Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the marbury experiment

Sometimes, things just kind of happen.

Well, to be honest, I guess things always happen.

I'm not going to quote or repost reviews today, but I will begin by saying that The Marbury Lens has gotten a lot of really flattering, great reviews. I've been thinking about two of them in particular lately, because both of them gave The Marbury Lens their highest-possible ending, but both of them also included passing comments about the ending of the book being ambiguous, or lacking a definitive conclusion.

First of all, I would like to say that I entirely believe -- as the gospel and unarguable truth -- that the only truth in any book is based solely on the reader's perception, so I am not about to argue with those particular impressions. I'm totally okay with them, if nothing else because the reviewers loved the book.

But yesterday, quite coincidentally, Barry Lyga posted a quote from the great writer Samuel R Delaney. Delaney said, Endings to be useful must be inconclusive.

I like that. I think it says something important about storytelling, that a great deal of what really happens must take place in the imagination of the reader. It's what I've referred to as the blind spot -- that place in the human eye that gets "filled in" by our brains. Everyone's got one, and we all take it entirely for granted.

That said, though, I really do wonder about the unfinished business in The Marbury Lens. If you've read the book (and there will be no spoilers here), then maybe you should ask the questions that you probably want to ask at the very end: What happens to Jack? What happens to Ben and Griffin? What happens to Conner?

I think you know the answers (assuming, of course, that you've read the book).

You want to know more than what you already do? I'll write a sequel. But it won't be anything like you'd ever guess might happen next.

Trust me.

Another thing that's popped up hundreds of times in reviews, letters, emails, and personal conversations have been the very frequent observations about how The Marbury Lens has disrupted peoples' lives, given them nightmares, messed with their heads.

This observation I find particularly pleasing. (Imagine what it did to the person who wrote it).

And -- please -- not that I am saying I am by any means talented, but I'd like to throw in another favorite quote here from Mr. Delaney:

Talented writing makes things happen in the reader's mind---vividly, forcefully...