The OF Blog: A few quick thoughts

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A few quick thoughts

  • It is always a pleasure to read any fiction written by Thomas Ligotti.  Might end up finishing the re-release/new edition of Songs of a Dead Dreamer sooner rather than later.
  • One of the joys to be found in reading through dozens of North American lit journals is encountering so many diverse characters, situations, and ways of viewing the world.  Some great reads in recent days have ballooned the list I'm tabulating.
  • Steven Erikson's first epic fantasy, Gardens of the Moon, is as much different on this re-read as it was on my previous three reads from 2002-2005.
  • It is always odd listening to people talking about you in a recorded conversation.  Sometimes, I wonder if I'm not viewed as being not-quite human at times due to what I read and how I read it.  Thankfully, I have my family to remind me just how frail I am as a person.
  •  I will be writing a brief post sometime in the very near future on Victor Pelevin's Buddha's Little Finger, which I read for an online book club discussion of Russian literature past and present.  This is a book that will demand multiple re-reads of me.  But can I say that it's odd to agree that in the book, Arnold Schwarzenegger is more awesome than ninjas, with the possible exception of ninja squirrels?
  • Might mix in mini-reviews of George R.R. Martin's three SOIAF-related novellas and Steven Erikson's four Malazan-related novellas in the next few weeks.  Also will be adding Ian Cameron Esslemont's two novels to the Malazan rotation, the first just before the sixth Erikson book and the latter just before the eighth.  
  • No air feels more like spring air than when the smell of blossoming honeysuckles is wafting through the air while I get in a good 1.5 mile walk this afternoon.
More news at 11, or some other time.  I do have to start readying the charcoal grill for my middle brother's 30th birthday meal.


Anonymous said...

Yep, Ligotti is consistently original and a true visionary. In my opinion, one of the finest writers at the moment in the genre of "fantastic".

By the way, are you going to read/review his upcoming (was supposed to come out this May but is now scheduled for June release) philosophical book "The Conspiracy Against the Human Race". It's published by Hippocampus Press.

Thought it might be of interest to you. The few early reviews I've seen have included phrases like "life changing work", "utterly depressing" etc. He's been working with that book like a decade or something. Anyway if you are interested you might want to act fast as it is limited edition (but extremely cheap, only 25 bucks)

Here's a direct link.

And P.S. I'm not with the publisher, just a fan of his work :)

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your Malazan reviews!

Larry said...

Yes, this mostly certainly is of interest to me. Just placed an order on it and probably will review it soon after its scheduled release next month. Thanks for reminding me about this book!

As for the Malazan reviews, probably tomorrow, although there is an outside chance for tonight. Do have around 280 pages left.

Abalieno said...

Consider that your reviews are particularly interesting because it's concretely impossible to have a whole, dense series like Malazan reviewed in a so short timespan, even more because you are doing all the most important series together. You can use this interesting perspective that I doubt will be replicated soon, if ever.

Time passing affects reviews because it affects the reviewer, so taste, knowledge, interests and so on. Years pass between books and you read the reviewer saying how the prose improve/got worse, or how the pace is faster or slower when it's mostly the reader perspective to have changed.

Instead you are reviewing together the most famous epic fantasy series with contemporaneity. From a side it affects you because you can get extremely bored with this kind of serial narration and heavy implications, but from the other you can judge with the same eye all the books together.

There's still bias, but it's totally different bias from every other review out there.

Especially with Erikson it is interesting if the sour really happens after book 5 (or gets worse if you have it already), as many reviews claimed.

Larry said...

Good points. For these series so far, it's akin to revisiting old impressions and learning what has changed between me, the Reader, and the Text. I really won't know until I do the re-read after a period of time (most of these have at least a 3 year lag, with the exception of the most recent volumes). That's what makes this interesting enough to myself to continue doing this after a month (and likely for 2-3 more months at least).

As for Malazan, I actually liked, with some reservations, the latter volumes, just in different ways than the first few. Shall be interesting to see if this holds up, as I haven't re-read the first five in 5 years and I haven't re-read the last 4 at all.

Aidan Moher said...

You're a god (lower case 'g') among men in my mind, Larry.


Larry said...

I misread that as "dog among men" at first, Aidan :P

Aidan Moher said...

That too.

Larry said...

Of course, that would mean some Larry agnostics don't believe that I'm the dog-god of men here...

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