Writing Techniques in Nightshade

Jack Butler
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Any novel that attempts, as this one does, to envision and represent a complete, functioning society that is radically different from our own must necessarily be quite complex. If the scientific, technological, philosophical, linguistic, and social backgrounds of that society are projected a long distance into the future, that complexity is multiplied. Such is the task Butler set for himself in Nightshade. Remarkably, in what is ostensibly the voice of John Shade (who witnessed the evolution of this world for more than three centuries), through Shade's exposition as well as through dramatic exemplification in the speech and actions of characters, Butler portrays a world so coherent and real-seeming in all its aspects that his achievement must rank with the greatest efforts of speculative fiction.

Yet it is clear that Butler's chief interest as far as fictional technique is concerned lies in the area of narrative voice. A striking...

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This section contains 853 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Nightshade Study Guide
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Nightshade from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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