Both books are solidly based on world literature and are probably best enjoyed by a reader familiar with the classics. Of the two, Silverlock is the more easily read. The narrative of The Moon’s Fire-Eating Daughter, roaming from era to era, with the names of the deities changing from one time to another, can be overwhelming to a casual reader, as can the abundance of literary allusions.
Each of the books can be read in several different ways: as a simple adventure story (particularly Silverlock) wherein a stranger must make his way in a very unusual environment; as a Bildungsroman, although the protagonists in these books are not adolescents but middle-aged men who are learning who they are and what the world has to offer them; and as a challenge to the literary reader, to try to identify all the characters and references that abound in the two books. The books abound with original verses in varied styles and on wide-ranging subjects, and it is possible to read and enjoy each book for those alone.
These last two modes have many adherents, particularly among science-fiction fans. The verses incorporate many different forms and many different topics. One of the most interesting is the story of the Alamo, set in a four-stress alliterative Old English style. A number of the verses have been set to music by science-fiction fans and frequently are sung at their conventions.
The mode of literary...
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