Saturday, April 7, 2012

Thoughts on Scott - Myke Cole

Myke ColeAs a secu­rity con­tractor, gov­ern­ment civilian and mil­i­tary officer, Myke Cole’s career has run the gamut from Coun­tert­er­rorism to Cyber War­fare to Fed­eral Law Enforce­ment. He’s done three tours in Iraq and was recalled to serve during the Deep­water Horizon oil spill.
All that con­flict can wear a guy out. Thank good­ness for fan­tasy novels, comic books, late night games of Dun­geons and Dragons and lots of angst fueled writing.

On a personal note, Myke is an awesome guy, and I really enjoyed Control Point. He's also got some amazing things to say on his blog, so be sure to check it out.

Myke's Thoughts on Scott

If I had to hone in on any one aspect of Lynch's writing, it would be dialogue. Lynch is possessed of a wit and developed sense of snark that's practically singular. I'll never forget falling in love with Tyrion Lannister (from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire) in large part due to the witty reparte. Here was a dwarf, crippled and weak, surrounded by the strongest and most powerful people in the land, none of whom bore him any good will, and giving as good as he got mostly due to the gift of a sharp tongue.

Lynch's protagonist, Locke Lamora, does much the same. He's no Black Jack Geary. He's no Aragorn, Son of Arathorn. He sure as hell is no Conan of Cimmeria. Heck, he's not even Elric of Melnibone. Locke Lamora is much like I was growing up (and much like I am guessing Lynch himself was); skinny, weak, too smart for his own good, possessed of a mischievous inability to keep those smarts underwraps and utterly unable to shut the hell up and stop being publicly smug when those smarts (combined with that mischief) pays off. 

Perhaps this quote from Red Seas Under Red Skies sums it up best:


“That's a sweet piece," said Jean, briefly forgetting to be aggravated. "You didn't snatch that off a street."

"No," said Locke, before taking another deep draught of the warm water in the decanter. "I got it from the neck of the governor's mistress."

"You can't be serious."

"In the governor's manor."

"Of all the -"

"In the governor's bed."

"Damned lunatic!"

"With the governor sleeping next to her."

The night quiet was broken by the high, distant trill of a whistle, the traditional swarming noise of city watches everywhere. Several other whistles joined in a few moments later.

"It is possible," said Locke with a sheepish grin, "that I have been slightly too bold.”


Lynch has, through a few lines of dialogue, conveyed all of this: wry wit, great intelligence, mischievous humor, narcissism, risk-addiction, anti-institutional bent; and best of all, commitment to friends and loyalty to his own kind. It is the very best kind of writing; simultaneously economical and engaging, conveying enormous amounts of information using as few words as possible. Craft, deft, smart.

And hopelessly engaging. If I can ever write dialogue like Lynch, I'll know I have arrived.

1 comment:

  1. oh, that is a GREAT scene from Red Skies!  and because of the circumstances leading up to that conversation, when it happens, you just feel the entire room brighten around you.

    ALL the writing in these books is brilliant, the worldbuilding never ends, but yes, it's the dialog that has me begging for me.

    Bryce, these Thoughts on Scott posts are just wonderful!!