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Shadow & Claw (The Book of the New Sun #1-2)
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2011 Reads > S&C: Father Inire's Fish (reference spoiler, Shadow, ch 20)

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message 1: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
The Lexicon Urthus entry on 'specula' -- Inire's magical/scientific mirrors -- reveals the inspiration for the spectral Fish Inire is able to summon with the mirrors:

"Myth: the fauna of mirrors is a Chinese notion that goes back to the legendary times of the Yellow Emperor. Originally the world of mirrors and the world of men were not divided, nor were they identical, and one could freely travel between the two. For reasons unknown, the mirror people invaded the earth one night, but after a terrible war the Yellow Emperor was able to triumph over them. He imprisoned them in their mirrors and forced them to slavishly repeat all the actions of men. However, they will one day break loose again.

'The first to awaken will be the Fish....Later on, other shapes will begin to stir....They will break through the barriers of glass or metal and this time they will not be defeated. Side by side with these mirror creatures, the creatures of water will join the battle.' (Borges, The Book of Imaginary Beings, 68)."

message 2: by Ed (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 170 comments I was fortunate to have read Jorge Luis Borges stories before reading The Book of the New Sun 1-4. I strongly recommend Borges as a reference point for much of The Shadow of the Torturer especially.

message 3: by aldenoneil (last edited Mar 04, 2011 03:23PM) (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments There's also a China Miéville short story called The Tain, which takes Borges's idea and runs with it in a battle-torn London. He explores what happenes when mirror creatures are out and about.

message 4: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
Ah, that's sounds cool, aldenoneil. I've been wanting to read some Mieville, so now I'm inspired to start there when I do.

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