Twenty Epics release party


Twenty EpicsTo celebrate the release of Twenty Epics, the contributors are having a virtual release party. Check out David Moles’s journal for links to the other authors’ blogs, party favors and information about where to buy the book.

Since I can’t offer you refreshements, I thought I’d share a little bit about where my story, The Bound Man, came from. In 2004 I spent six months living in Iceland and fell in love with the landscape. The Bound Man is one of two stories I took out of the country with me. While it is not set in actual Iceland, the majority of the story takes place in a land very much inspired by Iceland.

This is what I was thinking about when I wrote:

Li Reiko chased her shadow out of the parliament lands. It stretched before her in the golden light of sunrise, racing her across the moss-covered lava. The wind, whipping across the treeless plain, pushed her like a child late for dinner.

I was there from August through December and during the course of my stay, the light changed from eighteen hours of sun to twenty hours of darkness. In the novel that I’m plotting in this world, Li Reiko will have to deal with this light shift as well. She arrived in Halldór’s land in the autumn. I remember people telling me that I had to get out of Reykjavík and see the fall colors. I thought they were crazy because there are no trees in Iceland, or at least, very few and very small. But I did go and I was amazed at the colors. I wish I had a better photo.

Elf house

Small shrubs and grasses broke the green with patches of red and gold, as if someone had unrolled a carpet on the ground. Heavy undulations creased the land with crevices. Some held water reflecting the sky, others dropped to a lower level of moss and soft grasses, and some were as dark as the inside of a cave.

There are other Icelandic tidbits in the story besides the landscape.

  • Iceland has had parliamentary government since 970. Amazing, eh?
  • The language is virtually unchanged from when the settlers arrived speaking Old Norse, so people today can read the sagas in the original. Unlike say, English, which changes daily.
  • 80% of the population believes in elves and trolls to some extent. When you live here, it’s very easy to understand why.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below. Meanwhile, enjoy the party!

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon!

4 Responses

  1. momk.

    Mary,reading this beautiful,refreshing ‘treat’ was better than Ice cream. You served up delicious vistas with marvelously flavored telling.

  2. Pingback: Chrononautic Log

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