The OF Blog: May 10-17 Reads

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 10-17 Reads

Again, not many reads these past 8 days compared to the first four months of the year. I'm a bit burned out with the sItalicoon-to-be old job (only 1.5 weeks to go, then I immediately start my job at a former place of work, teaching troubled male teens this time in a residential treatment facility in my hometown. Due to confidentiality agreements, I won't be discussing that job in great detail, other than when I worked there the first time, I enjoyed it quite a bit for the most part) and with finals to give this week, my mind has been utterly exhausted and my sleeping has been very erratic. But at least it did improve compare to the week before:

166 Bradford Morrow (ed.), Conjunctions: 52: Betwixt the Between: Impossible Realism - this latest tradebook/magazine issue from Conjunctions is a sort of followup to the 39th issue, The New Wave Fabulists. While I hope to have time in the near future to write a formal review (whenever I'm exhausted, review writing is always the first to go), I found most of the short stories to be excellent, although I'm not completely sold on the thematic arguments for "postfantasy." Do recommend this volume (which can be ordered online from Amazon and most other retailers) for those who like reading short fiction. Possible candidate for my Best of 2009 for Anthologies, although the competition isn't all that fierce at the moment.

167 Michael Moorcock, Jerusalem Commands - Third volume in his Pyat Quartet. While Pyat continues to be a fascinating character, some of the historical 1920s settings that Moorcock employs were not as interesting as those for the first two volumes. Good, solid volume on the whole, however.

168 Bradford Morrow (ed.), Conjunctions: 50: Fifty Contemporary Writers - Containing a wide ranging of styles and authors both young and new, within and without various literary and fantasy genres, this volume could serve as a primer for what Conjunctions aims to do with its volumes. Very good, even if the theme dealt with covering the past 25 or so years of the literary magazine more than anything else.

169 Michael Moorcock, The Vengeance of Rome - Fourth and final volume of the Pyat Quartet, where Pyat, the anti-semitic Jew, the bisexual, cocaine-snorting inventor/actor/spy, agrees to spy for Mussolini in 1933-1934 Germany. While I disagree a bit with the portrayal of Hitler (Moorcock used Strasser's claims, repeated in the OSS dossier on Hitler, that Hitler was into hotplating and Cleveland Steamers, among other things), this was a fascinating look at the mirrors between Pyat's own self-contradictions and those of the Nazi regime. Fitting close to a very intriguing series. Highly recommended.

In Progress:

Clark Ashton Smith, The Emperor of Dreams (collection)

Johann Wyss, The Swiss Family Robinson

Nicola Griffith, Slow River

Future Plans:

Roberto Bolaño, 2666

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