At Readercon almost two years ago, [livejournal.com profile] sdn pulled me over after a panel and said "You like Megan Whalen Turner? Megan loves Elizabeth Wein. You should read Elizabeth Wein." (Henceforth: [livejournal.com profile] eegatland.) Ok, I said.

However, some big things happened in my life between then and, oh, December 2008. It didn't occur to me to bother finding more things to do. Until suddenly, it did. I don't quite remember what set me off, though it might have been a review that specifically discussed Medraut, but I went looking for The Winter Prince with a passion. Upon learning that it was out of print I went about scouring websites until I found a used copy at bn.com. I eagerly awaited its arrival, and hid away upstairs at my grandmother-in-law's house on Christmas Day reading it.

I'm not a huge fan of Arthurian work. Honestly, it never presented archetypes that I could believe in, that I could root for. Arthur was too simple, a boy scout with his only flaw was allowing himself to be seduced by his sister/aunt. Or something. 'Cause G-d knows he couldn't have been an active participant, there. Guinevere always seemed like a simpering idiot to me. The whole love triangle made me sick - if I can't believe that anyone would want the main object of affection I am really unlikely to buy it. Perhaps needless to say, this book had a lot to do to make me enjoy it.

Reader, I enjoyed it. The idea of a Guinevere (or, as she's known here, Ginevra) who is a talented mapmaker, healer, and fluent in three languages was refreshing. This woman wasn't a symbol of courtly love or whatever, she was a partner for a king and a kind mother figure for Medraut (our Mordred) as well as her own children. In fact, the women in this book were incredibly refreshing. Even Morgause. Especially Morgause.

It is literally impossible to discuss the rest of the series in any kind of detail without spoiling this book. Which is a shame, because the rest of the series is even better. The point of view shifts from Medraut to his half-sister Goewin in the second book, A Coalition of Lions, and the action moves from Britain to the African nation of Aksum (from which Medraut had returned at the start of The Winter Prince). My poor planning and inadequate patience (the second book is also out of print) meant that I read the third book, The Sunbird, second. Telemakos, an Aksumite child we meet in the first chapter of A Coalition of Lions is the main protagonist of The Sunbird and the last two novels - collectively known as "The Mark of Solomon" books. I haven't yet read the last two (a combination of running out of time and money), but I am looking forward to doing so.

It's a fascinating series, partly because it takes its Arthurian origins and moves them. Partly because of the way it deals with duty, loyalty, love, and family. Medraut, in the first book, is widely acknowledged - even by Artos (Arthur, naturally) - as the one who should be left to rule Britain. Goewin - as loyal as she is to her twin, Lleu, who is Artos's acknowledged heir - openly discusses how she does not trust her brother not to plunge the kingdom her father built into ruin. But everyone - including Medraut - also understands his or her part and duty. Goewin is, perhaps, so fascinating in that she is the mirror of Morgause. She is the fiercely intelligent woman who cannot rule because less intelligent men seek to diminish her power. She is wise enough to see the turns that lead down the darker path, but not wise enough to avoid them entirely.

I was expecting to find Medraut a fascinating character - the reading I'd done prior to getting the book led me to expect it. I knew he would be a character to capture my imagination - gifted, tortured, vain and humble, yearning for acceptance and love. But I didn't expect the world that sprang up around him - full of characters that moved like true actors in the story - with their own agendas that were not always convenient and never simple. The story does not end where the book does - it keeps flying, and leaves you, as the reader, trailing in its wake, trying to catch up. Even as the characters move countries and continents, their motivations, their pain and their purpose remain rooted in how they were when we met them. It's fascinating, and a joy to read a story that develops this way.

P.S.: [livejournal.com profile] eegatland and her kids have been doing a PlayMobil version of The Winter Prince over here.
Four (just four, no scores) years ago, when I graduated from college, I spent a good three months applying for lab tech jobs, watching Stargate (SG-1 and Atlantis), and Firefly on my sister's computer, and otherwise emphatically vegging in her house. I think I may have been what is known as "burned out" - I still remember the feeling of being utterly emptied of any creativity I had at the time.

