All That He Plants... by Michael Hitchcock


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Post January 14, 2010, 02:22:53 PM

All That He Plants... by Michael Hitchcock

Martin's world appears to be post-apocalyptic -- at least some of the characters' names seem to be modern, or distortions of modern words. But the cultures depicted seem timeless, reminiscent of Aboriginal or Native American societies where dreams and spirituality are as important as the sun and rain.

Martin's quest to understand his riddle-song takes him on a journey into the wilderness. Does he find the answers he is seeking? He finds something that changes his life...

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You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)
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Post January 17, 2010, 11:20:35 PM

If the gratuitous use of capitalization was supposed to accomplish something, I don't know what that would have been.

It did accomplish one thing -- it distracted me, taking my attention off the direction and flow of the story and making me wonder what the reason was for it.

I also thought that the characters' language seemed unnatural. Also, I kept getting confused about Martin; his accomplishments and experience didn't seem consistent with his personality, somehow.

I like the idea of a young person being sent out on some kind of quest for self-discovery, but I thought it could have been handled better.
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Post January 18, 2010, 03:28:22 PM

Capitalization

Lester Curtis wrote:If the gratuitous use of capitalization was supposed to accomplish something, I don't know what that would have been...


My impression was that it reflected a primitive and possibly animistic culture that ascribed mystical significance to many things, Blood being high on the list. Why do Christians capitalize pronouns when they refer to God? Do they really think that He cares what His last-minute creations call Him? (Personally, I suspect that God would be more concerned about the things people do supposedly in His name.)

RM
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)
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Post January 18, 2010, 06:15:19 PM

My impression was that it reflected a primitive and possibly animistic culture that ascribed mystical significance to many things, Blood being high on the list.
That was my guess as to the author's intent, but it simply highlights another inconsistency in the story, since these people were obviously not that primitive.

Why do Christians capitalize pronouns when they refer to God?
That's recent. I doubt any such embellishments would be found in the original Greek or Hebrew texts -- and those people were probably not much more advanced than the ones in this story.

I could see capitalizing names of specific kinds of things that might have special significance -- but -- Grass? That's just silly.
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Post January 19, 2010, 01:34:02 AM

Grass might be silly to us, but...

Lester Curtis wrote:...I could see capitalizing names of specific kinds of things that might have special significance -- but -- Grass? That's just silly.


Keeping in mind that this is almost certainly an agrarian (if not hunter-gatherer) culture (following the collapse of a technological civilization, presumably), grass DOES have special significance. It's fodder for the animals (domesticated or prey for the hunters); it may be a food crop in itself; it may be used to make rope or cloth or thatched rooves; hell, they may even recognize that it stabilizes soil and controls erosion (something that simple observation would discover).

Or they may be smoking it, and using it to make really, really great brownies. :roll:

Remember that animism ascribes spirit to everything: rocks, trees, water, the sun, birds, animals, ... It's like the Force, dude.

RM
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)

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