SOI Chapter 6: "Out of the Blue"

The character Snee, who appears in this chapter, is the sole survivor of my first and never-to-be-published novel, The Greater Los Angeles Rag, where he is also a lawyer, and fairly similar in personality.

Julio, and some of the detail surrounding Haalsen Groot and his operations, are a nod toward the early books in Dorothy Dunnett's House of Niccolo, particularly Niccolo Rising, which was the only volume that had appeared when work on Spell of Intrigue began. I had read the Lymond books, of course, but in those long-vanished and - in these quarters - unlamented days before the Internet, I had had no idea that another series was underway before I ran into Niccolo Rising while browsing in a brick-and-mortar bookstore. I've bought thousands of books over the years, and I could certainly still tell you the circumstances of many of those transactions, but some stand out as lightning-bolt-from-clear-skies events. (More life-changing, in its way, than finding a first-edition hardcover of Fahrenheit 451 at a library book sale for a quarter...) There's also another Dunnett-homage character who shows up later in the series. I think of Mrs. Dunnett the same way I think of Bach - a fresh pioneer in a long-established, slightly musty genre, who developed it more brilliantly, with more depth, and with more surprising discoveries that anyone else had imagined before.

Some of the trading and shipping material has a bit of James Clavell in its ancestry, too.

This chapter also introduces the squid-motif to The Dance of Gods. What is it about everyone's favorite cephalopod, anyway? But there's no denying the lure of a radially symmetrical body plan, is there, and as for the tentacles, well... It looks like a made-up monster, but no - it's real!

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