Pics from the Land of the Libriomancer
With five days left until Codex Born [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] comes out, this is the time when I’m supposed to be doing frantic self-promotion. The trick is to do it without looking like I’m self-promoting. Which is harder than it sounds. So I asked for advice on Twitter.
Kate K. F. suggested pictures of Michigan looking pretty, which sounded like a good way to go. Especially if those pictures tied into the Magic ex Libris series, which is primarily set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula 🙂 (Spoiler: Not all of the pics connect to the series…)
Larger versions of the pics are posted on Flickr, for anyone who’s interested.
Luna Moth. Because they’re cool-looking, and they hang out up north. Also, I believe there’s a reference to Smudge the fire-spider trying to eat one at some point. (If that reference isn’t in the books, it’s only because it got edited out in revisions. Which just means I’ll have to put it back in a future book!)
The Mackinac Bridge. Isaac hates driving over this thing. He’s uncomfortable with heights, and the center lanes are metal grating instead of pavement, meaning the air comes up through the center, and the feel of the tires on the road is very different. When I was driving home last week, it kept feeling like the car was trying to pull off to one side or the other.
Also, there used to be a colony of lake trolls living at the base of the bridge, but the Porters relocated them back in 1971.
Random Lake Shot. This was taken while wandering along the beach at my in-laws’ camp in the northern part of the U.P. Their camp was some of the inspiration for the hunting camp Isaac and Lena go to in Libriomancer.
Mining tires. This should give you a sense of the scale of the hauler trucks running around your average mine. When I was working in Nevada at one of the gold mines, I heard stories of folks who backed over cars in one of those things and never even felt it.
We haven’t yet seen the titular mine of Isaac’s home town, but it does get a mention in Codex Born.
Oh, and I don’t know what these tires cost nowadays, but when I took this pic about 8 years ago, each one had a five-figure price tag.
Random rooftop. The U.P. gets a lot of snow. As a result, you get a fair number of homes with metal strips along the edges to protect against ice dams. Other houses, like Isaac’s, just go for full metal roofs. I took this picture from the passenger seat of the car, which is why it’s a little blurry.
I haven’t yet decided whether a future Magic ex Libris book will be set in a true Yooper winter…
Sunset. Because it’s pretty, that’s why!
Fort Michilimackinac. This fort is built at the southern end of the Mackinac Bridge. This is a reconstruction, as most of the fort was burned to the ground by the British in the late 1700s when they moved over to Fort Mackinac. But the magic left there by French traders more than three hundred years ago still lingers…
The fort gets a shout-out in Codex Born, and depending on what happens in the revision, it may play a larger role in Unbound. Or it might not. I’m only on the second draft, after all.
Geese. Because geese! (Another pic from my in-laws’ camp.)
August 1, 2013 @ 8:35 pm
Isaac and the Mackinac Bridge reminds me of my grandma who had to lay on the vehicle floor as she, my grandpa, and other family drove across it, ’cause it freaked her out so much. And on the other side of the family my other grandpa severed on the Mackinaw icebreaker while in the USCG
August 1, 2013 @ 9:29 pm
Luna moths hang out down south too. We have them here in Georgia, though they’re rare.
That fort looks kind of like Fort King George in Darien on the Georgia coast; I think it’s about the same vintage. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0f/GA_Darien_Fort_King_George09.jpg
Re winter (or early spring): ooooh, you could put in an ice tsunami! http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/13/us/ice-tsunamis (No, we DON’T have those!)
August 1, 2013 @ 9:41 pm
You’re enjoying this countdown, aren’t you?
In 5 days the Kindle Faerie is automagically delivering it. It’s like being six and it’s a week before Christmas! I’m not sure, but you seem to be enjoying us squirm.
Jim C. Hines
August 1, 2013 @ 9:42 pm
Actually, I’m squirming right along with you!
August 1, 2013 @ 9:48 pm
I get the creeps about that bridge without ever having seen it, as one of my sister-in-law’s close relatives jumped from it. Must be leftover bad juju from the cave trolls. Or, y’know, going off the meds. Don’t go off the meds without checking, folks.
I grew up with plenty of snow, but ice dams make me o_O Now I live where it doesn’t snow, ever, and am much happier in the winter.
I’ll bet Smudge gets plenty to eat during mosquito season.
August 2, 2013 @ 12:07 am
Hello today i was haveing a bad day. Just family stuff and bills. So when I got a call from my local bookstore that i had a book in that was good news. I was walking down the sidewalk to the story and I had that song that goes “take me a wayyyy to a beter place.” repeteing in my head just that line. Then I get to the store and it was codex born waiting for me!!!!! woootttt!!!!! the song in my head then went to the next line i got a pocket full of sunshine and it all mine.
So i just wanted to thank Mr. Hines for makeing a gloomy day better.
p.s. just noticed the 5 day to part oooppps hope the store i go to does not get in trouble.
Jim C. Hines
August 2, 2013 @ 8:27 am
Actually, mosquitoes tend to avoid Smudge. As far as Isaac can tell, it’s something about his scent.
Jim C. Hines
August 2, 2013 @ 8:28 am
No worries – it’s not unusual for the books to start showing up in stores a few days early. And it sounds like the timing was right.
Hope things improve from here on out!
Jim C. Hines
August 2, 2013 @ 8:32 am
I’d never heard of an ice tsunami before. Holy crap!
August 2, 2013 @ 9:02 am
That’s not the actual name for it–I think it’s more properly called an “ice heave”. But “ice tsunami” is pretty evocative.
August 2, 2013 @ 9:48 am
Lunar moths are huge! I usually see only one a summer, and it’s always a surprise ’cause they look like a bright green bat fluttering against the window.
August 2, 2013 @ 10:32 am
!!!!!!!! can’t wait!
great photos!! though, using the vile Canadian Goose as an advertising aid is somewhat questionable (I’m Canadian, btw. those things are EVIL)
August 2, 2013 @ 12:02 pm
Oooh, luna moths. Time to re-read Girl of the Limberlost! (gotta do something until Codex Born shows up!)
August 2, 2013 @ 8:59 pm
I love your pictures! Have you seen moose in that area?
My family is from the U.P also I have a place on the bay near L’Anse, but I will be over in that neck of the woods in a couple weeks when I bring my son to college at NMU in Marquette.
Jim C. Hines
August 3, 2013 @ 10:26 am
I’ve never seen a moose up there, sadly…
Have fun! Is this your son’s first year of college? Good luck to him!
August 3, 2013 @ 7:25 pm
Yes the first year for him, and last kid out of the house for me. My current endeavor is hiding my books that he keeps trying to pack to take with.
We were lucky enough to see a moose near Amasa while driving up,a couple years ago.
August 3, 2013 @ 9:19 pm
I used to drive over the Mackinac 3-4 times/year coming in from Chicago. If I had a passenger, I told them I’d drive the entire way — if they’d drive over the bridge. Significantly acrophobic here. Those grates on the middle lane. Ugh! But to be on the edge and see over. Ugh! And if I had paper on the dashboard, something about the reflection + water. Ugh! And the story of the Yugo that went over….
August 5, 2013 @ 3:15 pm
Oh, now I’m homesick! I miss the Mackinac bridge fiercely. I’m trying to convince my wife to do a Labor Day walk with me, but she’s … resistant. She had to close her eyes when we drove over it to see family in GR, so I’m not holding out much hope.