I have a copy of Spellwright sitting on my living room floor, waiting for me to decide if I'm going to read it or not. I think yes. I've had a few pretty heavy and/or disappointing reads, so something fun and fast may be just the thing.
Also glad to see that I'm not the only one who feels that it's necessary to qualify what kind of urban fantasy one means when calling something urban fantasy. When I'm feeling particularly quarrelsome, I'll call the new kind paranormal fantasy (I am often feeling quarrelsome on that front).
The problem is, we still need a term for War for the Oaks and Blood and Iron and most of Charles de Lint and like that. The appearance and wild popularity of the paranormal romance end of the sub-genre did not destroy the other kind--nor did it rename it. So we're kind of stuck.
Well, I call that end "urban fantasy", because they had it first (even if some of it isn't necessary urban), dammit.
The first year RT had an award for this sort of thing, there was a lot of discussion around what to call it because the paranormal romance end hadn't really hit their radar yet, so their interpretation of the word urban tended more towards how it's used in music/fashion (i.e., African-American). So we compromised and called it "contemporary fantasy". The year after that was when the sub-genre really exploded in a big way.
I'm not sure how I feel about how it's used in music/fashion, but in any case I think in this genre it would take a major shift of the type that's happened with urban fantasy shifting to mean paranormal romance to make it mean African-American fabulism.
On the other hand, if things like Brown Girl in the Ring and Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad were the core of a really hot new sub-genre, that would make me pretty happy.
Someone online (whom I no longer remember) suggested "metropolitan fantasy," which may be a little high-flown, but not bad otherwise.
The loose batch of adjectives and circles-drawn-around I use for those books has very little to do with 'urban' and more to do with 'liminal'.
Then again, my local crit group includes two novelists writing 'rural fantasy'.
The Carter Hall stories are small town fantasy. So.
's upbringing, "Fetch" and some of his other stories were perhaps in partial response to my insistence that he write Rural Fantasy, in contrast to all the Urban Fantasy out there.
The name shift annoys me a bit. I actually like the new name, Contemporary Fantasy, better for what we used to call Urban Fantasy, but it bothers me that Urban Fantasy doesn't mean what it used to.
|From: mrissa |
2010-04-01 08:21 pm (UTC)
Yes. Well, this time a lot of the books were short. But still, yes.
|From: mrissa |
2010-04-02 12:57 pm (UTC)
Yes. If I rolled this mrissa
character up from scratch, I would spend the points on reading this much and this fast all over again.
I loved Ash as well. Totally agree.
You can download an interesting interview with Hilary Mantel about Wolf Hall
(warning: there's a long panel on Canada's justice system and drug policy that needs to be fast-forwarded through before you get to Mantel.)Edited at 2010-04-01 06:23 pm (UTC)
With you on _Ash_ as well. I try very hard not to do the "Lesbian Cinderella" story except with people who would actually find that a useful point. Mostly when waving it at students I've been doing "It's a retelling of Cinderella. No, really, it does new fascinating things, and Cinderella doesn't end up with the prince, and that's even more cool. Just give it a try."
And they look at me, and shrug and check it out, and come back and go "EEEEEE"
heh. i'll quickly add a Khan character to book two ;) thanks so much for the shout out about book one!
I will look for the Khan character! Of course you'll probably rename him Frank or Mel or Istvan in revisions, but you and I will know the Real Truth.
See, I like that better. We should call the Star Trek reboot people and let them know.
splendid! but tell them to make sure that Istavan has an all-white power mullet like Khan did ;)
I don't understand how any movies get made without the albino power mullet.
agreed: henceforth all movies should have either a) the revered APM, or b) David Bowie. Exceptions might be made for the very shinny of head (but probably not).
David Bowie is almost like if the albino power mullet took over the entire head. It's like he's the hyperspace version of the albino power mullet. Or like it had very vigorous sex with a dandelion. Or something.
There's a line in Fool's Run I love so much I remember it still.
