Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thoughts on Scott - Elizabeth Bear

Elizabeth's Bio (Wikipedia): Elizabeth Bear was a winner of the 2005 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the 2008 Hugo Award for Best Short Story for "Tideline," and the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Novelette for "Shoggoths in Bloom." She is one of only five writers who have gone on to win multiple Hugo Awards for fiction after winning the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She's also Scott's girlfriend and apprarently wrote a pretty amazing book called Range of Ghosts that you should all be reading. Seriously, I haven't seen a negative review of this book yet. Go buy it, and then come back and read this.

Bear's Thoughts on Scott

So the thing about Scott Lynch as a writer--the outstanding thing, the
first thing you notice, what sweeps you off your metaphorical feet--is
his voice. Nuanced, observant, charismatic, humane, trenchant, a
little bit flashy and a little bit grandiose--and funny as hell, it's
a five-hundred-pound gorilla of style, a towering inferno layercake of
metaphor with blue buttercream roses. I'm actually tempted, right
here, to pastiche it a little... but I will restrain myself--because I
know my strengths, and I'd only make myself look like an idiot trying.

But trust me. He's funny. *Really* funny, on the level that makes you
wince with recognition at some of the seedier facets of the human
condition just as you're snickering at the cleverness of his
observations and the way they're framed.

I was a little too established in my own style when he came along to
count his work as an influence, but I blurbed his first novel when I
barely knew the man, and that was largely on the strength of that
amazing, influential voice--often imitated, even in a few short years
of publication history--never equaled.

The thing you might not know if you don't know Scott is that that
voice isn't an affectation. His characters aren't ego inserts--he's
certainly capable of being narratively critical of all their
less-than-savory aspects--but the voice?

That's really how he talks. The wit and perspicacity and humanity come
through in the in-person Scott Lynch as clearly as they do in the
on-paper one, making that rarest of creatures among writers: a person
who's not *just* more funny and charming *on paper* than most people.


  1. I think this is spot on!  I think it makes sense that his written voice reflects how he is himself - that's why he's able to write so well - it's not a pretense or a 'wannabe' it's genuine.
    Lynn :D

  2. It is really cool to have Elizabeth Bear, one of my all time favorite writers, comment on Scott Lynch, who I never heard of before agreeing to wicked crazy cool read-along.

  3. i just got Range of Ghosts from the library, gonna start it tomorrow.  or maybe in like, uhh, 5 minutes.

    And the voice thing?  yes to all.  That man's voice is enchanting.

  4.  Umm, I think she was talking about narrative voice, not his actual voice. :P

  5.  I've really enjoyed doing these so far. I think if we're lucky I might even be getting one from Joe Abercrombie in a couple of weeks. No guarantees, but I've got my fingers crossed.

  6.  Makes total sense. I know if I tried to write a book that was as funny as Scott's I'd really struggle to do it and it wouldn't look very good at all, that's for sure.

  7.  as I said, Yes to All.  ;)  and did start Range of Ghosts last night.