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Old 3rd Jul 2006, 16:50   #1
John Self
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Default Sean Wright: Jaarfindor Remade

As all Sean Wright's other books have their own threads, I thought we should have one for his forthcoming novel Jaarfindor Remade, also. It's out next month, in August 2006.

What we know about it so far is as follows. It was originally a novel he wrote in 1990, thus predating any of his existing published work by more than a decade. However he has rewritten it to have it set on Jaarfindor, presumably because the first Jaarfindor book, The Twisted Root of Jaarfindor, has been his least unsuccessful so far (in sales, that is: artistically it was certainly one of his worst). So Wright distinguishes 'Old Jaarfindor' (the setting for Twisted Root, Wicked or What? and The Numberist) from 'New Jaarfindor' (the setting for Jaarfindor Remade) by saying that New Jaarfindor is a merging of Old Jaarfindor and Earth. Literally. (In fact although he categorises it as an 'Old Jaarfindor' book, Wicked or What? in fact was also set on a mixture of old Jaarfindor and Earth, because like Jaarfindor Remade, it was cobbled together from some older fiction he had written before The Twisted Root of Jaarfindor.)

Why he felt the need to be so clumsy as to literally merge Old Jaarfindor and Earth only Wright can say. Here, anyway, is the scene where the merging is recalled:

Quote:
Once, he recollected with a touch of twisted nostalgia, many years ago, he would have looked out from this surly bastion and laughed. He would have laughed insanely at the impossible and succulent peach sky, its juices dribbling down provocatively as if thinned oils upon a stark virgin canvas. It was the first surreal inkling of an opening between the invisible worlds. The day the sky melted was etched indelibly upon Fortune’s mind, as though a dome of wax to a searing flame, remade with light and sound and the stench of burning skin; remade with the sickening, holocaustic barbarity of screaming skulls, stripped of flesh and muscle to the charred bone. Billions died on that impossible day, a few survived, less than two thousand perhaps. For those who continued to exist nothing could ever be the same, not for them, hidden underground in the vast network of sewers and abandoned train and mining tunnels, not for them or their off-spring, skulking in the dark, and the generations who came afterwards.
This sloppy, careless, overcooked prose is well in keeping with Wright's recent books: simultaneously portentous and meaningless, and where of course the only way anyone can laugh is 'insanely.' But what more can we expect from a writer with such contempt for his readers (if he really has any) that he will pull out an old story and simply give us a paragraph of pisspoor purple prose to join it to the new world he has created. Can you see the join?

Here is another descriptive passage displaying Wright's descriptive powers to their full (yes, I'm afraid this is it):

Quote:
He relocated his eyes to the view out of the window again. He could have wondered at the tall, gleaming citadels, alabaster white, and cooed favourably at the bright resplendent sky-ships that invaded the planet and festooned its airspace; perhaps even sighed contentedly at the vast expanse of shimmering ginger desert far beyond the Grandlian Ocean, an unforgiving, featureless landscape that slipped beneath the keel of many a cargo sky-ship, but the fog had invaded New Jaarfindor like a terminal infection, enveloped it, sealed the domain in a suffocating malady. Even though an immeasurable amount of time - shrinking and expanding by turns - had past since the flood and the merging of the worlds, the fog of change, the fog of the new order stifled the few truly human survivors, gave advantage to the creatures which floated like apparitions within the miasma.

Inside the city, time dragged, slowed so that an old Earth year might be twenty by the Jaarfindorian clock. Beyond the city walls, out there in the wilderness (if the rumours were to be believed), a man could age a thousand years in the time it took to swallow the thick, dried spittle of panic that coated his mouth. This advance or regression from one millennium to another, creating either ancient or pre-foetal, was at the whim of whatever haunted the desert and beyond. Those of a religious bent termed that power a ministry of whimsy.
Wright in his frequent forewords defends his poor prose by pretending that he is seeking to leave things open and unexplained for the reader. And then somewhat negates this by saying that he himself is never confused by it. All this is clearly rationalisation after the criticisms have come rolling in.

