Carla Speed McNeil writes and draws the phenomenal Finder series of graphic novels: read the first chapter of Talisman.Geoff Ryman is the author of several extraordinary novels; my two favorites are The Child Garden and Air: read an excerpt.
It was only recently that I realized that there are ways in which their work reminds me of each other’s, so IÂ made a few notes about things that both creators explore. If I were a real literary blogger, this would be a real essay, with full paragraphs and stuff, but I am scattershot and fragmentary, so here are some fragments:
Memory and its nature, how it can be manipulated/enhanced.
The unintended consequences of technological advances.
The nature of artistic creations, reacting to them, reinterpreting them, using the narratives of others to deepen and enhance the story being told. “She reads, thought Milena in admiration, unheard-of books.”
Culture clashes and connections, rituals.
Political organization and its discontents.
Details that immediately let the reader know she’s somewhere unexpected â€“ the sneakers and the portable music player from this bazaar scene in Talisman; this bit from the opening of Child Garden:
It was a production of Love’s Labour’s Lost. The children were bored; they could follow the play with such ease…’Another one of these New History things,’ sighed a little girl in the front. Her cheeks were purple from the sun. Her voice was sulky, light, breathy. She was about three years old.