Sarà che molte le avevo già lette sul blog, sarà che a leggerle di fila si nota un ripetersi di uno stesso tipo di comicità (a volte anche abbastanzaSarà che molte le avevo già lette sul blog, sarà che a leggerle di fila si nota un ripetersi di uno stesso tipo di comicità (a volte anche abbastanza passé, per usare un termine fino), ma alla fine sono più le volte che ho sorriso o ridacchiato che quelle che questo libro mi ha fatto veramente ridere....more
Storie di vita, di guerra, di resistenza, di uomini e donne che lottano per la loro identità e per un futuro migliore. Forse il libro più forte e onesStorie di vita, di guerra, di resistenza, di uomini e donne che lottano per la loro identità e per un futuro migliore. Forse il libro più forte e onesto di Calcare che, libero dalla continua "sticazzi" e dai 4km quadrati delle sue opere precedenti, riesce perfettamente a mostrare una fetta di mondo che noi occidentali conosciamo poco o niente (e solo nella maniera distorta dei telegiornali e delle forze politiche che hanno interessi nella zona), raccontando una regione, e una popolazione, in tutta la sua umanità e la sua crudezza, nei momenti di gioia e in quelli di dolore.
...e comunque noi vorremmo fare entrare la Turchia nell'Unione Europea. Magari dovremmo pensarci su due minuti in più. Così, per dire....more
What happens when an author writes an erotica fanfiction of her own novels under an assumed name for an April Fools' prank? Well, this is the answer. WWhat happens when an author writes an erotica fanfiction of her own novels under an assumed name for an April Fools' prank? Well, this is the answer. While the story itself is willingly simple, crafted by touching several favourite tropes of both fanfiction and light novels (the introvert protagonist, the mechanical genius, the lost heir to a fortune, the circus-trained thief...), the characters and their banter are delightful, as it's usual in Kowal's writing.
There are a few mentions of glamour throughout the text, but it's not necessary to have read the Glamourist Histories novels to enjoy this short (though you really should!). And of course it's erotica, so expect there to be innuendo and some naughty bits getting revealed. 'Pendulum rod' indeed!...more
Funny, heroic, engaging, and heartbreaking, Nimona is a story about the things that define ourselves, friendships, trust, truth, and betrayal. (Also sFunny, heroic, engaging, and heartbreaking, Nimona is a story about the things that define ourselves, friendships, trust, truth, and betrayal. (Also sharks, lasers, and explosions)...more
Short stories by guest writers/illustrators set in the Mouse Guard world. The framing device of 'legends told in a tavern' allows them to be more variShort stories by guest writers/illustrators set in the Mouse Guard world. The framing device of 'legends told in a tavern' allows them to be more varied and sometimes whimsical than the 'canon' books, going from the quasi-historical birth of the Guard to the fairy tale of a mouse raised by foxes....more
An anthology of Asian stories in comic book form, mostly adapted from traditional sources, though a couple seem to be original. Most of the stories arAn anthology of Asian stories in comic book form, mostly adapted from traditional sources, though a couple seem to be original. Most of the stories are good (some are extremely short or end quite abruptly, in pure fairy-tale form) and the art is an interesting mix of talents.
Disclaimer: I was a backer on the Kickstarter for the first print of this volume....more
Endings are tricky things. They don't really exist, as the narrator helpfully reminds us, and yet, at the same time, the point where you do stop talkiEndings are tricky things. They don't really exist, as the narrator helpfully reminds us, and yet, at the same time, the point where you do stop talking does create a rift between before and after, said and unsaid, known and imagined. September and her friends will have many adventures after this book is closed, but a cycle has been ended, a saga has been told, and so it's time to take our gold stars to give out like medals of honour that really say "I loved you and thank you for having told me your story".
The Girl Who Raced picks up right where the previous volume ended, but this time in more comfortable, settled-in shoes: September, Ell, and Saturday are back up front, a crown has been (temporarily) acquired, a Combat Wombat is happily trampling through the pages (without eating the book whole, luckily for us), and a whole host of villains has been unleashed upon Fairyland, including a well-known Marquess and her hat.
There is an obvious element of rush and finality to the whole book. There is a race against time, and a race against rulers, and a race to uncover a secret, and a race to be able to stay, and a race to be able to remember, and a race to be able not to lose everything and all.
We get to see new and wonderful parts of Fairyland, as well as revisit some dear and old favourites (and some less dear ones). Stories and characters get closure, secrets are unveiled, and people arrive either too early or too late. Some tropes get turned upside down: where we usually see September lose herself, her certainties, her identity, and her possessions, this time we see her claim it all back, with the wisdom of an experienced Fairyland adventures, a Criminal, a Knight, a Spinster, a Queen. In fact, many important people and objects and plot points from all the previous books make a comeback, racing with our main characters towards the finale.
