “Ike, I hear you, but here’s what the author told me: ‘Sometimes important things sound better in another language that’s fresh.’ And that is discussed. As to the ‘Clock Catechism,’ not the author’s term for Esther’s memory device, by the way, I asked him about that. He said, ‘It’s a minor theme that weaves in and out of much of the story down to its very last word.’ The ‘Earthball’ part: well, I didn’t ask about that, but it was important part in two different scenes.”
Ike: “For the nervous, ‘book buying’ grandparent who wishes to do no evil, Ads, how would rate this?’ ”
Ads: “PG…for the upper (very precocious) middle schooler asking questions on up—especially Christians. Of course, with a book there’s always risks.”
Ike: “Not a good marketing message, Ads.”
Ads: “Agreed, and I’ll pass that on. Still, this may be the best unpredictable love story—mixing tragedy and sorrow with unexpected joy—that you read this year.”
Ike: “I…I did sort of enjoy it, Ads, ’cause it made me think about things I’ve never considered…But, Ads, I don’t read love stories.”
Ads: “Sorry, Ike, I disagree.”
Ads: “Because you just did read one—in English and Elphian.”
* About the characters (above): Ikon Oklastic (“Ike”) reminds me of my first encounter with “Armand Hammer” who I heard of as a teen fascinated by language. I can still picture the light-colored box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda that I grew up with as a young child. What a preposterous fictional name! But since much fiction follows oddities that occur in real life, things often become other than what they first seem. (Esther Crandel’s clocks would welcome that bit of wisdom…) Armand Hammer MD (1898 – 1990) was an oil tycoon and art collector of some repute in the early 20th century. Because of his name, he actually bought stock in the Arm and Hammer (drawing on an old socialist symbol) baking soda supply company. His grandson son, Armie, by the way, is currently an actor. Armand and “Ike” (above) both have eastern European roots…Only Ike, appears in adozenseconds.com however.
And “Dr. Ads?” He, along with Elmer Granger and Shiloh Miller, are already irregulars at that website.