The Geomancer


Sean Williams Interview & Review

Ken of Neth Space interviews author Sean Williams about everything from Star Wars to atheism, writing in collaboration to owning monkeys. The interview is online at both Neth Space and Wotmania. Speaking of writing The Crooked Letter, Sean says:

"I have a fascination with religion that goes right back to Sunday school, when I persistently queried theological points that didn't make sense to me. When I was in High School, my father had just started studying for the priesthood, so I was exposed to nuts and bolts of theology from a practitioner's perspective, as well as a parishioner. Later, I realized that any faith I had once had in Christianity had evaporated, and I became an atheist, where I've been comfortable ever since--but my fascination with religion has never gone away. There's an awful amount of energy invested in world-building and story-telling behind every religion. It's not so different from science fiction, in that sense, if you look at it long enough. So wanting to devise a natural system that might be the big picture lurking behind all human religions was a perfectly natural step. The world behind the Books of the Cataclysm was the result, in which there is a form of reincarnation as well as an afterlife (in fact there are two afterlives, which reflect the belief of some cultures that we have two souls), and there is an almost-supremely powerful deity ruling over a lesser pantheon. Magic used to work, but does no longer. The world has undergone several apocalyptic changes, and might yet go through another one. As theological world-building goes, this one has everything."

Meanwhile, Rick Kleffel sounds off about monsters in his thoughts on the second book in Williams's Books of the Cataclysm, The Blood Debt:

"Williams is one of those writers that I suspect readers will someday twig to en masse and wonder why the hell they weren't rabidly buying his books long, long ago. That said, these Books of the Cataclysm are particularly appealing to me, combining as they do big chunks of monsterific horror with a surreal science fictional / fantasy setting and characters from the here-and-now who give us regular folks something to grab on to. Book One, The Crooked Letter set Seth and Hadrian Castillo loose in a wildly-conceived universe chock-a-block with monsters and underpinned by a couple of master's theses worth of religious imagery...Dirigibles. Monsters. Boatloads of research. What more can you ask for?"

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