And because endings mirror beginnings, at the end of the race and the adventure and the excitement, there must be blood.
It's always hard to rate a last book. It's unfair to judge it all by itself, as if it were not climax and denouement of all sorts of previous tales; and it's unfair to stamp on it the weight of the expectations, laughter, tears, and anger of a whole series, when what it does is spin a story of its own.
The Girl Who Races is lucky because it comes up as excellent on all and both counts. I will definitely miss September, and crazy Fairyland, and all of its inhabitants, though safe in the knowledge that that great country will never end stealing children from our world and spinning new wild and exotic adventures for all those who dare leave their house on the back of a flying leopard.
I followed September, and just like her, I lost my heart....more
The story plays with the themes of memory, recollection, and authenticity. Did something really happen if no one was there to record it? Is an accountThe story plays with the themes of memory, recollection, and authenticity. Did something really happen if no one was there to record it? Is an account true if filtered by our fallible memories? If someone tells a story, can we ever be sure they're not lying?
Some people found an anti-technology message in this story. I really don't. It just asks some important questions about a technological society: how much are we willing to trust our memories, our records to technology? what happens when the connection suddenly drops and we're isolated? do we still need to exercise our memory in an age of vines and snapchats?
Only 4 stars because, while a very good story, it feels quite short at the end, like the prologue for something more (and maybe it is - I didn't immediately notice the small connections that tie this story to one of MRK's universes! So it's entirely possible the deer network will resurface again). Still, an excellent read and food for thought.
(disclaimer: I was a beta reader for a draft version of this story)...more
A good collection, with many strong (and some less, but still enjoyable) pieces that showcase Kowal's evolution as a short fiction writer. Most of theA good collection, with many strong (and some less, but still enjoyable) pieces that showcase Kowal's evolution as a short fiction writer. Most of these I had read before, either on the author's website or on different magazines, but they didn't lose anything on a second read.
The last three stories of the volume, including Rockets Red, original to this book, share the same universe as the extremely touching The Lady Astronaut of Mars, delving in both the past and future of this alternate history of space travel and punch cards. Personally, I can't wait to read more.
Disclaimer: I have been a beta reader for Rockets Red...more
I have mixed feelings about this on a first read. While Cat Valente's writing style is always luscious and overflowing like a fountain, perfectly captI have mixed feelings about this on a first read. While Cat Valente's writing style is always luscious and overflowing like a fountain, perfectly capturing the slang, essence, and style of the 1920s, I don't think it helped favourably the pacing and narrative of the story. Barely over 140 pages, it felt enormously longer to read. What seemed to be the story of Zelda turned out to be the story of Frankie - which follows the obvious parallel between Frank Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre maybe a little too close for narrative delight. And like the innumerable rooms where the action takes places, it seems this book is a whole lot of beginnings, until we get to the basement and rush to the end so fast that you barely noticed you got there at all....more
Do you remember when you started reading Jules Verne, marvelled at the places he described, the ruins of Atlantis, the rivers of Africa, the caves atDo you remember when you started reading Jules Verne, marvelled at the places he described, the ruins of Atlantis, the rivers of Africa, the caves at the centre of the Earth? Do you remember when you realised his world was not actually our world, but one made of myths, of hearsay, of wonder and imagination - maybe not real, but definitely more romantic*?
Valente's solar system in Radiance is just like that. It's not the one we're used to from science books, but it's one familiar from myths and old science fiction and C. S. Lewis and bullet-shaped spaceships landing in the eye of the moon. Venus is a green land where giant callowhales live placidly as enormous islands, the Moon is a film set, Pluto is the land of the lotus flowers, and so on, and so forth.
All of this is filtered through the eye of film, of the camera, the real main characters of this story despite the extensive dramatis personae.
The book is a patch up story, filtered through different times and mediums, alternating movie reels and letters, facts and fiction, past and future, fragments of memories and audio recordings. It's a murder mystery with no murder and no body and as long as two lifetimes, and where it takes as much time to catch up on what happened as it does to figure out the why, and the who, and the how.
I must admit I had some issues with this book that come mostly from having read beforehand The radiant car thy sparrows drew, the original short story that spurred this novel. Because of the several time jumps, it takes about half the volume to get a full account of what Radiant car says in 4000 words. And where Radiant car is a silent film, Radiance is ultimately about film, turning Severin Unck from the main character into a McGuffin - even though everything revolves around her, she is out of the scene from page one, and everything we know and see of her is through the eyes of others (including herself as a filmmaker).
If you haven't read Radiant car, I would suggest to do it after you read Radiance, not before. But it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that you must read both.
* and occasionally racist but that's beyond the scope of this review...more
I found it slightly less charming than the previous volume, mostly because the story is pretty rushed towards the finale and could have used a few morI found it slightly less charming than the previous volume, mostly because the story is pretty rushed towards the finale and could have used a few more issues to flesh out, but still a delightful read. ...more