The Etched City

The Etched City By K.J. Bishop, Have you seen a split cranium, growing flowers like a window box I saw that, a mere hour ago Fleeing the ghosts of their past, Raule and Gwynn escape from the ruined Copper Country to the city of Ashamoil As they salvage new lives from the rubble of the old, they will discover that the ghosts of the past are also the ghosts of the future When I came to this city, I wo Have you seen a split cranium, growing flowers like a window box I saw that, a mere hour ago Fleeing the ghosts of their past, Raule and Gwynn escape from the ruined Copper Country to the city of Ashamoil As they salvage new lives from the rubble of the old, they will discover that the ghosts of the past are also the ghosts of the future When I came to this city, I would have agreed with anyone who said there was little mystery left in the world But in you, madam, first in your image, then in your living self, I saw the allure of something as far away and as secret as the stars In the Etched City art will infect life, dream and waking fuse, and miracles, splendid and frightening, will bloom.. The Etched City Have you seen a split cranium growing flowers like a window box I saw that a mere hour ago Fleeing the ghosts of their past Raule and Gwynn escape from the ruined Copper Country to the city of Asha

  • Title: The Etched City
  • Author: K.J. Bishop
  • ISBN: 9781894815222
  • Page: 218
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Etched City”

    1. Etched City is the story of gunslinger Gwynn and doctor Raule Together, they flee the wasteland of the Copper Country and make their way to the city of Ashamoil Raule starts treating the poor of Ashamoil, occasionally delivering crocodilian babies, while Gwynn gets a job as a guard for a slave trader and has a heated affair with an artist.The Etched City is definitely atmosphere over action but when the action comes, it s hard and fast Bishop knows how to build tension as well as create a realiz [...]

    2. You know, I just read another story of Bishop s in THE WEIRD and it struck me that I am dying for her to release another book and I m not sure why I gave this one four stars instead of five so I am retroactively bumping it up It took M John Harrison years and a good number of novels and stories to create a secondary fantasy world and then get disgusted with the idea of a secondary fantasy world and subvert and deconstruct the whole thing by reducing the characters to ghosts and surreal phantoms, [...]

    3. April 2009Gwynn, a mercenary gunslinger, and Raule, a doctor, both of them outlaws from the losing side of a bad war, escape their decaying homeland for the city of Ashamoil, where they discover blurred realities and monstrous births in the hospitals, taverns, and private rooms of the city s people I almost read The Etched City four years ago saw an advertisement for it in Realms of Fantasy magazine, checked it out from the library, and almost read ituntil I noticed the blurb on the cover which [...]

    4. A blurb on the cover informs me that this book is fantasy as high literature Or high fantasy as literature, I can t remember which I think the book has to be judged separately as fantasy and a literary novel As a fantasy, it s a failure The world building was vague, perfunctory, and confusing There was no plot As a pretentious literary novel, in which unpleasant people collide with each other and talk about the nature of reality, I guess it s a success I happen to really dislike that type of lit [...]

    5. Books are quite often like a meal Some books I read I labor through like a meal of broccoli and liver, hoping there s something good for desert Other books I gulp down avidly, like a starved man given tiramisu But The Etched City is in a rarer and better breed still it s the kind of novel you read like a fine wine.After a few pages of reading K.J Bishop s first novel, I was already lamenting the fact that each page I read was bringing me closer to the last one I read the book in small doses, dri [...]

    6. I picked up The Etched City because it was name dropped in the jacket copy of Jay Lake s Trial of Flowers, along with texts by China Mi ville and Jeff VanderMeer Like Lake, Mi ville, and VanderMeer, Bishop s novel is Fantasy, but a branch of Fantasy that owes to the Surrealist, Magical Realist, and Noir literary movements than to the swords and sorcery of epic fantasists like J.R.R Tolkien and Robert E Howard Although it does occasionally get bogged down, particularly near the novel s middle as [...]

    7. Australian author K J Bishop s first novel, The Etched City, reminds me somewhat of M John Harrison s Viriconium stories There s the same sense of a world that has decayed, and there s the same lack of moral certainty or moral absolutes It also has some of the melancholy of Harrison s work It tells the story of two former revolutionaries, one a gunfighter and one a doctor They are drawn to the city of Ashamoil Raule gets a job in a charity hospital, and she observes what seems to be an epidemic [...]

