March 3rd, 2013

Golden Hair

The Clairvoyant Countess

The Clairvoyant Countess by Dorothy Gilman.

One might call this an urban fantasy, with its psychic heroine.  But she and a few other psychics are the fantastic element; more fantastical elements are suggested to be psychosomatic.  Also, the heroine is certainly getting on in years; it takes place in the 1970s or thereabouts, and she was a refugee from the Russian Revolution, albeit as a child.  (I've got to admire the deftness with which her back story is brought to life and yet left in the background as not relevant.  Also the chief thing I notice now that I didn't when I was in my teens and first reading it is how 1970s it was.  The prices get me particularly.)

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God Speed

working up the religion

I still advise, when world-building a religion, to start with the story and its setting and work your way backwards.  (Taking into account stuff like this.)

It does not mean you are out of the wood, because you have to work your way backwards.  On the other hand, the biggest problem I see in fantasy is writers who start with the religious practices they know, and slap the religion they want on top of them.  It's not the religion that's the problem.  It's that the foundations are all wrong.

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