I keenly felt that—an awareness of a bustling world just off the edges of page—in the first arc in "Gardens of the Moon", the first novel in the #Malazan series by archaeology–anthropology-trained Steven Erikson.
I missed that feeling in the second arc, about Darujhistan the Free City, so I stopped…
I rarely read fiction because so much feels like it's told with a fisheye lens, with one or a few characters, the Chosen Ones, taking up most of the attention, with wispy shapes round the edges.
Meanwhile the fractal nature of real life means that nonfiction brims with the possibility of someone or something very surprising entering into the story.
A WW2 story might have to refer to modulo arithmetic.
A journalistic piece on Hong Kong might allude to bond underwriters.
That this sense of "a world that exists beyond the camera/page" exists in nonfiction is an obvious tautology 😆 but important.
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