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C11P15 – Curious

C11P15 – Curious published on 13 Comments on C11P15 – CuriousPurchase

When I showed him this page, Cory said that Lu’s expression was a perfect “we’ve lost cabin pressure” moment. Lu’s certainly got himself in a little over his head…

It’s been an oddly emotional day. Not because there’s been anything heart-wrenching or crazy, but because I’ve been reacting to everything really intensely. Good and bad. It’s probably just a sign of stress (and being sick isn’t helping that) but when I’m bawling like a baby while watching Galaxy Quest on Netflix, I figure something is up.

What got me was the final scene between Quellek and Dr. Lazarus, where Quellek is talking about the impact that this fictional (but to him, real) character had on him growing up. How Dr. Lazarus, through these “historical documents” had been like a father to him. It reminded me of the dedication in the book that I’m reading (for some reason I always read dedications, because I am weird that way). The book is “Crown of Renewal” by Elizabeth Moon, which is the fifth and final book in the sequel series to my favorite book of all time, “The Deed of Paksenarion,” which I wrote about a while back. The dedication reads, “For Sgt. Nicholas M. Dickhut, killed in action, Afghanistan, a long-time reader of the Paks books…”

As I was watching the scene between Quellek and Dr. Lazarus, and thinking about that dedication, I just couldn’t stop crying. There’s something horribly sad to me about a book or character outliving its reader. Maybe it’s just the creator in me, but it feels like that’s following the wrong order. A creator makes a work, and it lives beyond them. The work in turn gains meaning as it is consumed by others. It takes on new life, far beyond what a creator could anticipate or even understand, as it is seen through the eyes of other people. For someone to pass on before the story is finished, to never know the end? It really gets me.

Maybe it doesn’t matter if the final piece is known. Maybe all that matters is that it did matter.

How do you feel about the idea of a fan never seeing the end of a story?

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Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

Oh snap. Time for a very special lesson about racism?

Oh, man, stories like that really get me, too. I always remember reading the intro to the Dark Tower books, where Stephen King talks about his accident and all the fans who were like “he’s never gonna finish the books oh man.” That’s always sooo sad to me.

I think, in a way, every story outlasts its readers. Even if it is finished, as long as the author lives there could always be more; and even the words ‘The End’ rarely mean there are no more stories going on in the best author’s worlds. We are all links in a chain of readers enjoying a living world, kept just behind the cover of a book–and that is how books keep us in touch with a past we never knew and a future we can’t experience.

But no, I feel the same way sometimes–imagining fans who never get that final bit at the end. The other side of it that gets me is when a story outlives its’ creator, and it isn’t done. The Wheel of Time, for example; or Game of Thrones if Mr. Martin keeps this pace. Forlorn characters wondering if they’ll ever be picked up again–and even if they are, if their creator would have liked what they did in the end.

I think about that too. As a reader, when an author dies before finishing a story, I often prefer to have it left undone than have someone else finish it. A project just feels hollow to me that way.

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