drcpunk: (Default)
( Sep. 11th, 2003 11:10 pm)
Been catching up on DVDs. I've seen Kiki's Delivery Service, the last two (chronologically, first two) parts of Shamanic Princess, and Kung Fu Cult Master, all subtitled. All delightful in their way. Man, I wish they'd been able to do a sequel to KFCM.

I'm re-reading Parke Godwin's Firelord, if slowly, and reading Mary Gentle's Ash, quickly, but slowly -- this is a 1100+ page book (which I prefer to the four book version I've seen). Firelord was overhyped to me at the time, which is a pity, as it's quite a good book. Ash is, um, different. When it came up for Mythopoeic, I had all 4 books on hand, one a freebie and the others from the library, but flipping through them really put me off the idea of reading them unless they made the finalist list. So, I went on to the next thing.

But enough people have told me that persevering, through the mud, grit, shit, piss, and blood, past the rape of our protagonist at age 8, on page 1, repays the effort. I'm not exactly a fan of the style, and I can't exactly say I care about any of the characters, although they are interesting, but the book is just plain strange now, in ways to do with myth and history and academia. Yeah, I'll finish it.

Vaguely got a queue of some of the stuff I bought home from WorldCon plus one of the 2 Liad novels I was told I could start with at the Liadan party. And I have to do more game reviews. And fit all the books in.

I only bought one accidental duplicate -- I bought an extra copy of Firelord on purpose, for a friend. I picked up a cheap, used copy of Delany's Nova, having heard it's really good. Then, I got home and saw that I'd had a similar thought at an earlier convention. One accidental duplicate among all of those ain't bad.

Didn't pick up Alan Garner's latest, but I expect I will at World Fantasy. He's one of the more underrated authors. _Elidor_ is brilliant. _The Owl Service_ is a tour de force. _Weirdstone of Brisengamen_ and more its sequel, _Moon of Gomrath_ are theoretically more conventional, but, um, less tidily wrapped up, more disturbing, in good ways. _Red Shift_, I admit, I just don't get, but it's a tricky book. And all of these are -short-. Like Diana Wynne Jones' _Eight Days of Luke_, which I enjoyed so much recently, these harken back to when one got tight plots, nicely packed with characterization, action, and interesting takes on morality in under 200 pages.

These books are sort of like the movie _The Mark of Zorro_, the Powers/Rathbone one. This movie features intelligent, competent characters, a complicated love pentacle, a dash of waycool sword fights, and a very reasonable plot -- in about 90 minutes.

I do know there's a lot of crap out there too. Who cares? We're talking about the good stuff here.

This isn't to say I don't enjoy long books. Vinge's _The Snow Queen_ needed every one of its pages to tell the story. (I was disappointed in _The Summer Queen_, but _World's End_ was great.) And Austin Tappan Wright's _Islandia_ is a sprawling book, in no hurry to get anywhere, and lots of fun to read. I should reread that, and John Crowley's _Little, Big_ as well.

Oh, and I heard from Yves Meynard that he's working on another book in English, a fantasy. I am looking forward to that one.