Wright himself seems confused however by some aspects of his work and how they relate to one another (despite his 'many stories, one book' theory, which if he keeps saying it, he may one day come to believe). He describes the main character Lia-Va, thus:

Quote:
Lia-Va caused a real stir in her first appearance in the The Twisted Root of Jaarfindor (Crowswing Books - Oct 2004). Readers and critics of Lia-Va either loved what she represented in that book, or hated her challenge to a stereo-typical patriarchal mentality. Reviewer Rob Bedford at SFF World called her 'perhaps the bitchiest heroine this side of Narnia or any swiftly tilting planet.'
I hereby challenge Sean Wright publicly to tell us which commentators 'hated her challenge to a stereo-typical patriarchal mentality.' The only hatred I was aware that she engendered was by those with a love of good characterisation, expert prose and well-written dialogue.

Quote:
Her second appearance, or more appropriately non-appearance, came in The Numberist, a short story first published in New Wave of Speculative Fiction: The What If Factor (Crowswing Books - Sept 2005), and then reprinted in Issue #2 of Estronomicon. The Numberist utilised Lia-Va as a mythic character that provides the story's protagonist Lou with his motivation to go back in time to sort some unfinished business with her and God.

Lia-Va's third appearance was in Jaarfindor Remade (Crowswing Books - August 2006).
Wright has clearly forgotten that her third appearance was actually in Jesse Jameson and the Stonehenge of Spelfindial, published two months before Jaarfindor Remade in June 2006. He could be forgiven for that, however, as Lia-Va in that book has no connection whatever, except by name, with the Lia-Va in Twisted Root of Jaarfindor.

Quote:
She's no longer a self-obsessed addict, a princess who turns her back on her responsibilities, but a hard-nosed corporate business tycoon who owns Jaarfindor from a financial and technological standpoint. She is driven by those old selfish needs, hiring an assassin-artist to kill the President of the in-coming government, The Tinted Green Party, to create political instability, and ultimately to hand her the political power of New Jaarfindor.
From this we can presume that similarly here, Lia-Va will once more be entirely unrelated to the earlier character of Lia-Va, and that the name is reused simply for laziness purposes. Could it - just possibly - be the case that this character of a hard-nosed business tycoon existed in the 1990 novel and Sean Wright did a simple search-and-replace on his word processor to make her into Lia-Va?

There are other characters in Jaarfindor Remade too, we are told.

Quote:
Anna Everson's complexities as a central character appeared in her substantial narrative throughout Jaarfindor Remade. She appears as a tour guide in Part 1, a loose foil for Domino Fortune's mission.In Part 2 the narrative shift from third to first person highlights Anna's growing pain, both metaphoric and physical, as she attempts to come to terms with her terminal illness. And finally in Part 3, she makes a series of haunting and mainly unspoken appearances in the midst of New Jaarfindor's remaking.
Complexities? A claim which will be interesting to judge. We look forward to publication date. In a sense.
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Old 3rd Jul 2006, 17:35   #2
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Default Re: Sean Wright: Jaarfindor Remade

It really is the most impossible drivel to actually read. His writing, if you can call this inane dribble that, comes across as though he is about 11 and has just discovered the wonders of a theasaurus. That passage you quoted John, the one about the ginger desert or some-such bollocks - you see, I've forgotten already and that was only 10 seconds ago! - just doesn't make any sense at all. What is wrong with him?

Also, the now familiar 'past' - Jesus, the man's a complete window-licker.
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Old 3rd Oct 2006, 14:14   #3
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Default Re: Sean Wright: Jaarfindor Remade

Can't Wright's blogspot has a new entry:

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Sean Wright's Jaarfindor Remade - two views

I think every writer needs critics. Some folk are constructive, others are not. Some folk like what you write, and others of course do not. While I'm waiting for the reviews of my debut novel - Jaarfindor Remade - to appear I wanted to share two views from the two folk I think understand my work best; two folk who have read my work in some detail and have commented upon it intelligently; two folk I respect as writers and critics. That bit is important to me. Why? Because the world of books can be a beautiful place and a cruel place at times, and I need to know that readers "get it." You know, get what you are trying to achieve. Reviews say so much about the reviewer. Good, bad or plain ugly. These two views of Jaarfindor are different to mine, of course. But I value them enormously. I think they'll keep me sane in the wake of what will surely unfold.
Followed by two not-really-that-different reviews by his mates.

