The Finder Library. Volume 1. by Carla Speed McNeil I’ve had friends from quite different circles recommend this to me before, but I just couldn’t quite get into it. This time I tried the new super-big version, and found that between the introduction and having more of the story together, I was able to understand the world well enough to be sucked in. This is science fiction with a strong grounding in human nature as well as feeling rooted in real traditions, and the nature of the graphic novel lets these things go by without much explanation, though the extensive endnotes go into both these and the many references to literature and film in the stories. McNeil calls it aboriginal science fiction.
We first meet Jaeger waking up in a bowl held by a giant Ganesha statue in the wilderness. He’s clearly vagrant, and as he journeys to the domed city of Anvard, also well-known to many people both as friend and annoyance. Ethnically, he is part Asican, a seeming Native American/Mongolian hybrid culture that is definitely on the fringes of mainstream city culture. Over the course of the story we learn that he is both a Finder and a Sin Eater, but while it gradually becomes more or less clear what these mean, it’s never explicitly explained. Only a pattern that is the symbol of the Finder and which Jaeger wears as a tattoo appears regularly throughout the story. This collection has one longish story arc and a couple of shorter ones. The longest explores Jaeger’s relationship with his friend and lover, Emma, and her three daughters. Emma is constantly afraid that the abusive ex-husband, Brigham, Jaeger’s former commander, whom she ran away from will get out of prison and track her down. Jaeger, though, maintains his relationship with Brigham, who is indeed out of prison. Other stories explore each of the three children, Jaeger’s past, and Jaeger’s involvement in the quest for a new king of a bipedal lion-like clan. And I’m only scratching the surface.
There are lots of shorter Finder books, as well as another big book out soon. Also, current adventures are posted free on the Light Speed Press website. This is a series, characters, a world to immerse yourself in.
Originally posted at http://library-mama.dreamwidth.org .