That feeling is a lot like where I was two weeks ago - utterly exhausted by life and not interested in anything save escaping the constant work, the constant pressure. I was late to get home for Shabbat that week and as I was pulling out of the university the driver in front of me was chatting on with her car full of girlfriends. I honked at her so she would turn onto the only road that leads out of this badly-constructed place, and she decided that flipping me off the rest of the time we shared the road was the way to go. I got home to light candles - late - and as I did so I saw how messy our dining room was. I was hit with such a wave of despair and anger and irrational desire to hit things that I could only manage one thing: I went to bed.

Doyle woke me up a few hours later and we went out for dinner to a mall that has two things that cheer me up immensely - a Borders and a Cheesecake Factory. We didn't really get to explore the Borders before closing, so we went back the next day so I could indulge in some escapism. And that's when, after wandering around and not having anything catch my eye for 15 minutes, I picked up [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's Ironside, and started reading. I bought the book and finished it at home, a few hours later, curled up in the new reading nook I'd made for myself several months ago but hadn't actually used before. And then I went to the stack of books I've bought and not read, and I picked up [livejournal.com profile] libba_bray's The Sweet Far Thing. It'd been waiting for some attention for almost a year now, and I felt like I was going back in time - like I was back at my sister's house in August/September 2004, flying through Tithe and A Great and Terrible Beauty and thinking "I could do this. I have a story to tell."

It's weird how a one-two punch can happen twice. It took me longer to finish TSFT than AGaTB, and I still have many thoughts on it - and it actually makes me want to write fanfic, which is not an event that happens very often. I'll save that for another post (gotta have a reason). But last night I opened the file I keep Glamour in and started scanning it. I read through the notes [livejournal.com profile] lodessa and [livejournal.com profile] hamsterwoman left on my journal last summer. And I started thinking about how I could fix it.

I'm still too far from "there yet." I worked another 12 hour day on Tuesday, I've not really had much success in waking up and going into work earlier so I can leave earlier (though I've now moved it back about 30 minutes). I have yet to write a single word. But today I picked up another book from my overwhelmingly large "to read" pile and put it in my backpack. Gotta start somewhere.
adelynne: (firebird)
( May. 30th, 2007 10:49 am)
Wiscon was not what I expected. Much like [livejournal.com profile] rosefox, I'd heard "Readercon, only bigger" and expected it to be that.

On the other hand, I did adapt enough to have a good time. Seeing people was wonderful, and probably the highlight of the trip. Met [livejournal.com profile] mroctober for longer than 15 minutes, and he had no idea who I was. Saw [livejournal.com profile] matociquala and [livejournal.com profile] truepenny at the Gathering, [livejournal.com profile] buymeaclue, [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid around here and there, [livejournal.com profile] ellen_kushner and [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman flitting like busy butterflies to and fro, [livejournal.com profile] sdn after her second panel, wherein we had a brief chat about fanfic, and [livejournal.com profile] blackholly when she crawled out of bed recovering from whatever bug she had. Met [livejournal.com profile] grahamsleight and [livejournal.com profile] desayunoencama, as well as Maureen McHugh and her lovely spouse. Learned a lot.

Heard people diss the Kushiel trilogy on multiple levels, which was highly entertaining, as they expressed most of the problems I had with the book aside from the massive culture rape.

Cleaned up nicely for the parties, and had the joy of Doyle walking around in leather pants (which prompted [livejournal.com profile] grailquestion and [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna to explain to [livejournal.com profile] justbeast that he needs to obtain a pair), and generally hung around parties. Parties were not what I expected - entirely too much standing around and chatting and not enough, well, partying. When we came down to say goodbye to people on Sunday night there was a dance party going on, and that was great - I wish we could have stayed.

Monday was entirely a day of travel. We planned our England trip from Midway airport and panicked about having two days to do it in. We've mostly accomplished the task now, though. All packed and stuff, and off to England at 10pm Eastern.

I do have panel notes, and I do want to write them up, but I'm not sure I'll have the time before we leave. In that case, they'll wait until I get back.

Did I mention that I read books? Well, I did. Fiction, even! I read Valiant on the plane to Chicago, Vintage and the ARC of So Fey at the con, finishing the former on the plane to Atlanta, then The Theif by Megan Whalen Turner on the plane back. [livejournal.com profile] queenofthorns reviewed the series some time ago, so when I saw the first two in paperback I snagged them up. Gen certainly hooked me, so I read The Queen of Attolia yesterday, and pre-ordered The King of Attolia paperback, which comes out June 12th. I've packed a bunch more to go, and hopefully I'll have time to write about them more after we return. I'm so happy to be reading fiction again!

