‘Rhymer’ Combines Scottish Ballads With Alien Elves

Gregory Frost’s fantasy novel Rhymer places a contemporary spin on Thomas the Rhymer, a personality from Scottish folklore whose poems had been reputed to foretell the longer term.

“It’s the origin story of Thomas the Rhymer as a sort of Michael Moorcock Everlasting Champion battling in opposition to aliens—successfully, these elves that are passing into our world from one other world,” Frost says in Episode 544 of the Geek’s Information to the Galaxy podcast. “He’s only one individual preventing this struggle that no one even is aware of is happening proper underneath their noses.”

Rhymer includes a wild mixture of Lovecraftian horror and fantasy, and presents a marked departure from earlier variations of the Thomas the Rhymer story. Frost felt it was essential to do one thing large to set his story aside. “Ellen Kushner numerous years in the past wrote, to my thoughts, the definitive retelling of Thomas the Rhymer from the ballad,” he says, “and I didn’t need to go there in any respect, as a result of I might have felt like, ‘Oh, it’s already been accomplished to perfection. There’s no cause for me to the touch that.’”

Frost come across his special approach, the concept of a time-skipping Thomas the Rhymer, when he observed putting similarities between Thomas and the later character Tam Lin, who lived in the identical space and who additionally had dealings with the Queen of Elfland. “You’ve received Thomas the Rhymer, whose full title in some circumstances is Thomas Lindsay Rimor de Ercildoun—which is the city he was from, which is now Earlston,” Frost says. “And then you definately’ve received Tam Lin. So that you’ve received Thomas Lindsay and also you’ve received Tam Lin, and I’m going, ‘This is similar individual.’”

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Frost is at work on a sequel to Rhymer, which is able to see Thomas the Rhymer skip ahead in time to grow to be the legendary outlaw Robin Hood. “All the variations of Robin Hood anyone’s ever seen have mainly been the Sir Walter Scott riffs on Robin Hood, and that’s not likely who Robin Hood was,” Frost says. “So I’m sort of having a subject day a century after Thomas the Rhymer would have existed and attempting to map a journey by the world of Robin Hood that no one’s ever performed with earlier than.”

Hearken to the whole interview with Gregory Frost in Episode 544 of Geek’s Information to the Galaxy (above). And take a look at some highlights from the dialogue beneath.

Gregory Frost on the Clarion Writers Workshop:

There was a working gag that yearly Damon Knight would, in some unspecified time in the future through the week, pull out a squirt gun and go looking college students, so everyone got here with squirt weapons … He was chasing us by the dormitory, and Damon in some unspecified time in the future smacked right into a door and just about retreated for the night time. We couldn’t discover him, so all of us went to his room—there have been separate quarters for Damon and Kate—and knocked on the door, and it was like being 5 years outdated once more, as a result of Kate Wilhelm opens the door and we stated, “Can Damon come out and play?” and she or he stated, “No, Damon has to remain in the remainder of the night time,” and closed the door on us, and that was the top of that.

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Gregory Frost on the Liars Membership writers group:

For a few years we went round to largely unbiased bookstores within the Philadelphia space and did group signings, group occasions, which had been an terrible lot of enjoyable to do. There’s nothing extra suicidal-driving than sitting at a bookstore by your self attempting to make eye contact with folks coming by the door, as a result of, at the very least in my expertise, the very first thing they do is see that there’s a author sitting there with their e book they usually instantly look all over the place else however on the author with their e book, they usually go proper previous you such as you don’t exist, so if there’s a gaggle it’s rather a lot tougher to get round you.

Gregory Frost on Invoice Johnson:

We began riffing on a narrative thought based mostly on the coldest spot within the universe, which is the Boomerang Nebula, and went backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards on it, and got here up with nearly a point-by-point construction of the story that we had been going to write down collectively. Invoice had suffered his complete life with Marfan syndrome. It’s a extremely unhealthy situation in your blood vessels the place they mainly begin to come aside, and he’d dodged that for a really very long time. Proper after we had structured the story out, he went into the hospital for a easy checkup or one thing and just about didn’t come out. So I had the entire notes for that story, and I believed, “I’ve received to write down this story. I can’t simply set this apart as a result of Invoice’s gone.”

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