I’ve already admitted to her in private, and don’t mind repeating here, how relieved her review made me. Why? Because she’s a scientist, and I’ve been biting my fingernails over how the way I handle science in this book will be received. I’ve got at least two major factors complicating it, one being that I’m actively trying to grapple with the issue of how magic and science interrelate (or don’t), and the other being that I’m doing it in the context of eighteenth-century science, which is fascinatingly wacky all on its own. And right now I’m trying to deal with the nineteenth-century ramifications of the ideas I set up in Star, which means it’s a relief to know it’s worked for at least one reader of that sort.
I knew I was setting myself up for this challenge. Back when I decided Midnight Never Come would be the first in a series, and that the books would take place in different centuries, I knew I had a chance to do something you don’t often see in faerie fiction: not to show fae as totally stuck in the past, nor as completely modernized, but going through the process of change. Science & technology is a big part of that, though not the only one, so I knew I’d have to deal with these questions, and that it wouldn’t be easy . . . just as Ashes taught me why you don’t see more English Civil War-era fiction out there (because it’s bloody COMPLICATED, is why), I know why more authors don’t try to mash these ideas together.
On the other hand, if I succeed, I’ll have done something that hasn’t been done in a thousand other novels. And that’s worth a few headaches, I suppose.