Voice in the Forest – Introduction

Voice in the Forest started many years ago as a (longish) short story called Leaf Fall. The central concept rose from a reading of Robert Pogue Harrison’s Forests: The Shadow of Civilization concerning the perception of forest as the antithesis of civilization.

“Dwelling in the forest has always fascinated me, loving Tolkien’s Lothlórien and Doriath and, especially, Tapiau‘la-an-Aithen in Michael Scott Rohan’s The Forge in the Forest.

“At that point the story contained nothing before Ainé’s welcoming the spring, and altogether too much ‘philosophical’ discussion. Also, the relationship between Ainé and Owel was very different; but after a friend called Katie had committed that she should just ditch him, I knew it would need to be revised.

“I then put the story aside for perhaps a decade, before bringing it out again after finishing The Migrator. I tried many formats to the expanding story I now had in mind (including continuing it to cover the events now described in the short story In Search of the Best of All Worlds) before finally deciding to broadly copy that used by Ursula Le Guin in The Dispossessed. Which is an excellent book.

“I worked slowly for a couple of years – difficult ones for me – till Voice in the Forest reached its final form. And I finally let it go. Less epic than The Migrator, but (I think) somewhat tighter.”

Richard Bray (spring 2012)