Monday, October 31, 2011

What I read: October 2011

OWW: 3

“We Never talk about my Brother” by Peter S. Beagle. Short stories. The title story will stay with me. So elegant! Some of the stories were meh, like all short story collections, but this one was worth reading.

“Storm Front” by Jim Butcher. So, when I was at the library taking back the previous books, I was poking around. I often look at the Jim Butcher Dresden Files books because I’ve heard so many good things about them, but I want to start with book 1, so I’ve never taken one out. I looked in the paperback FSF section, then the hard cover FSF, then the general stacks... and they always have some random middle books, but never the first. So, I’d given up. I was over in the general paperback section looking for Jane Austen (they only had Mansfield Park, but I wanted Persuasion or Sense and Sensibility) and I found this! It reminded me of Sandman Slim, though of course this came first. It came out in 2000, and it’s weird how strange that feels – the characters don’t have cellphones, 9/11 hasn’t happened. The world was a different place. There were some style things I might have done differently, but this was a quick, fun read.

“The Watchers out of Time” by HP Lovecraft and August Derleth. Not really Lovecraft, apparently. But I don’t think I’ve read any Lovecraft, and this was sitting there at the library, so I got it out. This book made me want to eat Kolbassa and sauerkraut. The introduction by Derleth’s wife was an amusing bit that seemed to suggest that Derleth was the real genius here, and just took chunks of unfinished Lovecraft stories to craft works around. I think I could tell which bits those were, and they were pretty silly, some of them. There are maybe only so many things you can do with men who inherit houses that have histories of warlocks living in them, but after a while they were a bit all the same.

However, the formula seems to work. I was editing a story and it wasn't working, so I've started again, with what I'm calling "the Derleth formula" applied, with my own modifications of course. I may be discovering at this late date that I'm not a pantser.

“Nine Princes in Amber” by Roger Zelazny. I haven’t read this in about 20 years, but it holds up. You can probably guess what the next four things I’ll be reading are. (Apparently I don’t own the second five). What a great character!

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