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williamjm

Third Quarter 2021 Reading

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56 minutes ago, Durckad said:

It's kinda strange, back in the day, the Bas-Lag books were critically lauded and Mieville was continually heralded as the next big thing. Now? It seems like they're barely talked about anymore, which is too bad because there's still nothing quite like them out there.

Yes - I think if Mieville had put out a Bas-Lag book every few years, a younger me would have been very happy.  It was unique, and I tore through them, and the short story, in days.  The closest thing to them I’ve found has been in graphic novels, Monstress and Saga.

56 minutes ago, Durckad said:

I've reread Tolkien (the first fantasy series I ever read), Martin (read the first 3 in high school), and Gaiman's Neverwhere (the first urban fantasy I ever read. Hell, even the cheapo BBC version was quite enjoyable) and all have held up rather well.

That said, I doubt the spate of D&D novels I read around the same time would be all that enjoyable nowadays and even Wheel of Time did not hold up well at all to modern me so I think there's a shot some of my old favorites might still end up being enjoyable nowadays. Only one way to find out.

This will also be a good way to figure out which ones I can safely purge from my library and make space for other books I don't really need.

I’ve kept and reread my Tolkien and Lloyd Alexander, along with my Sandman graphic novels and GRRM.  Wheel of Time and Malazan got purged in a move, because of volume, and i sort of regret that, because I likely wouldn’t reread without them at hand.

A friend dropped off a set of the Eddings Belgariad, and some of the dragon lance and forgotten realms books he had found in storage we consumed like mad in late middle school…and man, it was like rewatching the original He-Man.  Just…so bad.

Edited by VigoTheCarpathian
Forgot George!

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4 hours ago, VigoTheCarpathian said:

Yes - I think if Mieville had put out a Bas-Lag book every few years, a younger me would have been very happy.  It was unique, and I tore through them, and the short story, in days.  The closest thing to them I’ve found has been in graphic novels, Monstress and Saga.

I’ve kept and reread my Tolkien and Lloyd Alexander, along with my Sandman graphic novels and GRRM.  Wheel of Time and Malazan got purged in a move, because of volume, and i sort of regret that, because I likely wouldn’t reread without them at hand.

A friend dropped off a set of the Eddings Belgariad, and some of the dragon lance and forgotten realms books he had found in storage we consumed like mad in late middle school…and man, it was like rewatching the original He-Man.  Just…so bad.

Belgariad is what I referenced earlier as one of the things I tried to go back to and ... whew ... it was rough. What a sweet summer child I was.

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5 hours ago, Durckad said:

Now? It seems like they're barely talked about anymore, which is too bad because there's still nothing quite like them out there.

 

That's probably partly because Mieville removed himself from the SFF scene, possibly in response to some MeToo allegations against him (Warren Ellis type manipulative stuff with more lawyerly threatening on his part, just so we aren't left with people speculating since the info for what allegedly happened is not easy to find). The Scar is still my favourite book but he just doesn't remind people of his existence anymore and, hell, the possibility that it is true makes one reluctant to recommend his stuff. 



Anyway most of the books I read as a kid still hold up fairly decently so I guess I had mostly good taste. The Belgariad doesn't so much but oh well.    

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Partly also Mieville’s quality just went down for whatever reason. Have you read the Census Taker or Last Days of New Paris? They’re just as weird as his early stuff but not as good.

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Recently I've read Zen Cho's The True Queen and Claire North's The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.

The True Queen wasn't anything special. I remember enjoying Sorcerer to the Crown but I struggled to remember the details, which was a bit of an issue for this book, and then the plot of this book didn't really capture my attention. It was a little too obvious how it was going to end up.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August on the other hand was very good. A really interesting premise with a very good story to go with it. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn't already read it.

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