Also, [livejournal.com profile] justbeast asked meaningful questions about Glamour, and prompted me to crack open the Honour draft. It's not as bad as I feared, which is almost always the case. I'm truly looking forward to beginning the revisions to the first book when I get back from England, now. Just a reminder, that if you want to help critique it, answer this poll.
adelynne: (firebird)
( Sep. 6th, 2006 04:45 pm)
Running ragged has, apparently, run me ragged. Or it could have been one of my so-called friends who dropped by Sunday night and brought his or her cold with them as a present. Whichever it is, I pulled a half-day at school and came home to drink tea, read books and papers, and generally recuperate. Unfortunately, my head's really fuzzy, so while I am getting through The Blue Sword at an acceptable pace, I have to read in short snatches and rest.

Not too happy with being sick, as you might imagine. It's way too early in the year to be laid up, and most inconvenient in terms of school. So I lie here and fret and occasionally read part of a good book. I suppose I could always load a DVD, but I'm trying to minimize the time I spend staring at bright screens. Perhaps they're unavoidable...

I feel myself rambling though, so I best lay off and rest again.
One of the weird things about this book is how long it's taken me to really figure out what I think of it. In fact, it wasn't until I was sitting at the sushi bar two hours ago that it hit me.

For me, Blood and Iron, is a problem book. [livejournal.com profile] matociquala has previously stated that it's a story told from the point-of-view of a villain, and that might cause people to have issues. That isn't mine. I find villains often much more interesting than the heroes, brave and true. At least in the stories, I look with fondness on my villains.

Stray with me into Stargate: Atlantis for a moment. A lot of fans (at least from what I could see) had serious problems with the moral choices the expedition (otherwise known as Our Heroes) made at the end of last season and the beginning of this one. [livejournal.com profile] thepouncer pointed out, I think correctly, that they were faced with an "Us or Them" choice. And given that one, choose Us every time.

B&I also presents the reader with an "Us or Them." Significantly, it is told from the point-of-view of the Them. Which could be cool, and is at times. But here we have what was the problem for me. I can't bring myself to support the Sidhe. It is not for lack of trying, but for what I see as a lack of vision on their part. In The Three Musketeers, Cardinal Richelieu was undoubtably the villain. But he was a villain with vision. A goal he was working toward. Our Heroes might have opposed him, but at the end of the day they knew he was working to further France as much as they were. And from there we have a connection.

The fae may be dying. Horrible and beautiful and magical as they are they are dying, bound by their own bargain with the Devil Himself on one end and the iron chains of the Prometheans on the other. It is a truly horrible fate. But as much as I seek it and try to see, what is the alternative for the Us? We see the horror and the reason the Prometheans started their war in the first place, but we're never given a good reason to side with the fae. Carel says that the world shouldn't be safe, and to an extent I agree with her. But there must be a give and take, and for the danger they bring they must provide a reason for their existance, or in the "Us or Them" humanity would always choose us.

And as a reader, I'm still human.

Please don't think I didn't like the book. I did. It made me think, and rubbed at me in ways only a good book can. The characters are engaging and though I cannot be convinced to side with Elaine, I can see how she came to her choices. It is a good read, and I would recommend it for what, at least in my experience, is a unique take on the Sidhe, Arthurian legend, and dragons. I'll definitely read the sequel.

But it is a problem book for me.
I am off visiting people at glorious Pennsylvania retreat, where internet is limited, and even if it wasn't I'd not be spending much time on it as there is a lake! For swimming! Still, gmail's inaccessible and it's driving me batty to not get my e-mail, so I'll settle for posting briefly.

I've been reading Dawn Cook's The Decoy Princess, which is great at subverting tropes and full of enjoyable characters. Not Faulkner, but then I'm in the mood for a light read having re-read [livejournal.com profile] ellen_kushner's divine The Priviledge of the Sword prior to leaving. I've got my head chock full of thoughts on how Alec Campion is a great champion of women's rights, and when sober, a remarkably useful person to know. There might be a post on that later, full of spoilers for all three books. Then again, that depends entirely on how coherent I can make myself under all the squee.

