Gave up on Kari Sperring’s Living with Ghosts today. She had some interesting ideas, queer overtones, and her world-building felt very realistic, but it was a chore to read and I quit on page 75. Too much description of the wrong kind, and I could not for the life of me give a damn about the characters.
Still on my desultory quest for books that bring new ideas to vampire fiction, and The Vampire Tapestry seemed, by all accounts, to be one such book.
Santa Olivia, by Jacqueline Carey.
Read it cover to cover in one go. It’s easily the best book I’ve read since Kay’s Tigana.
More coherent review to follow, after I come down from the reading high.
Recently I was listening to a sci-fi themed podcast in which the hosts were discussing science fiction’s falling book sales, and what might be done to remedy that. One thing they suggested was that common sci-fi tropes, which have been calcifying (my word, not theirs) for decades now, might be making it difficult for new readers, unfamiliar with the jargon, to get into the genre.
Hmm, I thought. Yeah, that might make it difficult for new readers.
This just in: apparently I am new readers.
Man, I love Poppy Z. Brite when she isn’t writing about hard drugs and necrophilia.
Second Line is the latest (last?) in her Liquor series, starring Rickey and G-man, a couple (as in, they are) of working class cooks-turned-restaurateurs in New Orleans. It’s comprised of two novellas: The Value of X, which is a prequel of sorts to when Rickey and G-man were teenagers having Strange Feelings For Each Other, and D*U*C*K, the continuing adventures of running a restaurant in New Orleans. Second Line is a pain in the ass to get ahold of, but it is so, so worth it.
“He did WHAT?” said Rickey.
“I wasn’t sure I ought to tell you,” Fiorello said nervously. “But I thought you had a right to know [that Rickey’s roommate had read his mail from G-man].”
“I’m gonna kill him.”
“That snot-nosed pencil-dick motherfucker. Seriously, I’m gonna kill him. He might think he’s met some faggots before, but I bet he never met one from the Ninth Ward.”
♥ ♥ ♥
She didn’t write it.
She wrote it, but she shouldn’t have.
She wrote it, but look what she wrote about.
She wrote it, but it isn’t really art.
She wrote it, but she had help.
She wrote it, but she’s an anomaly.
Read Kitty and the Midnight Hour, by Carrie Vaughn. It’s a quick read, I yommed through it in a day. (A day in which I also worked 8 hours, so.) And for my money, it’s the best thing that’s come out of the recent proliferation of book covers featuring cocky, leather-clad ladies, aka urban fantasy. Kitty is a fun protagonist, and Vaughn has some interesting ideas about how werewolf social structures would play out (answer: dysfunctionally, but like a really fucked up family, hard to break away from).
Two shortcomings: 1) her vampires, thus far, seem pretty cliche, which is a failing I’ve noticed in other books — that vampires&werewolves usually come as a twofer in urban fantasy, and authors seem to be good at writing one or the other, but not both. 2) Page 246. Sadface, Ms. Vaughn. You lost a lot of points for that.
The latest in my “Christ, you hadn’t read that yet?” series