Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fearsome journeys

I finished another thing on my to do list.  Yes, I know it's horribly anal of me to have a to-do list for things that should be fun but I need some order in my life right now.

This thing that I finished is the book Fearsome Journeys: The new Solaris book of fantasy.  It's full of short stories (novellas?) by a range of fantasy writers. Some were great, some were OK, some were bloody awful.  The good ones were:

  • The Dragonslayer of Merebarton by KJ Parker - this an irreverent dragon killing story, by someone who seems to consider it an inconvenience.
  • Leaf and branch and grass and vine by Kate Elliott - this has a very serious, quiet tone to it. It's about a woman in a war torn country, living in a rural area terrorised by the King's defenders. She finds a good man, General Ollivar and takes him to safety,  I think one of the characters is trans, but gender identity isn't an important plot point. 
  • Spirits of Salt - a take of the Coral heart by Jeffrey Ford - this got interesting towards the end, when the coral aspect got clearer,  I think I liked it more for the idea than the actual story though.
  • Forever People by Robert V S Redick - I love this one.  It's about motherhood and what you'll do for your sons, and grief, and lust and duty and responsibility.
  • Sponda the suet girl and the secret of the French pearl by Ellen Kages - A guy goes to steal a treasure and gets it royally wrong.  This is cheeky and mischievous (and I probably don't need to use both those adjectives here, but I like them, so nyaah) and while told from the point of the view of the guy thief it shows up his greed and naivety.  Delightful.

5 good stories out of 12 is not bad I think.  I'd like to read more by Kate Elliot, Robert V S Redick and Ellen Klages.  The authors in the anthology that I didn't take to are Scott Lynch, Saladin Ahmed, Trudi Canavan, Glen Cook, Elizabeth Bear, Ellen Jushner & Ysabeau S. Wilce (writing together) and Daniel Abraham.

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