Sunday, February 25, 2018


Jane Lindskold is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning, internationally published author of over twenty-five novels, seventy-some works of short fiction, and a variety of non-fiction.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Asphodel, and reported the following:
Since Asphodel is a relatively short novel (174 pages in the trade paperback), page 69 falls solidly in the middle of the story.

Happily, though, page 69 provides a fairly good idea of what’s going on – and how very odd those goings on can be. In the first full paragraph, our nameless protagonist gathers up her companions, Muriel and Puck, and heads “for the appropriate window.”
…when we look down we see the world that somehow touches the tower’s base. The shining sands are there as before, but there is no sign of the moon rabbits. Rather than going off blindly, I settle myself in to wait, for if there is anything I have, it is time.

However, as I stare out at the blank white landscape, I let my desire quest out from me, holding all the questions that had filled me as I had laid my plans. Who is the lady? Is she the only person on the Moon? Does she have a house or maybe a palace? What does she do other than stroll about with the rabbits? Are there other creatures on the Moon?

Slowly, as if my questions have created the need for an answer, the perspective shifts so that we are no longer looking down upon the silvery sands, but are looking across the moonscape, as one does a picture – or a TV screen. And there, as if inviting us forth, is a path through the shining silvery white landscape….
Certainly, if I was reading this, I’d keep reading, if only to find out where that path takes them. I might also be wondering how it is that these windows change perspective. I might be teased by the reference to the “appropriate window.” Are there then other windows? Where do they go?

Therefore, rather than reading ahead, I might turn to the beginning, walking with the characters into the puzzle that lies at the heart of Asphodel.
Visit Jane Lindskold's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue