Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

Territory, by Emma Bull

Review copy provided by Tor. Reread.

Tor's reissue of Territory is gorgeous. The brooding blue cover is exactly right, and I hope the same person or people, whoever they are, is/are allowed to design many more covers for Tor, because really, this is the thing, understated and appropriate and so very fine.

Usually when I review reissues, I talk about how well they've hold up. And Territory has held up well, but with a 2007 copyright date, it hasn't had to wait for my rereading for very long. I can't really intone, "Back in those days," with any degree of wisdom.

What I can do is remind you that this book is out there, and it's fun to read even for people who could not give the tiniest damn about Wyatt Earp--nor, in fact, about Morgan Earp, Jim Earp, Virgil Earp, or their little-known cousins Lars and Hjalmar Earp. I would say, in fact, that I could not possibly care less about anybody called Earp except that this book reminds me that I'm wrong: I find the Earp women interesting. (Has anybody got a reference for a book about the Earp women and/or Kate Elder/Holliday? That's Tombstone-related nonfiction I would read.) Since my first reading of Territory, I have read my first actual genre Westerns, from my grandfather's collection, and I love my Grandpa, but--I still just do not care about Tombstone in any direction. And I still like this book.

So why do I like this book? Mostly it's Chow Lung, and the Earp women, as I said; mostly I like the supporting characters. It's not that Jesse and Mildred are in some way bad, I just find that in some books it's the rest of the cast that catches me, and this is one. I would like Chu, too, but...

...well, that's the thing. Chu's part of the story is barely started in Territory. The ending is not really an ending per se, and I find that four years on I'm grateful to hear rumors and reports that Claim is realio trulio a substantial way along, because this isn't very satisfying as a complete story, but as the beginning of something it does the job the beginning is supposed to do: to draw you in deeper and make you want more. And I do want more. Soonest, actually. But for now, there's a new edition of Territory, and it's gorgeous, and it's still good stuff. If you haven't gotten around to it, now's a good time.
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