Monday, October 26, 2015

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, by Brandon Sanderson

  • Written by: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 2 hrs and 7 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook

  • Release Date:10-13-15
  • Publisher: Audible Studios

  • This was the second short story I chose for my vacation trip, again for its short duration matching my layover/flight times.  From Brandon Sanderson's site:  "This novella first appeared in George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois’s Dangerous Women." 

    I hadn't heard of the Dangerous Women novella prior to this, but given the authors involved I'll be adding it to my ever growing list.

    As I'm still relatively new to Mr. Sanderson's works I'm only just beginning to be aware of the "Cosmere" and how his works are interwoven into this universe.  Ever since I first began the Dark Tower series by Stephen King I have been fascinated by a writer's ability to create an interrelated story universe, where some characters or events appear and affect other stories/characters in other stories.  Especially those that can do this whilst creating stories that can also stand on their own w/o any knowledge necessarily of the universe or other characters and history within it.

    Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell is such a story.  Granted it's a short story, but it is very well done and I chose it because I intended to start the Mistborn Trilogy (OK, well the first Mistborn trilogy, more on that later) and thought this might be a good introduction to that world.  Not so much actually.  Just shows my ignorance of Mistborn at the time.  There are elements though and I did like this short story.

    So this story revolves around our central character Silence.  Silence is the owner of a way stop in what is referred to as a frontier.  But it is a desolate and dangerous place with seemingly simple rules most of the surviving frontier folk know well:

    "Don't kindle flame, don't shed the blood of another, don't run at night."

    It turns out breaking these rules is fatal.  The reason it's called the Forests of Hell is because the dead don't actually leave.  They become what are referred to as shades, and physical contact with them is possible, and deadly.  If such a contact occurs (usually from breaking one of the rules) you become a shade as well.

    Silence's way stop is known as a safe place to rest, eat and drink because of the varied protections in place to keep the shades away.  As the story progresses we hear tales of a bounty hunter named the White Fox who is said to be "the meanest bastard in these parts."  We find out that most of the folks out in the forests are law breakers of varying offenses and the White Fox collects bounties on the more serious of these and turns them in to the 'forts' that are apparently the last bastions of society protected away from the shades.

    This short story leads us through one night in which a bounty is being pursued, and all the ways things can go wrong.  I really enjoyed this story and by its end found myself wanting to know more about Silence.

    Kate Reading performed the version I listened to and it was done well, though in researching this story I discovered that in the Dangerous Women anthology Claudia Black (from Farscape) performed that version and I heard a snippet of that and will definitely want to hear the entire story.  Not a detractor from Kate's performance mind you, I just really like to hear Cladia Black (and most Australians for that matter) speak. 

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Do no harm.