By Barbara Hambly
New Orleans 1833 Mardi Gras. whereas Creole Ben January performs piano, Angelique Crozat, coloured mistress useless for whiteness, is fatally strangled. experts are reluctant to inquire. Whites, even policeman Abishag Shaw, blame Ben, fathered by means of black. Ben seeks killer from seamy haunts of riverboaters into huts of voodoo-worshiping slaves.
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Additional info for A Free Man of Color (Benjamin January, Book 1)
It’s not possible in a thousand ways,” said Tooley. “According to Muse’s data there, we’re one hundred and forty-four AU out from this star. There shouldn’t be this much light reaching us…or this fi rst, last, sphere. Unless each sphere were somehow refracting and refocusing the light…or magnifying it…or adding to it…” We all stared at Tooley. Usually he spoke only to explain how he was unplugging toilets or greasing gears 63 — DA N SI M MONS — or some such. This was by far the longest speech any of us had ever heard from him.
H WE PLAYED ON. Sans props, sans scenery, sans curtain, sans human audience. 36 — MUSE OF FIR E — When one act ended, we would all pause outside the circle of light for a few seconds and then begin the next. Kemp later told me that this was more or less the way Shakespeare and his people had done it in their day; that acts and scenes, as separate entities, were a later invention. One of Kemp’s earliest lines, to the witches, was “The Thane of Cawdor lives. ” Dear God, I loved such phrases. ” It evoked human ages and vital human barbarity long lost to all of us.
A lesser troupe would have had trouble going on. We weren’t a lesser troupe. Did the Poimen understand us? Did they get the slightest hint of what our “mimesis episode” was about? Could 55 — DA N SI M MONS — these sea-space creatures understand the foggiest outline of the themes and depths of Shakespeare’s tale of age and loss and ultimate devastation, much less follow the beautiful and archaic song of our language? I had no idea. I’m sure Kemp and Burbank and Condella and the others carrying the burden of the performance had no idea.
A Free Man of Color (Benjamin January, Book 1) by Barbara Hambly