While I haven't been reading a whole lot lately, I wouldn't say I'm in a slump. I've been very happy with what little I've actually read.
Spirits in the Wires is another Newford book. This one focuses in on the two women in Christy Riddell's life: Saskia Manning, his girlfriend, and Christiana Tree, his shadow. Both women have some pretty serious questions about origin and identity and What it Means to be Real -- Saskia believes that she was born/created by a website, and Christiana began her life at age seven, fully-formed, when seven-year-old Christy Riddell jettisoned the parts of himself he didn't want. (See Jung for more on that.)
When the Wordwood -- a literary website that, shortly after its creation, became seemingly sentient -- crashes, people all over the world who were using the site at the time disappear. Including Saskia.
As with the last de Lint book I read, it wasn't just the plot or the characters that had me interested: It was the world itself. For instance, the Eadar:
No, it's not just books. Eadar are created out of the imagination, period. It doesn't have to be words on paper. It can be anything from a painting to a passing daydream ... Eadar depend on belief to exist ... The less invested in an Eadar's creation, and therefore the less belief in it, the quicker they fade. It's really sad how ephemeral some of them are, no more than ghosts, barely here and then gone.
You know why you keep hearing about Elvis sightings? So many people believe he's still alive, that he actually is, except now he exists as a very potent Eadar. As more than one, actually. There's a young, kind of tough one from the early years--though he's still polite as all get-out. But there are also a couple of others: the smoother one from the films and a kind of pudgy ones from the Vegas years.
You should see it when the three of them get together. You've never heard such arguments. But then you've never heard such music, either.
That -- especially the bit about them fading -- had me feeling mighty guilty about my long-forgotten imaginary friends. For days.
And then there was this bit from the semi-baddie character (he's a critic, and this is about a Kasey Chambers show):
And really, what was with the twang in her voice? Chambers should take a page from real country artists like Shania Twain, or Faith Hill's more recent work.
If Charles de Lint tried his hardest, I don't know if he could come up with something to make me dislike a character more. It was the perfect line. I howled.
Which makes the fact that I kind of liked him -- or, at least, didn't despise him -- by the end all the more impressive, even if his turn-around seemed rather sudden.
More soon, I hope.