My own writing is still being beaten into submission. I feel like I've written something that might have a few jewels underneath if only I can scrape away all the dust and annoying bits of forcing the plot to the point where it makes no sense. And rewrite the prologue so it's not a vehicle for all! melodrama! all! the! time! (Yes, I do like my exclamation points today.) Still, it's a process that's helping me immensely, and I like to think is actually simplifying a narrative that will be difficult enough with all the characters and their arcs in there.

But more importantly, swimming!
adelynne: (Default)
( Jul. 25th, 2006 08:54 am)
Arrived safe & sound ten and a half hours after we set out. After watching Friday's episode of Psych managed to make it home at about 11:30. Then I finished Black Powder War and attempted to go to sleep. The latte I made while watching Psych proved unhealthy for the latter, though at least this time there were no troubling dragon dreams.

Today there shall be little progress in editing - I've agreed to babysit my niece, and at most, there'll be that short window while she naps.

Psych, however, continues to be a fun show. The Boyfriend and I persist in guessing the culprit at about the 30 minute mark, but it's still fun to see how Shawn gets there. My one little semi-spoilery comment. )

And now, on with my day!
adelynne: (Default)
( Jul. 24th, 2006 09:25 am)
As a result of devouring much of the Temeraire series in one continuous swoop (I'm about a hundred pages from the end of Black Powder War) my subconscious treated me to a series of dreams last night featuring dragons and the Air Corps Reserve, which I am suddenly a member of. And then there were these strange buildings on plateaus and exams one had to pass. I kept waking up in anxiety and needing to remind myself that dragons were not real, there were no exams, and I needed to go back to sleep because I had an 8:30 wake-up time.

Shortly we'll be headed off to fair Boston, driving all the way. It should take us ten hours or so. I am not looking forward to this trip, less so for the night's tossing and turnings having hurt my back.

Ah well, such is life. I'll metaphorically see you all in Boston.
Picked up Naomi Novik's Temeraire series and am mid-way through the Throne of Jade. Thus far, much more bloody than the first book.

Stopped by a Half-Price Books on my way out of Pittsburgh and picked up the 7th Annual Year's Best Fantasy & Horror for $5, a hard-cover edition of Black Heart, Ivory Bones, also for $5, and a $3 copy of The Perilous Gard. In short, very profitable even if it was annoyingly confusing to get back on the freeway in the right direction.

My own progress has been minimal, but nonetheless existant, for which I have [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna and [livejournal.com profile] grailquestion to thank - after we had lunch Wednesday, I got some editing done (mostly of the cosmetic variety), while Cat discovered and explored Gather.

Stargates were tonight, but I find myself to "meh" on them to properly discuss. That could be because of the headache, though. I'm going to take a jacuzzi and see if that helps. (Only in my parents' house do I get to say that.)
Thank you all for your good wishes!

I got up at 8AM and drove to the UPS pick-up center, where they only had my first package. But it had Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette's latest offerings within, so I grabbed it and ran back home, and dived under the covers to resume my reading of The Virtu (having read the first 4 chapters online). And I consumed the thing. I read it while I waited for people to call, and plans to be made, my other two packages to arrive (which they did!) and people to wake up. I read it while on my way to my birthday not-so-surprise, and finished just as we pulled into the parking garage. And it was good. I was a bit worried that having had such hype about it, it might have let me down, but no, it just continued to rock. Yes, there were flaws, and if I ever see [livejournal.com profile] truepenny again - and boy is it tempting to go to WorldCon now - I'd love to talk to her about it. But the characters stayed true to themselves while weaving a brilliant plot between their flaws and love and I just wanted to hug Mildmay. Lots. There shall be a real review later, and it shall be good.

The rest of the birthday was awesome. There was Mohegan Sun and my winning at blackjack tables, dinner with lots of friends and some family (brother-in-law and sister, who completely messed with my head while I was trying to figure out where we were going), and general fun.

And I got a hottie bear.

Now I return to grand old Boston to watch the end of a World Cup semi-final, eat Thai, and read some more. Three way tie between Blood and Iron, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and His Majesty's Dragon. We'll see who triumphs.

