A P.C. Hodgell Page
photo by Lenander, from Mythcon XIX in Berkeley, CA, back in the late 80s.
Pat is the author of God Stalk, Dark of the Moon, and Seeker’s Mask
11/14/07. Pat will be reading from her fiction at the Fantasy Matters conference at the U of MN over the weekend of 11/16-18/07. The reading is open to the public. You can download the program as a pdf from the Fantasy Matters web-site. Pat’s reading is on Friday afternoon, I believe.
(Some events at the conference are limited to conference members, including the keynote addresses by Neil Gaiman & Jack Zipes).
Jason Ladd reminds me that
I ran across Pat Hodgell’s new book this afternoon.
Just purchased “To Ride a Rathorn”. P.C. Hodgell off the Meisha Merlin web site. It says it will be out this September, but knowing how ordering from them has gone in the past I am not holding my breath.
Just wanted to let you know it’s available. Esspecially for your web site, which is listed in her Wikipedia site. I also saw the book listed at Barnes & Noble online.
I spoke with Pat at Wiscon in May. She is now retired and looking forward to being able to write more. I took a photo of her with writer Delia Sherman, and will post that here, soon.
The PCH interview is up on the TV Bookshelf website.
Yesterday I interviewed Pat for Joan Marie Verba’s “TV Bookshelf” cable television interview series. I’m not sure when this will be broadcast, but probably within the next month or so. (And again and again, thereafter). I should have a new picture or two of Pat to put up here from that. Regarding book news, there seems to be little to add to the immediately preceeding entry (from a year and a half ago)–Pat did go on the Monster Gothic tour, and seems to have had a good time. She is not teaching this year, and is 5 chapters into the new manuscript, for which she gave me a working title, which I’ve already managed to forget–something like “Revenge of the Rathorn” or “Return of the Son of the Rathorn” or something with “Rathorn” in the title. I’ll try to get this updated in the near future.
Plans for a new short story collection; the Ivanhoe fantasy sequel novel, Lionhearts; the next Jame book; adventures on horseback–
As for me, I’m hard at work on a new story to go into the new Meisha Merlin edition of Blood and Ivory. It was meant to be a triptych answering some of the more pressing questions about the series (1. Who was Kindrie’s father; 2. What triggered the massacre of the Knorth women 3. What happened the night Jame got driven out by Ganth), but I may only finish the first by the deadline next week. The collection will also include the “Ballad of the White Plague” (the Holmes story).
Lionhearts is on hold until I can figure out how to split it into a trilogy. I plucked up my nerve and read the Lincoln/Passover/thwarted Jewish massacre chapter at worldcon in Philadephia this summer. Half way through, I suddenly realized that a big chunk of my audience was Jewish. That made me even more nervous. I mean, who am I, a modern, lapsed Methodist, to be recounting the travails of medieval English Jews? To my great relief, they enjoyed it. Afterward, someone commented that one hardly ever encounters Jewish characters in fantasy or s.f. That hadn’t occurred to me. I wish I could have remembered the title of Ruth Berman’s s.f. story about trying to determine if a particular alien beastie was kosher or not. Then there’s Harlan Ellison’s story about aliens sitting kaddish (sp?) for a dying planet. Otherwise, not much comes to mind. [Pat is thinking of Ruth Berman‘s story, “In Spring a Livelier Iris,” which appeared years ago in Asimov’s.–ddl]
I’m not teaching next year so as to write the next Jame novel or at least get a good start on it. This one ought to be fun.
Next spring, it looks as if I’m leading a three week gothic study tour to England, to walk in the footsteps of the great 19th century monsters: Jekyll and Hyde, Jack the Ripper, Dracula, etc. That’s for UWO students primarily, but others may be able to sign up. I’m just starting the paperwork.
Meanwhile, I continue to ride Lillie Hayfield (my Saddlebred mare) 4-5 times a week. Thanks to her, I’m picking up some great horse-lore to use in the next novel. So far, I’ve fallen off six times, been dragged once, “floated” (that is, ground down) Lillie’s back teeth (did you know they have barbed hooks on the outside to keep hay from falling out?), immobilized another horse by gripping his tongue, and ridden backwards down a ditch.
That last was quite an adventure. For a treat, Marc (the trainer) put me up on Fred, a.k.a. Dream Quest, a 17-hand, five-gaited champion show horse, who first bolted with me and then pranced backward — straight down a deep, heavily wooded drainage ditch. When we hit the bottom, he bolted again, this time in a blind panic. A stirrup ripped off. I bailed as soon as I could see semi-clear ground and landed shoulder first in some nice, soft mud. Fred tried to climb up the slope and fell back, almost on top of me, all 1200+ pounds of him with steel-shod hooves the size of dinner plates. Marc was shouting for me to stand clear, but there was no place to go, and here came Fred. He stopped right in front of me, looming and shaking, and I finally got a hand on his bridle. Marc eventually hauled us both out. The ditch was so deep that we’d both entirely disappeared, and Fred is *huge.* By a miracle, neither of us was hurt, but I think we nearly gave Marc a heart attack.