    8. If one was to argue this was a pointless exercise in story telling, there would be plenty of evidence from the book to make such an argument, as it covers familiar ground in such a vague, spiritless journey There is no clear Who, What, When, Where and Why at least, not anything truly fleshed out except in vague dream like descriptions It seems to take place somewhere on Earth, maybe the Eurasian continent, but the mash up of science, weapons and technology either puts it outside of our timeline [...]

    9. La ciudad del grabado The Etched City, 2003 , de la australiana K.J Bishop, es una novela de fantas a oscura, aunque es dif cil de encasillar, ya que conjuga el spaghetti western a lo Sergio Leone, de Por un pu ado de d lares , por ejemplo, con toques de fantas a New Weird a lo China Mi ville.La novela empieza en el Pa s de Cobre, donde la doctora Raule y Gwynn, ex capit n de una compa a de soldados, huyen a trav s del desierto Tras el fracaso de la revoluci n, sus cabezas tienen precio Pero hay [...]

    10. I don t remember exactly what I heard about The Etched City before I bought it I may have just bought it on a recommendation, because I don t remember reading about it being New Weird, or in any way akin to China Mi ville I had heard that it was gorgeous, which is true in many ways It is a weird story, displaced in time is it the Wild West Medieval times Or the nineteenth century to me, it seemed to slip between them all, inhabiting none of them but taking something from each and hovering betwee [...]

    11. Ah, I ll seem star happy, but I think this is one of those books everyone should read It is made of layers on layers of shiny.Also, a man and a woman who remain friends throughout the book without any kind of sexual tension Dude.And a sword called Not My Funeral.

    12. For a long time, I have believed that it is human nature to invent the strangest explanations for the things that mystify us, and to believe in something beyond all we yet know of, because we cannot abide limits and endings we are insatiable, and we desire the impossible I prided myself on having no illusions but, like any man, I must have desired them.

    13. There is no doubt that the author of The Etched City has created an interesting world Or that the author is an excellent descriptive writer But this book lacks any coherent story The main characters are, for the most part, passive and don t seem to have any specific goals There is no antagonist, no conflict and no action and reaction on the part of the characters They simply exist And have long pointless conversations.This book reads like a travel guide with description of the settings and plen [...]

    14. And so I m done with The Etched City It took me a while but don t get it wrong, it s a an amazing story that worths taking its time It s a story about fantastic details that build up a srange city A few spots in the plot didn t convince me though Raule, the doctor who seems the protagonist in the beggining, does not appear much in the story Also the story takes about 80 pages to start but, as I said, I dont think the important here is the plot Gwynn is an excellent character, full of nuances And [...]

    15. Wow No, really Just Wow I had heard good things about Bishop s book, but nothing I had heard or read prepared me for the book itself Rich detail, fabulous characters, and a very compelling story come together in just the right way to create a dark and subtle magic.

    16. Weird Surreal Pretentious And sneaky.Looking at the reviews now I can easily see what I couldn t see before reading it Those that like this are into literature and art rather than an actual pointed story This is like post modern art and other things in that vein stuff I look at and think It s a bunch of fucking paint splashes while other people are orgasming over it This is most certainly intended to be a work of art rather than a story Stories have beginnings, middles, and ends, and an actual [...]

    17. This book took me a while to get into.It starts out as a somewhat typical western, albeit set in a fictional realm This is why it took me so long to get into I hate westerns.However, having read rave reviews about the book from blogs that highly recommend some of my favorites, I decided to stick it out It is, after all, only a 300 page book I can whip through 300 pages in no time I mean, I read the last Song of Ice Fire book in 2 days and it is a tome.WRONG This book is thick, and if you re not [...]

    18. The strongest impression this book left me is that it is wildly uneven The first 15% or so, with Raule and Gwynn on the run in the desert, is well done and fascinating fantasy with a Western flair Then we jump to the city, where we spend far time with Gwynn, a somewhat clich d rapscallion thug and less with Raule, by far the interesting character Just as I was losing interest and nearly quitting, it turns surreal and introspective and picks up a few strong moments, before tying things off with [...]

    19. Esta novela y yo sufrimos un flechazo, esa portada, ese argumento, la comparaci n con China Mi ville a pesar de que odio estas cosas Recuerdo esos momentos antes de empezar a leerla, esa seguridad absoluta de que quedar a enamorada definitivamente K J Bishop escribe de maravilla, hay aqu pasajes bell simos, descripciones maravillosas, cuentos alucinantes la historia del minotauro, la del hombre de loto, la siniestra colecci n de Raule, la historia de Marriott Los personajes son atractivos, y la [...]

