Say it with me: “It’s been so long since my last post!”
You don’t have to tell me twice! I know. I know. I’ve been occupied of late. In lieu of a big post about one book, I’m going to do a small post about many books.
First, George R.R. Martin released his epic continuation to A Song of Fire and Ice. I let my family and friends know that I would forsake them in favor of reading it, and I didn’t disappoint. There were laughs, grins, swords, dark wings and everything in between. It was a George Martin book. I can’t say too much, because some very dear and precious people I know won’t get caught up with the series this side of the century. I’ll say this to the fans (in abstract terms): Cersei’s champion has been on my mind since A Feast for Crows. That secret plot is an ace up George’s sleeve, and I sit up at night, dreamless, wondering how it will play out.
Geek rant finished.
Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches was inflicted upon me with the best of intentions. I didn’t approach it with that pre-conceived hatred of the vampire romance that has grown so fashionable. Having read 100 pages of Twilight and watched the lion’s share of Buffy, I can say I’ve seen the genre at its best and at its worst. I’ll let you decide which was which. I wish I had more time to dissect the craft of it, because A Discovery of Witches turned its back on so many essential elements of world-building and character sympathy that I simply seek to understand *why.* Certain writing conventions are commonplace not because they’ve been done before, but because they actually do work quite effectively. I wonder if this book set out to break a mold, but ended up just ignoring good advice.
Wild Cards stood on the periphery of my attention because there are something like 21 books in the series already, and who can get invested in that? Oh no. The first anthology is available in digital form for the price of overpriced coffee, and its worth cannot be measured in beans. Wild Cards is a superhero story done right, where the post-WWII chicken in every pot lifestyle gets interrupted by an alien virus. Wild Cards shines in its contributors. Each story is done by a different science fiction/fantasy author — many names you know, some you don’t. It reminds me of when I read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics in high school, where a different artist illustrated every story. The tones changed, the players moved around a little differently, but there was always a common harmony in the backdrop.
Here’s to hoping we don’t wait as long for my next post. Cheers, kindly readers!