If I momentarily have the attention of anyone who loved If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love… may I also recommend Hal Duncan’s Vellum? It is my favorite book EVER, and the entire thing is a master stroke of experimenting with structure. And it has the same theme as Dinosaur does too. To briefly quote myself from previous posts:
In Vellum, something happened, but the enormity of the event can never be put into words. So instead the event is repeated and re-examined, over and over, from countless different angles. Every story is a separate story, not a continuing narrative, with separate characters. But every story is the same story, and the characters are always the same – in essence if not in flesh.
It isn’t written linearly, because its story isn’t a linear story. It is a mosaic which you can only see small pieces of at a time, and once you’ve read the whole thing you have all the pieces and you can hold them in your mind and mentally take several large steps backwards and finally see the actual picture.
Importantly, all the parts that make up the whole are themselves awesome. Like a mosaic, the various pieces may be different colors or shapes – there’s cyberpunk, there’s modern Lovecraftian horror (which is the best piece of modern Lovecraft I’ve read, but I am biased), there’s steampunk, there’s angels destroying each other in holy wars. But despite the differences, each piece is made of the same material as all the others, and the differences mainly serve to point this out.
And the overall picture, the theme that all the different pieces keep circling around and coming back to, is extremely relevant to me. It’s a simple theme, and if the sparking event of the novel could be put into words, it would be a simple two-word story: people die.
It’s hard to get people to read this. Most of the people I tried to get to read it didn’t get far, because they didn’t like it. But if you do give it a shot, and you like it, please let me know. It would be awesome to personally know someone else who’s also in love with Vellum.