But not for long. For tomorrow, the Glamour edits start.
adelynne: (batman reads (porn?))
( Jun. 29th, 2006 10:26 pm)
My anger with the UPS people has dwindled since I've learned that they've been calling our doorbell - it's just not currently, y'know, ringing. So much for getting my copies of Blood & Iron and The Virtu in a timely fashion. Not to mention finally obtaining the DVD of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.

I did, however, obtain many other books. Like the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix, and the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik (or, [livejournal.com profile] naominovik). Also Elaine Isaak's The Singer's Crown and Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora. Plus more McKinley, The Neverending Story, McKillip, and de Lint. I really ought to stop buying books for a while. But these were free.

[livejournal.com profile] truepenny has an excellent discussion of what rigor means for storytelling going on here.

Tomorrow's my last day of work until I start grad school. I shall savor this month and a half, and maybe actually get some work done on revising Glamour and writing Honour. Eh, one can dream.
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adelynne: (Default)
( Jun. 28th, 2006 10:07 pm)
[livejournal.com profile] fuyu_no_fuhei is visiting for life in general and my birthday and Readercon in particular (the birthday being this coming Monday, Readercon July 7-9). It's nice having her here, but the day was gloomy and rainy and we didn't get much sleep, so I sort of want to crawl under the covers now. Plus headache building. No idea why.

In other news, we stopped at nifty used bookstore on our way home from dinner. My book haul has been truly astounding in these last few weeks, and will be more due to some funky payment thing which results in my getting $135 worth of stuff from the Coop for free, so to the point that even I'm questioning how much more I can obtain (and really, this is before Readercon and the Book Dealers of Empty Wallets), but I managed to pick up a couple more. The first is a research book - a concise library of Russian folklore which should serve as an excellent jumping off point for what I want to do after I finish the trilogy (please note the word "after" - I am not abandoning this project, the characters won't shut up long enough to think of letting me abandon them). I just think that there's not exploration of Russian folklore and mythology in Western writing - including genre.

The other thing I picked up is Spells of Enchantment edited by Jack Zipes and including stories by Andersen, Baum, Angela Carter, Philip K. Dick, Lord Dunsany, Goethe, Grimm, Hawthorne, Hesse, Tanith Lee, Robin McKinley, Rousseau, Thackeray, Twain, Voltaire, Wilde, Yeats, and Yolen (and many more).

Good stuff!
Ursula Le Guin has an odd effect on me. I begin reading expecting to have difficulty with the story - it'll be too "hard sf" (more on what constitutes that in another entry, perhaps), or too dated, or I don't know what. It probably stems from my inability to truly get into reading A Wizard of Earthsea - on the surface it reads as perhaps a bit cliché though I know it is the novel that spawned the imitators. It may be that her protagonists start out detached, not unlike the jellyfish that begins The Lathe of Heaven. But whatever the reason, it takes me longer than I would generally like to get into her work. Nonetheless, when I do read for more than thirty minutes at a time, say, I find myself irreversibly enmeshed in her narrative.

Her use of language is exquisite. It pours over my senses like warm honey, and I wonder if it's possible to develop synaesthesia in response to such vivid work. It's absorbing, enchanting, bringing you that much closer to her character in both empathy and understanding.

In The Left Hand of Darkness Estraven's plight was sometimes eclipsed by Ai's search for understanding, but both were communicated to the reader, and in the end they were so entangled one could hardly separate them. Likewise, in The Lathe of Heaven I find myself agreeing with, and empathizing with, both Orr and Haber. As a scientist, Haber's desire to make the world a better place is more than understandable to me - it is my life's purpose. His reasoning is mostly sound, though a bit soulless, and I can see where critique of the character arises - hell, I have more than a few issues with him, given the moral and ethical training I received before I was allowed near other human beings in order to ask them simple survey questions! But Le Guin is writing in an era that's much closer to Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo, who put their subjects through severe emotional and mental trauma (albeit without meaning to), much like Haber.