This is infuriating for numerous reasons (stop saying 'folk'!), not least because he can't help the self-aggrandising (Sean Wright's Jaarfindor Remade - two views): it's your bloody blog, you prick, drop the "Sean Wright's". Or that his grasp of the English language is still so unsteady ('in the wake of what will unfold').

No, the thing that continues to irritate is that he still thinks a bad review says something about the reviewer, and not the book. Grow up. We've read 'em all, Sean, and they're all shit.

Do the decent thing and give up.
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Old 3rd Oct 2006, 14:26   #4
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Default Re: Sean Wright: Jaarfindor Remade

OK, OK, here's the chance to help Sean by being constructive. I have chosen a chunk of Jaarfindor Remade at random. Please read it, see if you 'get it' and then let Mr Wright know. Ready? Here you are:

Quote:
It should have been a simple multiple hit, carried out in a derelict recycling warehouse on the outskirts of the city, the shipping district. She’d set up the deal with the Krassgar drug-baron – Mathers. The tyrannical insectiant was renowned for his brutality, his mob-like mentality, and his callous disrespect for species other than his own. No one troubled Mathers more than once. They simply vanished or were dragged up from the ocean floor with a collar of hardened silicone bolted around their necks. Mathers was not a pleasant fellow. But he had what she wanted at an inflated price.

It should have been simple, but while he and his fellow assassins crouched in the thick shadows, Frank got a call from the bitch’s 95th floor HQ – Highfeld Corporation – on his microbile. The idiot had forgotten to turn it off!

Even more incredible then, (he was so stunned by the caller’s naked body writhing provocatively before him on the microbile’s 3D imaging screen) that he’d actually answered it!

Milliseconds drifted like slow-motion leaves tumbling from an autumnal tree, as though time had been stretched, elasticised and rendered most pliable. Perhaps the legendary Tree of Life and Death? Perhaps not. All life stopped, frozen, speeded up, slowed down, floating like jetsam in the Grandlian Ocean.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

It was over in seconds.

Fortune stood there now in his memory, in the depths of planetary waste, trembling, as if his legs had exhausted all strain, staring with a glazed expression at the bloody, ruby carnage.

He’d tracked down the insectiants before they left the recycling warehouse. He’d crept up to within a few yards of them, positioning himself behind a huge, wire mesh container that was crammed with glistening broken glass. The insectiants’ faces distorted, reflected as if some decrepit Hall of Mirrors. They were getting high on Krassgar, high on their premature celebration, the drug popped deftly into tiny orifices where a left breast would have been situated on a human. They resembled seven-foot high cockroaches.

Fortune’s action was swift and calculated. He programmed the ball-sized device in his hand to discharge three seconds after he’d released it. Twelve of them were killed in a single blast from his hand-thrown explosive. He buried his head in his palms, ducking lower behind the shield of glass. Their fragile flesh sizzled, roasted alive, mouths opening and closing as they gulped desperately for air, screaming in high-pitched clicks and hisses, incinerated wings and membranes, twisting, flailing arms, falling, crumpled and jerking with the final vestiges of life.

The acrid stench turned his guts, and he vomited.
So, what are your thoughts? Sean will be checking this thread (hello Sean), so please let him know how much you liked it.
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Old 3rd Oct 2006, 15:48   #5
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Default Re: Sean Wright: Jaarfindor Remade

Almost nearly quite good.

I quite liked the frying cockroaches - I mean "insectiants". And to have one called "Mathers" is particularly cool. They are usually called Krxyccx and stuff like that.

But... "Bang! Bang! Bang!" doesn't match with "Twelve of them were killed in a single blast from his hand-thrown explosive", and I kept wondering how many were left.

