Endicott Mythic Fiction discussion

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message 1: by Odette (last edited May 15, 2012 08:53PM) (new) - added it

Odette | 316 comments Mod
Hi All.
Our July 2011 book is Territory by Emma Bull - who's reading?

Group Members' Reviews

Rora I think I'll give this one a miss, the storyline doesn't appeal to me.

Jessica Jernigan (jessica_jernigan) | 7 comments I read it when I saw that it was this month's Endicott Mythic Fiction pick. I would not have found this book otherwise, and I was, on the whole, quite pleased. I look forward to the discussion!

message 4: by Skyler (new)

Skyler White (skylerwhite) | 1 comments I'm in! But I've never done a group thing on Good Reads before, so I'll watch and learn, at least at first.

message 5: by Odette (new) - added it

Odette | 316 comments Mod
Thanks, Jessica!
Skyler, it's pretty basic right now - just post in this thread if you want to say something about the book or comment on other members' comments. Thanks for being a member.
Rora, hope the next one works better for you.

I don't normally like westerns, but I loved Bull's novel War For the Oaks, so I'm looking forward to it & hope I can get a hold of a copy.

Here's a bit of lagniappe - Emma Bull and her husband Will Shetterly posted stories in a shared website:

Jessica Jernigan (jessica_jernigan) | 7 comments I really enjoy Mildred's perspective -- I don't read a lot of Westerns, but I'm guessing that having a realistic woman as a central character is unusual. I would like to know, though, if anybody else is a bit uncomfortable with the Chinese characters.

message 7: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Gault | 84 comments I've read it already so I'll join in the discussion later in the month. It's worth the challenge, I think, though not for everyone.

Michelle (fireweaver) | 65 comments 'territory' has been on mount TBR fo-evah, and they have it at the library, so i should be hopping in later this month. i'm with you Odette, westerns generally meh for me, but i <3 Bull's urban fantasy stuff, so i'm interested.

Anita | 4 comments I read it a couple of years ago; I'm re-reading this month, and I like it much better this time. I'm seeing things I missed the first time around.

Michelle (fireweaver) | 65 comments well, finished last night, and Anita I'd rather hope there was more to it the 2nd time around. I felt overall like I was missing the point somewhere... atmosphere and ideas aplenty, but the plot has no drive.

Jessica Jernigan (jessica_jernigan) | 7 comments My guess is that the plot seemed kind of slow and listless because this novel is totally incomplete. There must be a sequel in the works, yes? But it was kind of disappointing to discover that nothing would be resolved in this volume.

Michelle (fireweaver) | 65 comments is there a sequel??

spoilers and all, below.

I thought the story arc (such as it was) was completed by the end of this book. the one single thing Wyatt & Doc are most known for is the gunfight at the OK corral...and in this book Wyatt, along with the other sorcerers in Tombstone, generally manages to kill at a distance. Fox's curse in the end was that Wyatt would never again be able to do so, and I think that the requirement to do his own dirty work face-to-face is exactly what set up the gunfight.

which is to say, I loved the clever little moments in there, I just wish the moments were strung together in a more compelling way. even Fox's Chinese friend getting killed didn't made the plot race off into some semblance of forward momentum. we have him denying what he is for 66% of the book, then sorta accepting, then able to intuitively do some serious spells without training. I can only assume the main story arc is Fox's...but that makes the most engaging character, Mildred, rather superfluous.

I'm totally ok with this being quiet and atmospheric rather than being yet another coming of age adventure tale. but I really need a reason for the story to exist, a main focus of plot, and I don't think it's there.

Jessica Jernigan (jessica_jernigan) | 7 comments I've seen a couple suggestions online that Bull is working on a sequel. I guess I didn't get it that Fox's curse sets up the gunfight at the OK Corral. I was kind of expecting a wizard face-off instead, which would actually have been pretty lame, especially since I appreciated Bull's low-key approach to magic and fantasy. I did enjoy the atmosphere and the characters -- except I remain kind of uncomfortable with the depiction and use of the Chinese characters -- but there's just too much that feels unresolved at the end of the book. This might have been less of an issue if the central conflict was written with more of a sense of urgency.

Pamela Lloyd (pameladlloyd) | 45 comments Yes, Emma Bull is working on a sequel to Territory; the title is expected to be Claim, per her comment in the Shadow Unit forum.

Btw, if you haven't encountered Shadow Unit and your interests extend to very gritty contemporary sf/fantasy FBI psuedo-TV-shows, you may enjoy this collaboration between Bull, Will Shetterly, and several other excellent writers. I love it.

Emma Bull also has a blog on LiveJournal, although she recently posted that she's going to be avoiding social media for a while. She doesn't say so directly, but many writers find that the time and energy put into blogging reduces the time and energy left for writing.

message 15: by Mir (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mir | 15 comments Thanks for the links, Pamela!

I read this when it first came out and am not rereading it, but my overall reaction was similar to Michelle's, that there were lots of good bits but I didn't find the whole as compelling as most of Bull's other books.

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