Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Hild blurb from Neal Stephenson: and author comparisons now at stand nine

I just got this grin-wide-enough-to-split-the-world blurb for Hild:

You will never think of them as the Dark Ages again. Griffith's command of the era is worn lightly and delivered as a deeply engaging plot. Her insight into human nature and eye for telling detail is as keen as that of the extraordinary Hild herself. The novel resonates to many of the same chords as Beowulf, the legends of King Arthur, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones—to the extent that Hild begins to feel like the classic on which those books are based.
Neal Stephenson
Which means that we now have new data to input into our wee competition regarding the number and gender of authors' work compared to Hild. (See all reviews so far here.) In addition to Hilary Mantel, Sigrid Undset, T.H. White, George R.R. Martin, Ellis Peters, and Rosemary Sutcliff we now have J.R.R. Tolkien, whoever wrote Beowulf, and the person to whom we attribute the Arthur legends.

That makes at least nine. (How can you possibly count how many people are responsible for Arthur? So let's ignore that hairball of a distraction and, for simplicity's sake, say one.)

As for the gender count, ooof, well, this is me hanging my head in shame. Hild is a book steeped in history and I didn't take into account good old Anonymous! And I reverted to thinking in terms of the gender binary. Tuh.

Anyway, now we have to put two authors in the undeclared category. Which means, hey, we were all wrong.

Fortunately, I'm a big fan of cheating. So let's declare the race back on and we'll all have another bash. [Edited to add: do this in the comments on the original post, please, to keep things clear.]

My guess is:
18 total: 3 undeclared, 8 women, 7 men
What's yours? Remember, the winner will get a signed--and personalised anyway you like, within reason--copy of the finished Hild. I will mail it anywhere in the world.
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