Thus our sympathies naturally turn to Orr and his philosophies. I must admit that it is difficult for me to attain empathy with such a passive personality. Orr is strong, as Le Guin remarks, but he is very passive, content to flow along in life, no matter how horrible, until there is no life left. He is afraid of change, one thing that frustrates me above all else in people I am closest too. I much prefer "to seek, to strive, to find, and not to yield" as Lord Tennyson says. I am a very pro-active personality, much more Heather, I like to think, who serves as the healthy balance of action and thought, straddling the divide created by Orr and Haber. In fact, the climax of the book rests not only on Orr's shoulders, but Heather's aid in his endeavor.

So overall, I liked it. Not as much as The Left Hand of Darkness, but there can only be one Estraven. And if the hard truths Le Guin wrestles with in this novel are difficult for me to swallow, then perhaps swallowing them is even more worthwhile.

As an added bonus, I found the most perfect line regarding love, ever: Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made all the time, made new. What could be more true?
adelynne: (guiding lamp)
( Jun. 14th, 2006 12:26 am)
Strange day - full of work done, The Lathe of Heaven finished (and a review/Le Guin thoughts post brewing), a discussion of what is "hard" science fiction simultaneously brewing, and the first lines of Honour appearing.

I can tell that this one will be just as challenging as the first one. The characters insist on talking in short witticisms, staying only long enough to impart their newest gem and make sure my brain records it before departing for parts unknown. I'll start really worrying about it as July nears, for that shall be when the dreaded spectre of "free time" shall rear its head.

Saw X3 just now - rather more plot-full and not-horrendous than I came in expecting. A few of the characters were flying in the most odd fashion, but as a summer blockbuster flick (and how sad is it that I have this standard?) it isn't so bad.

Still looking forward to the new Pirates. Possibly even more now.

Ah well, must do that sleep thing.
Lord bless Half-Price Books and all that they stand for.

cut lengthy library aquisition list to spare those who do not care. )

I have no idea how I'd get all these back to Boston if my parents weren't coming to visit in two weeks. As is, I luck out immensely. I haven't ever spent this much money at Half-Price all at once before, it's very intimidating.

Oh, note to whoever can get access - they had hardcover Firebirds anthologies for $4. I actually had to put books back on the shelves, or I'd have gotten a few to give out as gifts.

My father managed to return my copy of Scardown to me. It has been... well, "well-loved" is a good euphemism for it, I suppose. It suffered many bendings of its cover on the way back from Aruba, but thankfully no water damage. I'm distraught enough to consider buying a new copy (as I've seen one all lonely in the Coop). That, however, will be a wait & see.
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The monicker, used in Swordspoint to aptly describe one Lord David Campion has been stuck in my head for days. It has been lodged in association with Felix Harrogate, after reading the opening chapters of The Virtu, and it has brought on a case of speculation regarding characters and character archetypes.

Namely, I love those bastards.

Athos was my favorite Musketeer, not the golden D'Artagnan. But I have a feeling that, were I to reread those books today, Aramis would be coming up neck and neck to my troubled gentleman. Likewise, it is the Comte de Monte-Cristo who captures my imagination, not the young Edmond Dantes.

It is never the hero who attracts me, not in the classic sense. Harry Potter with his loving parents who died on his behalf, guided on your typical hero's journey toward the inevitable triumph (though not without proper amounts of sacrifice) is, to me, quite boring. It is, for that reason, I suspect, that while we spoiler! ) in A Song of Ice and Fire, it is Jaime and Tyrion Lannister who hold my affection, along with Jon Snow, who more spoiler! ).

It is easy to be a hero when you're Harry Potter. You might be scared out of your mind, but in your heart of hearts you know you're a good guy. You know that good is what you do, and you know that evil is something you can overcome.

But how much more meaningful is it when you're not said Harry Potter? When you're a kingslayer, a kinslayer, a guy who organizes bum fights, a runaway drugged-up academic, or a former child prostitute and an instrument of your own destruction? When you know that evil you've done, whether it served the greater good or not, is evil you've done, and you struggle to do better anyway?

The odd thing, I find, is that I can only think of one female character who fits into this archetype (Elizabeth Bear's Jenny Casey, of Hammered, etc). Why is that?

And who do you think of?
adelynne: (batman reads (porn?))
( Jun. 8th, 2006 12:01 am)
The instructions are as follows:
a. Choose ten of your all-time favorite books.
b. Take the first sentence of the first chapter (NOT the prologue) and make a list in your journal.
c. Don't reveal the author or the title of the book.
d. Now everyone try and guess.