My co-worker showed me his new hardcover copy of Seeker’s Mask yesterday. Today he showed me the Science Fiction Book Club newsletter listing a SF Book Club edition of Dark of the Gods, with a nice looking cover illustration. And a special note from Pat in the newsletter. Thanks, Jason!
I’m told that the next book, Seeker’s Mask, will receive its first mass-market edition sooner than expected, next month or so, from Meisha Merlin.
DARK OF THE GODS is now in print. Rush to your bookstore and buy multiple copies to give to your friends so that you won’t later wish you had. $20 from Meisha Merlin Publishing. A bargain! 2 novels, a terrific short story, “Bones,” and great maps and stuff.
Goodness, has it been this long since I updated? At some point I received this info:
A combined omnibus of her first two novels ‘God Stalk’ and ‘Dark of the Moon’, plus the short story ‘Bones’, called ‘Dark of the Gods’ will be out July, 2000, ‘Seeker’s Mask’ will be released June. 2001, and an untitled new novel in the series in June. 2002.
The signed single print hardcover is $40.00 and the softcover trade is $20.
Later, Stephen Pagel
Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc.
Checking out this web-page, I find that the printing process on Dark of the Gods has been a bit delayed, so that the paperbacks will actually ship in early August, the hardcovers in late August, and the signed hardcovers in September. This is also a very nice site with excerpts from reviews and an interview with Pat. Check it out!
And I’d also received this nice note from the proofreader:
Was looking up information on Pat Hodgell and found your page. Just
thought I would let you know I’m working on the final galley proof
for “Dark of the Gods”, an omnibus reprint of God Stalk and Dark of
the Moon, being published by Meisha Merlin Publishing. To my
knowledge, it should be in the stores by the end of June.
Ms. Hodgell is a fine writer. I had not previously encountered her
work, but I’m glad I did!
From the latest Einblatt, the newsletter of the Minnesota SF Society: Reprint rights to P.C. Hodgell’s GOD STALK; DARK OF THE MOON; and SEEKER’S MASK went to Meisha Merlin Publishers (along with an option on a fourth volume in the series). Source: Locus
I just wanted to follow up on the discussion with Pat at Bree Moot/Mythcon. We had a pleasant discussion, and listened to Pat read from the opening chapter of God Stalk, for those in attendance who’d never had the opportunity to read the story. We also had good attendance at an evening reading from Pat’s novel in progress, Lion Hearts, a non-Kencyrath fantasy sequel to Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe.
I’m expecting Pat to be at Mythcon XXX/Bree Moot 4 in Milwaukee this summer. I hope that we can have a discussion of her work. She may also be on some panel discussions. It sounds like Pat’s books may be reprinted in 2000, in a new trade paperback edition. However, there’s no contract signed as yet, so don’t start holding your breath.
Pat’s next project will likely be a non-Jame novel. But I have no news beyond that . See the note quoted at the end of the feedback section (below) that someone has actually received a copy of Seeker’s Mask from Hypatia!
I ran into Pat at Wiscon last month, and finally obtained an e-mail address. (No, I won’t post it here unless she tells me to, but I am willing to forward items to her…). Note that the e-mail address listed on the UW-Oshkosh is not currently available to Pat–she does NOT see the messages sent there.
In response to a forlorn inquiry which I had forwarded Pat wrote the following, which I thought MIGHT be of general interest:
. . . about problems getting in touch with Hypatia. Sorry about that. Allen Newcomer, the publisher, has been going through financial problems plus moves. He still collects orders for my books, though, and eventually fulfills them. I think he’s sending out a batch now and may have some extra to sell.
His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
He also works at Escape While There’s Still Time Bookstore in Eugene OR: 541-484-9500. Good luck!
MORE NEWS FROM PAT:
Oh, Hypatia is also putting out a chapbook version of my Sherlock Holmes story, “A Ballad of the White Plague.” It’s really dark fantasy rather than detection, but most fantasy readers probably haven’t heard of it. As a bonus in the hardcover edition, I’m including the earlier versions, my correspondence with the editor, and comments about the writing/editing process. Allen tells me that this will only slightly increase the cost of the book (by a few cents) and he wants to give hc readers a bit more for their money. Fine by me. I’m also putting together a collage frontispiece.
by Ruth Berman, used by permission
from the “Through Alien Eyes” booklet
for the 1987 Minnesota Science Fiction Society Lecture Series
Patricia C. Hodgell (who was born March 16, 1951 in Des Moines, Iowa and currently lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin) is gifted as a writer, a scholar, and an artist. These different abilities are unified by her delight in the building of worlds–she writes them, she draws them, and she studied that variety of world-rebuilding which is the nineteenth century historical novel for her Ph.D. dissertation. (Her degree was duly awarded to her in 1987 by the University of Minnesota.) Examples of her art may be seen in the maps of Tai-Tastigon and the Eastern Lands which accompanied her first novel (God Stalk, Atheneum, 1982) and of Rathillien and the Cataracts for the sequel, Dark of the Moon (Atheneum, 1985), and her maps of the fantasy worlds in Eleanor Arnason‘s Daughter of the Bear King (Avon, 1987)–Gillim and Inna, the land and sea of Ingilla; and Minneapolis and St. Paul, of Earth.
But the writing is central. In her stories of Jame the Kencyr (the two novels so far, and four short stories), she writes with a density of detail that recalls the Victorians. Details, for instance, such as the Cloud King’s britches, Jame returns to the Thieves’ Guild:
“Here.” She tossed the bundle of cloth across the table to Scramp. It was a pair of trousers, made of rich fabric but much mended. “I’m afraid the only proof of ownership I can offer is that patch on the back . . . . . But if any of you gentlemen think I had time to embroider the royal crest there, you don’t know much about needlecraft.”
Or Ardwyn, the goddess of the Tai-Tastigon streetlamps, or of Sumph the god of sewage disposal (“Eats shit, does old Sumph–among other things–and loves it. You don’t believe me, go over to the inner wall sometime and have a look ‘cross at his backside.”) The Tai-Tastigonians believe in practical gods, with a few seeming exceptions like Gorgo the Lugubrious. Or the host trees in Dark of the Moon, with leaves that go south for the winter instead of falling–
A flurry of pale green new leaves leaped into the air and vanished, golden veins flashing, into the upper mist.
“But when will they fall?” asked Jame, staring after them.
“Not until they reach their winter host tree far to the south. They’ll come back in the spring.”
Patricia remarked to our writers’ group that the Cloud Kingdom was inspired by the need to make it difficult to get a look at the labyrinthine layout of the Temple District, where Jame gets lost. I don’t know what eldritch needs produced the others.
Her writing is both romantic and comic–and thus unlike most other modern fantasy writers (with a few exceptions such as Avram Davidson, or Fritz Leiber, whose City of Langhmar may have influenced the urban development of Tai-Tastigon). It’s typical of her to have not only a Cloud King, but one whose pants can wear out where most used.
A Victorian like Dickens would have delighted in her sense of the grotesque. So do her readers now.
She’s also published four short stories in the same universe, one of which was later included in God Stalk. I hope to add more files in the near future. Pat sold a story to the Last Dangerous Visions, (“forthcoming” for the past three decades or so) but who knows when we’ll ever get to read that…. Not to mention a PhD dissertation on Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. –ddl
Note: Pat’s current site is at: pchodgell.com
FEEDBACK to this page:
always good to meet a new Hodgell Fan. Pat is a great Writer but her output is so low and her work so obscure that nobody ever heard of her.
anyway keep up the good work.
Tomer Katz, ISRAEL
Could you please post a link to the publisher for P.C.Hodgell? I did a review for her first 2 books at Amazon.com and have been flooded with requests for the sequel since. It would help folks looking in the search engines get a better link that to e-mail me.
Thanks, Heidi Stanton, WebWorks Southeast
Hey…your P.C. Hodgell page is really good man. I’m in the process of contacting Hypatia on getting a copy of her newer books (I’ve only read Godstalk), and I’m in the process of looking through the links you put up.
Thanks! Matt Cook………………..+
Hello um, it was in your homepage that you could forward stuff to Hodgell. I don’t really know what to say other than she is the best science-fiction writer out there. To me she is. And also just as an author she is THE best. There really is no need to categorize her because she excells at writing. Her books are wonderfully filling and very addicting. Every time I re-read them I find something new and something more to ponder on. I just wish her books were more easily obtained. Okay. Your web page is great. I didn’t think ANYONE knew of Hodgell. I thought I was special for discovering her book on a shelf at my library. Obviously there are many people out there (or here) that love her books, wish there was more books about Jame and that there was a high quantity of her books as well. I could go on and on about Jame actually turned into this like, role model for me and how I thought I could relate to her and how she and the people she met were very special to me.
Yeah. I’m ready to end this now. thanks for posting stuff about Hodgell.
I just bought (and received) “Seeker’s Mask” from Hypatia Press. In discussions with Mr. Newcomer, it appears that the book has just been re-printed, and he is back in business. . . . .