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“At the time, my life was at its most crazed, and I had to get up every morning at 3am and write for three hours ...” – Laurie

“At the time, my life was at its most crazed, and I had to get up every morning at 3am and write for three hours ...” – Laurie

Earth Logic
(Book 2 of the Elemental Logic series)

Book summary

“Why is it so important that you don't take any action, if inaction is driving you mad?”

Karis said, “Imagine you've got a tray of food balanced on one hand. And you need to add a really heavy steamed pudding to the tray.”

Garland could almost see it: the shattered plates, the splattered gravy, the flying peas, the dismayed cook, the ravenous diners startled by the disaster. “I'd be very careful where I put that pudding,” he said.

“Well, I'm the pudding.”

By earth logic . . .

  • a storyteller forgets the story of her own life
  • a turncoat cook serves sanity
  • a cow farmer herds a soldier
  • a flea defeats a hero
  • a Paladin kills his friend to save the world

Read an excerpt from Earth Logic

Listen to Chapter 2 or to “Raven's Joke” read by the book's author, Laurie J. Marks

  • In the hot kitchen of the Smiling Pig Inn, Garland had finished feeding everyone and was starting the stock for tomorrow’s soup when the serving girl bustled into the hot kitchen and informed him that a dozen people had just arrived. They had taken all the places closest to the fire, which had left the regular customers feeling put out. Garland had to make a lot of fried potatoes, and the girl nagged him to hurry up. “Give them some soup,” he told her. “You know they’ll complain even louder if I serve them scorched raw potatoes.”
  • Read the rest of Chapter 2 . . .
  • or read “Raven's Joke” . . .

Reviews of Earth Logic

  • Earth Logic is a thought-provoking and sometimes heartbreaking political novel which absorbingly examines the dynamics between two groups of people.” – Bookpage
  • “...the second volume plays as fair as the first (it's a complete novel, of and by itself), and ... they're two of the best books I've read in a very long time.” – Charles de Lint, Fantasy&ScienceFiction Review
  • Earth Logic is not a book of large battles and heart-stopping chases; rather, it's more gradual and contemplative and inexorable, like the earth bloods who people it. It's a novel of the everyday folk who are often ignored in fantasy novels, the farmers and cooks and healers.” – Victoria McManus, An SFRevu
  • In-depth reviews of Earth Logic . . .

Readers ask questions about Earth Logic – Laurie Marks answers

Q: Did you know the outcome of Earth Logic when you started writing the book?
A: Actually, I didn't have a clue. Usually when I start a book I have an idea what the central issue is, how to start, and how to end (and not much else). But with Earth Logic I didn't even know that –I just started writing. At the time, my life was at its most crazed, and I had to get up every morning at 3am and write for three hours, then take a shower and go to work. I wrote in short bits that I could finish in one sitting, maybe five pages or so, and each bit was in a different time, place, and point of view.
After I had a few hundred pages of that stuff I started trying to put the pieces together, and it was only then that I figured out how to end the story. I actually had to end several stories at once, which was impossible, so I came up with endings for each of them separately and then started trying to make all the endings happen together. It wasn't until the third revision that I managed to get the bits into chronological order and to eliminate all but three or so points of view. The first thing I wrote ended up being chapter 14 in the final version. Other than that chapter, the four folk tales, and the epigraphs, nothing else of the first draft survived – not a single word.
Q: I like the fact that your characters have a three-dimensional quality to them, they're not in the tradition of black and white (either all good or completely flawed). I'm wondering how this ties in with your life – can you read people easily or are you creating rounded characters because you don't see that enough in real life, or...?
A: I don't understand people at all well, but I'm very curious about them. I don't understand myself either, but I'm interested, in a benignly amused sort of way. So I create characters who aren't easy to understand, who don't fully understand each other, and who are often baffled by themselves. Nevertheless, my characters are lot more sensible and comprehensible than any real people I know.

See the FAQ for more questions and answers on Laurie's writing.