The OF Blog: About those Fantasy Masterworks reviews I'm planning

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

About those Fantasy Masterworks reviews I'm planning

Shortly (as in the next 24 hours), I'm going to write my thoughts regarding Evangeline Walton's The Mabinogion. The format will be different from most of my reviews in that I will not be quoting as much (or at all, in some cases) and I will be trying to write 500-1000 words only, addressing the following topics:

1. The book's A/S/L - its age, style, and language/prose. If the book, say like Walton's, is an interpretation of older myths, I'll note that in the beginning.

2. The mechanics - what I noticed about the book's structure and my reactions to the story's/stories' mechanics.

3. Would I classify this work as a "Masterwork" - after all, I'm curious to see how many of these stories hold up over the years and if I could ever see myself including such novels in my own version of a must-read list.

So with these things being the focus of these shorter reviews, don't expect quite as much analysis, although I might permit myself to do so when merited (and since I've already reviewed most or all of the stories by Gene Wolfe and M. John Harrison that are included here, I'll just merely retool those for a shorter format later on, after I re-read them in 2009/2010). Hopefully, these brief reviews will spark some discussion and debate, as I'm certain I will not be praising all of these books (some of them I found to be quite empty and I highly doubt a re-read or two would change my opinion).


Charles said...

First thing that came to mind is that A/S/L was chatroom slang for Age/Sex/Location...

Larry said...

It is - I thought I'd make a tie-in to that with that off-the-cuff response :P

The Witchfinder said...

I for one am greatly looking forward to your thoughts about the Conan Chronicles by Robert E. Howard. When all my fellow classmates were reading about elves and hobbits with Tolkien at the vulnerable age of 10-11, I was reading about the swooning of supple women and the bloody murder of curs and mages (one must wonder how much, if any, this shaped my outlook over the years), and I am curius as to whether you've picked up on any of the subtext and nuance I've glimmered over my many many many re-reads.

At any rate, I heartily support this undertaking and I hope it proves worthwhile!

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