Full Fathom Five
Full Fathom Five (Tor, 2014) the third and most recent novel in Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence, features dying divinities and depositions, idols and investments, priestesses and poets, offerings to gods and options for shareholders.
As he explains in the podcast, Gladstone traces his initial inspiration for his Craft Sequence to, among other things, his several years teaching English in rural China, where he saw children of subsistence farmers grow up to become engineers and international bankers. “The thought that that’s really the kind of range that exists in the modern world sort of blew my mind open,” he says.
When he came back to the U.S., Gladstone experienced a kind of culture shock. “Coming back to billboards and advertising campaigns and bank account statements and all of that was this huge shock so I was forced to fall back on interpretive tropes from fantasy and science fiction … to grok it all.”
Another influence on his writing was the financial collapse of 2008 where the image of governments and banks rushing to salvage failing investment firms inspired him to write about necromancers trying to resuscitate dying gods.
Also in the podcast, Gladstone discusses his affinity for female protagonists, the role numbers play in the titles of his books, the risks of hidden bias in world-building fiction, and his new text based game Choice of Deathless.
For more about Gladstone, visit his blog here.
Here are links to some of people, books and things mentioned in the podcast:
- Author Ramez Naam.
- Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
- Author Hannu Rajaniemi.
- The Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold
- The quotation about escape from Ursula K. LeGuin comes from her book The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction. The quote is cited in a post on The Tolkienist about escapism as an elevating quality of fantasy literature.
- The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, directed by Sophie Fiennes and written and presented by Slavoj Zizek.
Rob Wolf is the author of The Alternate Universe and The Escape. He worked for many years as a journalist, writing on a wide range of topics from science to justice reform, and now serves as director of communications for a think tank in New York City. He blogs at Rob Wolf Books and I Saw it Today. Follow him on Twitter: @RobWolfBooks