Bag Adonais spejl - ny dansk fantasy 2010
I find it annoying, how people use the word fantasy. Sometimes it means fantasy, as in the genre where events take place that couldn't in the real world, and where there are no (pseudo)scientific explanations (unlike in sf). Which is how I use it. Dragons, magic, ghosts, etc - fantasy. But sometimes fantasy is used to mean, well, the fantastic genres - all of them. Which is how it's used in this short story collection. And it annoys me. Anyway.

That said, there some very nice stories here. Smeden i Moelbæk is a lovely tale of a woman who discovers the border area between the land of the giants and the land of humans, for instance. I just wish there was a little more fantasy and a little less science fiction. Nevermind.

Jim Butcher: Side Jobs
Okay, so the quality of these Harry Dresden short stories vary, and half of them I'd read before, but still, it was entertaining. I particularly liked Backup, with it's Thomas POV, and Aftermath (now if only the library system will get around to getting me Ghost Story one of these days...)

Italo Calvino: If on a Winter's Night a Traveller
Quite nice. And dammit, now I want to read half those novels...

Bernard Cornwell: Sharpe's Tiger
Not as good as I had hoped, but not bad either. I think I'll try one or two more, give the series another chance to catch me.

David Drake: Lt Leary, Commanding & The Far Side of the Stars
Not the best in the subgenre of military science fiction that takes most of its inspiration from the age of sail, not nearly as fun as Honor Harrington or Ciaphas Cain for that matter. Mind you, I like the way sails are used, and the concept of sidereal space. But the real attraction of this series? Where else do I find an aromantic, asexual librarian who is awesome by virtue of being really, really good at her job (oh, and a scary duellist, too)?

Ann Herendeen: Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander
Okay. So, I had read some pretty negative reviews of this, but this is one of the few modern m/m novels the Danish library system's got, and I can't always afford to buy all the ones I'd like to read, so this time I settle for what I could get, and hopefully someone somewhere will be encouraged by loan numbers to buy more (and better) of the genre.

Right. So, a gentleman in Jane Austen's age decides that he has to do his duty to his family and get a wife and an heir. However, being what a later day will call gay and being aware that sodomy is a hanging offence and a wife could be a serious risk, so he wants a wife that knows and accepts his proclivities. A friend introduces him to Phyllida, a young woman of reasonably respectable origin, who in her turn agrees to the marriage as a way of getting away from her mother and a way to continue to write and publish her Gothic novels. So far, so good, sounds like a reasonable enough set-up, right?

Wrong. Phyllida is annoying (and the fact that every gay man who meets her are immediately attracted to her because of her supreme womanliness doesn't help). The need for a wife keeping our hero's secret seems, well, absent, since not a single person we meet don't already know - it's an open secret in society, all very nudge, nudge, wink, wink, and nobody ever seems bothered. In a time when men having sex with men was compared in law to having sex with animals, nobody is disgusted. Well, one guy, but he's horrible misguided and traumatized from evil slave masters hurting him and oh, by the way, let's have a little joke about him basically getting raped by a couple of our hero's older gentlemen friends... In short, not a good book. It doesn't quite make me want to hurl it across the room (just as well, library books shouldn't be, even if they suck), but honestly. I've read worse, but really? They wasted my tax money on this?

Jo Walton: Tooth and Claw
Okay, so I might have a thing for regency novels with a twist. Phyllida disappointed greatly, but this one's quite fun. A family patriarch dies. In the aftermath, his eldest son, a prist, struggles with having taken his father's confession. The younger son drags his brother-in-law to court over the distribution of the inheritance, while his two young sisters are both searching for a suitable gentleman to marry. No, not gentleman. A suitable dragon. Because that's what every character in the book is - dragons. Cannibalistic dragons at that. The plot is pretty predictable and very regency, but the world building is worth reading the book for, promise.

I wonder what it is, with dragons and the 18/19th century...

Total number of books and comics read this month: 38
Currently reading: actually, I'm between books right now

Total number of books and comics read this year: 338 (clearly, I need a job)


oneiriad: (Default)

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags