Kinda torn on this one. It's a solid contemporary dark fantasy with occasionally truly lovely language; I couldn't really give it less than three starKinda torn on this one. It's a solid contemporary dark fantasy with occasionally truly lovely language; I couldn't really give it less than three stars. At the same time, it's a King In Yellow NOVEL, which is a rare and wondrous thing; I can think of one other. One. That's really hard to pull off, especially (I think) with the supernatural as a pervasive influence rather than as a final-conflict-big-bad.
And I know the King In Yellow is fairly obscure, so I feel a bit odd rating it in the context of something that many people might not be fond of, but I'd also feel odd ignoring that...
(Upsides: the nightgaunts. And Nyarlathotep. Or the thing I comfortably persist in reading in Nyarlathotep.)
So: four stars, with the rider that I am speaking as a fan of lost Carcosa....more
I have no idea why the hell I have never heard of this book before. I mean never. It's lovely. Don't get me wrong--it's sad, it has moments of wrenchiI have no idea why the hell I have never heard of this book before. I mean never. It's lovely. Don't get me wrong--it's sad, it has moments of wrenching misery, it's bleak at times, it's chilling, but it's lovely.
It follows the narrator through two periods in her life; the long stretch from just before the apocalypse to years afterwards, and a shorter stretch years later when she's defending her role as teacher from an extremely opposed member of the small community that she's a part of.
There's a tone to this that I can't quite figure out how to describe; I want to say it feels as if Margaret Laurence wrote a post-apocalyptic novel, but it's been so long since I read Laurence I can't swear that that's it. It's so calm, in so many ways, and so considering of the world. It is not quite placid, but it leaves space for the narrator to be calm and glad of beauty, when she gets the chance.
Really worth reading. Hoping to get my hands on a paper copy....more
This is very odd. The first hundred pages are a straight-up horror story, written in a beautiful way reminiscent of Klein or James. The next forty orThis is very odd. The first hundred pages are a straight-up horror story, written in a beautiful way reminiscent of Klein or James. The next forty or so get very funny. The last two-fifths are...slightly understated, dryly funny, describing very very strange events that feel distinctly like they're coming out of a last-generation horror novel.
(My favourite bit was the first one.)
It's definitely good, and if you're a fan of either horror or comedy, I'd recommend picking it up. Just be aware that there are moments where it's going to shift fairly distinctly between one or the other....more
Have you heard of wikiality? It's a Stephen Colbert concept, about changing reality--as long as there's a large enough public consensus--by editing WiHave you heard of wikiality? It's a Stephen Colbert concept, about changing reality--as long as there's a large enough public consensus--by editing Wikipedia.
Imagine if you didn't need a consensus, and less than half a dozen people knew about it.
And then imagine that the number increases by one, when a trust-fund baby playing at being a Brooklyn barista revenge-edits her way into a proposal.
Fast-paced, lightly funny, and building a cleanly plausible plot from its premise, the story follows Mira trying to figure out what's going on. She's an interesting protagonist--a little too smart to be as accepting of events as she'd probably like to be, who's spent a long time running away from both expectations and responsibilities.
The combination of an unabashedly reality-changing technology and an uncertain protagonist makes Revision a kind of lovely combination of old-school bright-idea SF and more modern approachable characters; it reminded me a little of Charlie Stross's Merchant Princes series, except that Mira is understandably, a bit annoyingly, but entertainingly not quite so together.
Definitely worth picking up, and worth looking to future work from the author as well....more
picked this up on a whim, and glad I did; the last one felt kind of flat to me, but this one was lovely. Creepy and coherent and really well-done charpicked this up on a whim, and glad I did; the last one felt kind of flat to me, but this one was lovely. Creepy and coherent and really well-done characterization on the backstory. I'd kind if dropped it, but I'll grab the finale now....more
I didn't much care for this book going in, and was honestly a bit inclined to put it down. But it was beautifully written, even if the protagonist wasI didn't much care for this book going in, and was honestly a bit inclined to put it down. But it was beautifully written, even if the protagonist was a lout. (A weirdly articulate lout, and a kind of funny one, but a lout.)
The introduction of Amy made him a bit more sympathetic, and the slow-growing presence of the supernatural caught my attention.
(I loved the chapter with the Young Man, for the record.)
Overall, this felt like a blend of MR James and Sinclair Lewis, "The Ash-Tree" mixing with Babbitt. I can't say I really loved it--it felt rather drawn-out for my taste--but I thought the final interaction with Underhill was very well-done, and I'm not sorry I read it....more
Five stars, which is what I give to books so good I believe you should read them even if they are not your genre at all. It's also all free online, atFive stars, which is what I give to books so good I believe you should read them even if they are not your genre at all. It's also all free online, at Strong Female Protagonist.
I started reading it expecting... a kind of comedy of manners, I guess. Superhero dealing with university life! How wacky, yeah?
Twenty pages in, it hooked me. It got... well, it wasn't ever un-smart, but it got pointed. Then there was the TV interview scene in issue 2, and issue 3 has a beautiful story arc with Feral. I really cannot summarize it, but you can read it! It's free online! And it's just...
I am not doing it justice, but it's so damn thoughtful. The comic basically takes the statement "There are superheroes!" and answers it with "So what?" Not a dismissive so what, not a trite so what, a genuinely thoughtful and considerate examination of the question. And it's beautiful.
(And my copy of the book has Feral and Menace hand-drawn on the signed frontispiece. You cannot imagine the squee.)...more