July 3rd, 2007

mano negra

last night i had a wet dream; what am i, thirteen?

Flamesong by MAR Barker.

Okay, I'm now officially convinced that MAR Barker is an effing genius; this book was in fact pretty great. The quick version of a plot summary runs thus: a spoooooky subway ride! This is a Tékumel novel, which means it is set in one of the universes combining elements of Fantasy & Science-fiction, which is a genre that has really been growing on me since Gene Wolfe hit me in the face with The Book of the New Sun. The Tékumel novels really have more in common with Jack Vance & you can definately see the influence of its contemporary, the juggernaut known as Dungeons & Dragons. The simple twist to MAR Barker's series is that instead of cribbing from European mythology & history, he (a professor of South Asian studies) borrows from Mezoamerica & South Asia; not in a "generic orientalist feel" sort of way; not at all. He starts with the sturdy foundation of JRR Tolkien- linguistic. He's build the languages of the place & formed societies around that. None too shabby; in fact it leaves one with the easy feeling that his vast world is entirely plausible. From the hungry eyes of a world-builder, MAR Barker is a sterling model. This novel itself was good apart from that; better than The Man of Gold in many respects. I can't quite pin down why; maybe because the pacing was less start-&-stop, or perhaps jumping to less viewpoints helped focus the narrative. Maybe Trinesh was just more likable than Harsan, with his pragmatic moderatism & undefeatable attitude? Though I hope not the latter, as I know some of the latter books continue to focus on Harsan.
troll dweomer

no, really, a wet dream.

the last few days have been little more than doing errands, but that is occasionally the way things have to go. errands may not be as noble as adventure, but they do provide ample excuse to cuddle with your girlfriend, which i am kind of into. sunday i did get together with danielle for a little while, watched a whole mess of movie trailers; basically i'm excited to see all the movies that no one is surprised i am excited to see; your harry potters & his dark materials & stardusts & sundry. then after she left i tried to summon up the focus to start writing things down for my new game, but it fell flat; i guess i need a little more r&r before diving back into the breech. yesterday was laundry day, which i fucking hate; that is the luxury i am most envious of, the washer-drier. what a fucking perk! especially since i drag my heels on laundry till it is a herculean task; when i had a washer & drier around that wasn't the case; i could do just one load! hey, wow, this is an exciting morning diary, in which i talk about laundry. how about that! mostly i'm just killing time till jenny gets out of the shower. i got a bottle of yerba mate, finally. i'd been hankering to drink it since book of the long sun, when i found out what it was, & i knew some of the delis around her carried it; i just needed to remember to pick it up when i was at one that did. anyhow, it tasted unlike the related beverages of coffee & tea, which secures it in the pantheon of beverages for me. nutritional anthropology is a nice little corner to fill it; bernie seems to respond readily to it. now i have to figure out what i'm going to read next; i'm tempted to just go to another tékumel novel, but i probably want to mix it up; i just don't know with what. i might finally read slow river now that nichola griffith has a new one out, or maybe i'll read the autumn of the patriarch which i've also had my eye on.
  • Current Music
    crown me king- fire on dark waters.
goblin king

(no subject)

re-gifters by mike carey, sonny liew & marc hempel.

this is the first of the "minx" books that i've read, & i sort of just assume the best of the first batch. first off, mike carey's command of korean-american culture made me check his author photo to see if he was korean; he knew just the tweaks to make to convince me that he knew what he was talking about. when to sprinkle the jargon & when not to, what cultural differences to sell, the whole shebang. anyhow, the book is also just generally a good "girl" book, if you tolerate that sort of thing-- it is sort of the point of the "minx" line so i think it bears at least consideration. dixie, the main character, has both foible & confidence; this is rough in a lot of young adult fiction, let alone those aimed at girls. i think there is no line between the two, here; i buy dixie as a character, & not as a sock-puppet female written by a male writer. & it uses the medium; it is a very comic-book comic, with the sort of fourth-wall bending & graphic storytelling that can bring with it. also it was super cute & basically great. everyone was exactly as they ought to be.
  • Current Music
    crown me king feat mickey soon- pikachu's birthday! dad's old credit card!
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blacklick goblin

(no subject)

mouse guard: fall 1152 by david peterson.

i read this before i started doing these little blurbs, but i was looking around my bookshelves this morning & realized that i wanted an excuse to keep talking about it. mouse guard, you see, is very, very good. possibly even bone good, or watership down good; it is certainly of a similar mold. the basic premise is thus: mice are anthropomorphized but nothing else is; when the mice fight a snake? that snake is indistinguishable from a dragon, a hideous writhing serpent thing, dead eyed & devoid of emotion. when the crabs attack? man, crabs. crabs are pretty horrifying, huh? they sure as hell fucking are, & the art sells it. so when the mice whip out their swords & run forward with a battle cry? those are some brave little rodents. kipling would be proud, & for a variety of reasons. i unreservedly like this, & would encourage anyone to read it. the biggest downside is that it seems to (unsurprisingly) take him a long time to write & draw, which means i can't go & get addicted to the spike, because the horse is a long time coming. but when the horse gets here...dangerous mice will leap out & massacre it.