    20. K.J Bishop s The Etched City fits into the fantasy genre due to its elements of the fantastic of course and emphasis on world building, but has in common with other modern fantasists like China Mieville, Jeff Vandermeer, and other authors who are included in the New Weird circle than traditional fantasists And it is a delicious novel It is about metamorphosis and the gravity some individuals possess that can slowly draw another into their orbit, exerting a force which reshapes them into beings [...]

    21. Probably wouldn t recommend I had this off another fantasy rec list, and I was severely disappointed by the perfunctory, listless world building, meandering plot, and lifeless characters I think the synopsis is rather generous Raule barely sustains a presence at all, and when Gwynn and Raule go their own ways, Gwynn takes over so much of the story s focus with so little interesting character development that she becomes invisible The evolving dynamic they had was or less thrown away, which I th [...]

    22. Given the wealth of glowing reviews on the cover, I went in hoping to like this book, but I couldn t The main problem was that I couldn t connect with any of the characters I can deal with morally grey characters and anti heroes sometimes, but Gwynn is outright despicable I spent most of the book wanting to be out of his company Raule is sympathetic, but never really pulled me in.The plot has sections where it s gripping, but mostly it meanders way too much I don t refer to the surreal occurren [...]

    23. A noirish, surreal enchanting story with lots of metaphysical contemplation an IMHO original wonderful world building that reminds me of Tanith Lee s Gothic European cities w some postcolonialism.

    24. I want to give this book 3 and a half stars or maybe even 3 and three quarters stars It was a strange book that I pondered time to time about stopping reading it but then, something interesting would happen that would keep me interested The characters were fairly well developed and the the pilot was not able to be pinned down I am not sure what genre I d consider it either A bit of fantasy, a little bit sci fi, a bit of a western maybe even It was bout 2 main characters who didn t have a lot of [...]

    25. 2.5This book reminds me a bit of China Mieville Unlike a certain someone of my acquaintance, this does not fill me with instant dread grins However, it does fill me with some mixed feelings Like Mieville s book PSS, this book has some weird and interesting ideas, which is one of the things that drew me to it I love the idea of the new weird type books where dream and reality intersect in strange and wonderful and terrible ways.Also like that book, though, there seems to be not a lot of forward m [...]

    26. hmmm, this book is kind of a puzzler s very well written our two sort of dichotomous heroes, Gwynne the lowlife and Raule of the high road, complement each other well, if sometimes a little too neatly there is a plot, and themes, and great descriptions and poetical writing both good and over the top it s even got a couple of intellectual puzzles and a few symbolic ones oh, plus theology and mysticism.what could a person ask for it s even funny here and there.but somehow it leaves me lukewarm on [...]

    27. I picked up this book because I had read reviews that recommended it for fans of China Mieville While I can t really see much of a similarity in the two authors writing styles, I did definitely like The Etched City very very much I m impressed that it s a first novel and disappointed that there s not yet any books by Bishop to read I hope she s busy writing right now The Etched City is the story of two ex mercenaries, companions who life threw together but who are two very different people Both [...]

    28. First novel Wow This book starts off so casually, just two lone wolves meeting up and figuring out what comes next They start new lives in a perfectly ordinary city, as in so many stories There s the mob boss, here s a corrupt official, here are the desperately poor Then it gets interesting, a little bit at a time This character is an interesting fraud Oh, wait, he s not a fraud In fact, he s holy cow And this ah E This is not a perfectly ordinary city Not at all And our characters Some reviews [...]

    29. The Etched City is a beautifully surreal book, In it we follow two world weary adventurers as they move through a dreamscape of bizarre characters and inexplicable events.The barren Copper Country and the lush city of Ashamoil are brought to life by vivid prose The two main characters are sometimes painfully real while remaining essentially enigmatic The plot meanders down a strange and discursive path to something that, in the end, approaches a resolution.This is is a book that seems to have in [...]

    30. This book took me a while to get into, but I became so engrossed in the superbly drawn world and characters that I didn t really care.This is a must for the sci fi enthusiasts The amazing city jungles and convoluted characters are so delicately portrayed that you won t stop reading this until you reach the back cover.

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