Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Dear IMB,

Walking on Glass changed my life when I found it, aged fourteen or thereabouts, in the "New Arrivals" section of the West Vancouver Memorial Library.  I reread it a year or two ago; it still holds up, all those correspondences between the three narratives, the games' complexity & futility, the way far future & Scottish present alternately stand apart & intermingle.

I bought all your first editions for years, even going so far as to track down UK hardcovers of the Culture novels, which weren't widely available in Canada.

On my first cross-Atlantic trip I went to Scotland.  I bought the UKHC of Feersum Endjinn on the day of its release in Aberdeen and read it on the overnight ferry to Shetland.  That phonetic Riddley Walker-esque voice will stay with me the rest of my life, along with the flat North Sea, the summer fog, the unfamiliar islands rising up out of the mist the next morning.

I suppose this is all a way of saying, thanks.  Your careful, imaginative, and deeply humanist writing touched me at a time in my life when I was badly in need of a wider, more ethically inclusive perspective on the world.  Culture, plural, rabidly Other.  Identification with the transgendered; mad; kinky & obsessive. Without your books I would be smaller, narrower, more conservative.  So thanks again, from someone whom the fine example of your writing helped grow.

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