Some of the "all-time" favorites are way too easy, so this is the current edition. I also cheat slightly in that there's one short story in the bunch. No Google for you and no particular order for me. (And yes, some of these shall be very easy, no matter how hard I try.)

1. Kaye spun down the worn, gray planks of the boardwalk. (Tithe - by Holly Black [livejournal.com profile] mroctober)

2. This is a story about magic and where it goes and perhaps more importantly where it comes from and why, although it doesn't pretend to answer all or any of these questions. (Equal Rites - by Terry Pratchett [livejournal.com profile] solnishka)

3. Celia Townsend's mother brought up the subject of debutante balls for the first time in June. ("Cotillion" by Delia Sherman, Firebirds, Sharyn November, ed. [livejournal.com profile] lareinenoire)

4. I'll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination. (The Left Hand of Darkness - by Ursula Le Guin [livejournal.com profile] chaoticgoodnik)

5. On December 7, 2059, Emilio Sandoz was released from the isolation ward of Salvador Mundi Hospital in the middle of the night and transported in a bread van to the Jesuit Residence at Number 5 Borgo Santo Spìrito, a few minutes' walk across St. Peter's Square from the Vatican. (The Sparrow - by Mary Doria Russell [livejournal.com profile] wayzgoose)

6. I'm not a teller of tales, not like the Rhymer. (Thomas the Rhymer - by Ellen Kushner [livejournal.com profile] chaoticgoodnik)

7. There once was a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire. (Stardust - by Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess [livejournal.com profile] lunaratu)

8. The Star-Bearer and Raederle of An sat on the crown of the highest of the seven towers of Anuin. (The Harpist in the Wind - Patricia McKillip [livejournal.com profile] the_jackalope)

9. The Hall of the Chimeras, having no windows, was lit by seven massive candelabra hanging above the mosaic floor like monstrous birds of prey. (Mélusine - by Sarah Monette [livejournal.com profile] mroctober)

10. Always remember that they come from the desert. (The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay [livejournal.com profile] lareinenoire)
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I actually finished Mélusine Wednesday night, but work-related travel led me to a two-day disconnect from the internet. I did not suffer all that much - got a lot done, some of it writing some of it bio, and the break allowed me to distill why I love this novel so much. Of course, then I remembered that [livejournal.com profile] truepenny rocks like a goddess and ran off to her website to read the first three chapters of the forthcoming The Virtu.

Is it June 27th yet? In other news, I so know what I'm getting for my sister's birthday (which is the 28th, and despite my own being five days later, I absolutely cannot wait!).

Review, of the non-spoilery variety. )
I'm sure you're all excited. ;-)

I'm not sure what to say about this one in general that doesn't come across as a total "duh!" I mean, it's a Datlow & Windling anthology - it is nothing short of wonderful. Plus, right on the cover it says "A World Fantasy Award Finalist." Not like they're being subtle about how much it rocks. So you know, onto the individual stories:

Cut for length and the typical squee )
But it's raining. Which makes me very sad.

I did buy Mélusine and am into Chapter 2. Exposition, who needs this exposition, I ask you? Just about everything that I'm spoiled for due to Amazon recommending The Virtu to me has already happened. Well, aside from the fact that the protagonists have yet to actually, you know, meet.

Still, as I read I continue to be startled by just how much one can pack into a chapter. It's also an excellent read as I continue to ponder [livejournal.com profile] lareinenoire's rewrite, and how to better structure that behemoth.

Glamour I'm trying to avoid looking at while I ponder what's bothering me. I think it comes down to the fact that once I'm in an action scene, I do fine, but actually leading up to the action is like pulling teeth. It's like I'm driving past the car crash and screaming "no, don't make me look, I don't want to look.... Oooooh." Plus that opening thing? Remembering I'm not writing 23 short stories would be helpful in the way I structure chapters.

In other news,The Green Man anthology is holding its own against the full-length novel, which is impressive in an of itself. I read the McKillip story today - lovely as per usual. Looking forward to the rest.

Why is it that my reading list keeps growing the more I read? Shouldn't it work the other way around?
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