Reading in March 2012

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Hobbit, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

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    How do you rationalize or apply realism to something you only get a glimpse of, something you can't experience long enough to measure and quantify?

    Although, come to think, there are some stories and novels addressing just that, like Richard Matheson's Hell House.

    And I should be clear, the stories are not airy. Her descriptive powers are vital and occasionally astonishing, her characters understandable and those qualities coupled with her background as a student of paleontology -- she has published articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals -- ground her stories, giving them a base from which to launch her more esoteric flights of invention. And there are a few stories in To Charles Fort, With Love that are a bit more traditional, including a couple that remind me of Ray Bradbury's stories of the family (e.g. "Homecoming," "Uncle Einar") though I probably wouldn't have thought of that if Ramsey Campbell hadn't mentioned it in his afterward to the collection. Still, Kiernan's writing reminds me at times of the Bradbury of "The Foghorn" or portions of Something Wicked This Way Comes -- stories as much about the experience as they are about resolution.

    Randy M.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  2. algernoninc

    algernoninc Now I'm an axolotl

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    I finished In The Night Garden, the first part of the Orphan Tales by Catherynne Valente. This is my first book by her, but definitely not the last. Stories within stories within stories, flowing easily from one character to the next, slowly building up a coherent world rich in myths and fantastic creatures. I have a sudden urge to revisit the Arabian Nights, it's been nigh on 30 years since I first read them.
     
  3. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    I'm still listening to Control Point. I REALLLLLLY want to slap Oscar (the hero) upside the head right now. And I also want to slap the author a bit, 'cause he's missing some obvious opportunities that I can think up off the top of my head. Hmph.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  4. Eventine

    Eventine Uh, Staff Member

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    I'm very glad you liked it :D
     
  5. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    Completed the Cherryh omnibus edition of The Book of Morgaine. I really liked the story, particularly its concept. The pacing and endless "narrow escapes" kind of ground on me a bit though.

    I'm going to be reading Berg's Lighthouse Duet soon (a couple of days), but first things first - I'm in need of a new voice (i.e. at least new to me), so I'm reading Miserere by Teresa Frohock. The blurb presents an interesting premise and I'm very curious to see how the author unfolds such a tale.
     
  6. Siberian

    Siberian Too many books to read...

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    Going strictly by the blurb, it reminds me of a season out of Supernatural
     
  7. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    Hey Rob, How's this book going? I checked a few reviews, it seems pretty well loved.
     
  8. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    I finished Worldsoul by Liz Williams and I am a little mixed; a sort of UF but in a "higher dimension" compared to Earth, though of course Earth's cultures, books and tales are crucial for all that happens

    The book has great inventiveness, the writing is quite compelling and the main characters are quite interesting, while most of the action happens in the higher dimensional city Worldsoul which is a bit in disarray as its former rulers vanished a while ago and the various powers to be have started the struggle for domination

    There is Mercy, a somewhat naive but dogged librarian though of course not of a mundane library from a Northern (tundra clans) lineage whose two mothers - it's a Liz Williams book so expect men to have minimal roles btw - have left on a quest to find the disappeared rulers and Shadow a devout alchemist from a Middle Eastern inspired culture who goes veiled but is compelled by the local power broker, a male Shah to do some work for him that her ethics code finds distasteful.

    A few demons including a duke of Hell (still female though) who is the best and funniest secondary character, disir (these are Loki's supernatural minions) and assorted supernatural beings play the humans and one another and are occasionally played in turn and the book moves at a brisk pace and ends at quite a satisfying point solving its main local stories though of course the big picture is just coming into focus and the ending punctuates that emphatically.

    Where my reservations lie is in that the whole UF setup is a bit hard to take seriously and the external world lacks focus with the Worldsoul itself more of an abstraction or a stage if you want for our characters than a "real place' with texture and depth.

    So on many occasions scenes that are supposed to have tension simply lacked it at least for me since with my strong dislike of UF i have no idea what the parameters are (and no idea if the book follows such btw) so the various fights, chases etc were like 'well this happened because it happened" with no way for me to realize if it was normal, an act of valor or something unusual; it's like reading say about a Wild West gunfight without having any ideas what guns can or cannot do, pretty much everything described can happen as the fact that the sheriff is faster on the draw may simply be because his gun is a "lawful" one so it comes out faster, the fact that he shoots straight and the villain shoots badly maybe again because his gun is an AI that targets himself etc and if the author inserts that the sheriff's gun shot 500 times in succession without recharge, it may seem a little odd but hey, it may be possible after all

    All in all, I think that if you are a UF buff you may love this book a lot, while for me it was quite entertaining and while not as grand as the author's superb sf, I am still looking forward to see what is next.