"Milliseconds drifted like slow-motion leaves tumbling from an autumnal tree, as though time had been stretched, elasticised and rendered most pliable. Perhaps the legendary Tree of Life and Death? Perhaps not. All life stopped, frozen, speeded up, slowed down, floating like jetsam in the Grandlian Ocean."
Come off it, Sean. That's just self-indulgent filler crap and everyone's going to skip it. Unless you're paid by the word, I'd leave it out.

"a collar of hardened silicone"
Silicones, or polysiloxanes, are inorganic-organic polymers with the chemical formula [R2SiO]n, where R = organic groups such as methyl, ethyl, and phenyl. These materials consist of an inorganic silicon-oxygen backbone (...-Si-O-Si-O-Si-O-...) with organic side groups attached to the silicon atoms, which are four-coordinate. In some cases organic side groups can be used to link two or more of these -Si-O- backbones together. By varying the -Si-O- chain lengths, side groups, and crosslinking, silicones can be synthesized with a wide variety of properties and compositions. They can vary in consistency from liquid to gel to rubber to hard plastic. The most common type is linear polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS. The second largest group of silicone materials is based on silicone resins, which are formed by branched and cage-like oligosiloxanes.

But, of course, you knew that, Sean. So you could have a hardened silicone collar, I guess... but its density would be such that it would actually tend to act as a lifebelt rather than a concrete welly boot.
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Old 3rd Oct 2006, 16:11   #6
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Default Re: Sean Wright: Jaarfindor Remade

Quote:
Originally Posted by gil View Post
methyl, ethyl, and phenyl.
Is that your other three wives, gil?
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Old 3rd Oct 2006, 16:58   #7
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Default Re: Sean Wright: Jaarfindor Remade

No. These girls are into rubber in a big way. Beryl is a more durable item.
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Old 3rd Oct 2006, 21:51   #8
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Default Re: Sean Wright: Jaarfindor Remade

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Self View Post
As all Sean Wright's other books have their own threads, I thought we should have one for his forthcoming novel Jaarfindor Remade, also. It's out next month, in August 2006.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wright View Post
While I'm waiting for the reviews of my debut novel - Jaarfindor Remade - to appear I wanted to share two views from the two folk I think understand my work best
Have I missed something? Or is Mr. Wright misusing the word "debut" here? I think he is, not just literally, but actually, confusing the meanings of "first" and "most recent". Or is he recognising that his previous output has not achieved Novel status - at least not in the sense he might wish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Self View Post
Here is another descriptive passage displaying Wright's descriptive powers to their full
Could we have another "descriptive" in this sentence please? I would prefer to see:
Quote:
Here is another descriptive passage displaying Sean "Descriptive" Wright's descriptive powers to their full
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wright View Post
It should have been a simple multiple hit, carried out in a derelict recycling warehouse on the outskirts of the city, the shipping district. She’d set up the deal with the Krassgar drug-baron – Mathers.
...
The acrid stench turned his guts, and he vomited.
Maybe you've just been a little over-cruel in your quote selection here, Amner, unless... the protagonist really does spontaneously change gender between planning and executing his/her hit. Who exactly is the insect in this story? Or is that the author?

I effin lurve these reviews! When do we hear about Jaarfindor Remade in detail? Soon won't be soon enough!
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Old 3rd Oct 2006, 22:07   #9
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Default Re: Sean Wright: Jaarfindor Remade

Noumenon, I've slogged through every other one of Wright's 'novels' (I think he means debut adult novel, by the way) - I am probably the only person in the world, including him, who has - and fatigue has just set in with this one. Feel free to splash the cash and buy the official Palimpsest copy, and share it round. That's what I've done with the others (so if you want to read one of his earlier classics, just shouts!). They've given us a lot of pleasure, in a highly perverse way.
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Old 4th Oct 2006, 0:12   #10
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Default Re: Sean Wright: Jaarfindor Remade

Maybe I will, boy. Maybe I will... (H. Simpson)
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