I've just realised that a key theme in my writing -- apart from water, which literally gets everywhere -- is rationalists and non-believers discovering that the irrational and the weird are real and can affect them.
I have no idea why. I'm not particularly religious/spiritual in the formal sense (though I may be superstitious and I do talk to saints and trees on occasion. Also to the late and loved Caspian cat). I wasn't brought up with any kind of faith. But it's there in Living with Ghosts
, particularly through the characters of Thiercelin and Joyain. It's in quite a few of my short stories ('The Whale's Daughter, certainly; 'Coldrush'; 'Clocks'; to some extent in 'Seabourne') and in the various sections of the ongoing, unfinished Gaheris saga.
What's this about? Should I be worried? Is this a sign of Dangerous Fluffiness or WooWoo, a weake girly non-science-yness? Or is it an artefact of a background in, amongst the history, social anthropology, which leads me always to look at the stories cultures tell about themselves, their origins and their environment. I tend to find fantasy novels which either lack reference to beliefs of any kind, or import default cardboard ones, very unsatisfactory. (And somewhere someone must have written a story about J******h's W******s in their mission starship, banging on the doors of new colony worlds.) I tend to be much more convinced by books where the author has clearly thought through how and what peoples believe -- Violette Malan's The Sleeping God
's Children of the Shaman
's Dark Cathedral
, to list a few. It's about world-building and depth and texture.
And yet, none of that explains this writing tic I seem to have, this 'more things in heaven and earth' -ishness that I seem to be returning to, over and over.