Words: Short and Long Form Fiction

I assume you spent some time outdoors on this fine late Spring day? I had the leaded glass windows in the Estate Library open all day yesterday to give the place a good airing and naturally ended up having a fire going in the Robert Graves Memorial Reading Room as the temperature was fairly chilly by the time the evening meal was served here.

I’ve got an interesting mix of reviews this week for you starting off with a look at a collection (or so says the publisher) of rarer short works including some of his poetry by fantasy writer Fritz Leiber. I agree with the reviewer that this is a volume only for the serious fans of this writer. Instead I’d recommend The Big Time novel for him at his very best.

I think we’ve reviewed pretty much everything Glen Cook has written with the Garrett PI series being my favorite of his writings. (His Gilded Lateen Bones is the latest in that series.)

Reviewed here is an early work of his: the Darkwar series, (Doomstalker, Warlock, and Ceremony) which starts off slow, according to our reviewer, but develops rather well. I shall need to add this series to my to-be-read list!

Patrick Rothfuss’ The Wise Man’s Fear is the very long awaited sequel to his first novel, The Name of The Wind. Was the wait rewarded for his fans? Our reviewer says ‘Absolutely’.

We like Patricia McKillip so much that we did a one-off on her and her fiction. ‘Tis true I find her writing to be some of the best I’ve ever read and adore almost everything she’s written except for one really bad sf novel, so I wasn’t surprised her latest, The Bards of Bone Plain, was well-received by our reviewer who said ‘I’ve been reading Patricia McKillip’s books for more years than I want to admit at this point, and The Bards of Bone Plain has everything that has kept me coming back to them again and again, refined, distilled, and that much more potent.’

Charles de Lint’s The Painted Boy is I believe his third novel to be be fully set in the Southwest USA, with the first, The Medicine Road, being my favorite. This novel is being marketed as a YA title and our reviewer found the narrative uneven but found the mix of Chinese and Southwestern USA myths fascinating.

Three sf novels from Larry Niven and Steven Barnes in his Dream Park series got trade paper reprints (well, two did with the third one mysteriously only out as an ebook). I agree with the reviewer that ‘All three of these novels work as mysteries, as science fiction worlds, as clever users of various mythos.’ And I add that they don’t feel at all dated despite being nearly thirty years old!

That’s it for time. Watch for a music posting by Reynard shortly.

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