Bear's Thoughts on Scott
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.