"Somebody had given him a living rose."
I didn't feel like the ending held up, but that's novels for you.
The bit about The Ant Kind and Other Stories made me smile so hard. And I've been having a reasonably good day, so it's not as though I had a strong feeling that it was something I needed.
Malinda Lo... where have I heard that name before. Wait. The one who writes at After Ellen? So cool!
Wait. A modern Babar story? That will make up for the way the Colonialism Fairy visited the Babar books when I wasn't looking. Hurray!
Now that you mention it, yes, my historical view of the Black Sea region has a lot of holes.
As far as I know, Catton remains one of the more well-respected mid-20th-century historians on the topic of the Civil War. I've read excerpts from both Catton's books and from Shelby Foote's books, and found that I preferred Catton's writing style, but that's strictly a matter of taste.
Ohhhhhhh John McPhee.
I will read that and then I'll send it to my Pippin, a Scot-o-phile.
The bits about reading your grandfather's books make me wistful and a little bit envious. Neither of my grandfathers left behind books, aside from the Bible. Which is fine. I mean, I don't think either of them read a lot. But books are a link to a person's inner life in a way that most artifacts are not. Even if I end up with some of my maternal grandfather's handsaw or some of my paternal grandfather's tackle, they don't give a lot of insight into what they thought about when they weren't being grandpa.
Yah, I really appreciate what I have here.
The hardest bits are where Grandpa called me up and said, "Rissy, listen to this," and then read me something he thought was cool. I am very glad I have those memories so clearly once I come upon those passages, because I don't have a mental file of all the times he did that. (It would be a big file.) But even after a year it's a little hard to come upon one of those. A good kind of hard, though.
Thank you for getting the Babar thing! Of course, and you may have meant to imply this, it's actually a crossover with another children's book's universe... :-)
Well, I didn't, because the Babar part was the part I found more exciting, but I see how you were interested in both.
Apropos no book here - I have to thank you for your book reports because I had never read Reginald Hill, and I am becoming deeply deeply fond of Pascoe and Ellie.
So, Thank you. Very much.
Oh, I'm so glad! Which one(s) have you read so far? It took me awhile to get properly fond of Pascoe, but I liked Ellie from the start. Which in my case was from the late middle. But still.
I started close to the beginning; Ruling Passion, and now Deadheads. I am doling them out slowly, because it is nice to have something unread that one is guaranteed to like waiting in the wings for the slow moments. Or the forgetful ones.
Ruling Passion felt like deja vu, but it was cleanly written and I got a feel for the dynamics between Pascoe and Dalziel. Ellie just sprang to life in Deadheads and she has pleased me so much. I love her casual approach to the baby and parenting, and I would so adore to have coffee with her. I think I could make her laugh!
I have a jealous: Deadheads is one of the ones I haven't been able to find locally.
I just finished it and it is fabulously ambiguous - good luck locating it!
I finished Lord Sunday on the drive down to my Dad's memorial and was, on the whole, quite pleased with it -- it succeeds in giving answers to dangling questions and is an honest outgrowth of the rest of the series. Having read your comments before I finished the book, I had a chance to watch for things Philip Pullman would have problems with, and I don't think it likely that Pullman's head would explode. For one thing, it's not an especially Christian mythos that Nix is working with. More importantly, The Keys to the Kingdom is not a didactic series and despite the ultimate twists, Lord Sunday does not give the series a didactic ending.
And that, I begin to realize, may be the crux of where I disagree with you about the Dark Materials books versus Narnia. I think what Pullman objected to about the Narnia books is the underhand didacticism. It is certainly what I objected to about them. And, well, the Dark Materials cycle simply isn't didactic. You may find it heavy-handed (I would disagree) but the heavy hand isn't the problem with Narnia in the first place. The problem with Narnia is this rather dishonest attempt to teach kiddies how The World Really Is by other means. Pullman is certainly not making any claims about how things actually are, but rather extrapolating one possibility of how they might be. It's a completely different project.