Monday, July 27, 2009

All too familiar fantasies

I’m about to shut the door on the fantasy. Trying to find something outside the parameters of “heroic/epic fantasy” is turning into a full-time job. Especially considering every publisher out there list their books as being something greater than they are; with promises to transcend genre and change preconceived ideas of what fiction is.

I’m going to start and finish Brandon Sanderson's Hero of Ages soon and then I’ll be placing a lot of faith in Jay Lake’s Green. I don’t know why I am doing this but I am. Perhaps it’s the cover. Maybe because it’s written in first person which seems to me a rarity in fantasy. Perhaps it’s because it’s not a standard fantasy trilogy. Perhaps it’s this excerpt.

It’s not a happy feeling to learn that the genre that prompted an interest in reading within me is falling out of favor.


Terry Weyna said...

I haven't written my review of Green yet, but I can say this much: I wouldn't go pinning all those hopes on this particular book. It's good, but the climax that comes after only 100 pages seems, to me at least, to undermine the rest of the book. One invests so much of one's interest in getting to that point that everything after that seems anticlimactic.

If you want something really different in the fantasy line, try Catherynne Valente's Palimpsest, which for my money is the most original book of the year. A very strange and wonderful fantasy, and not in the heroic vein at all. Or pick up Steph Swainston's trio, beginning with The Year of Our War, which features an antihero the likes of which you have never seen. And have you tried China Mieville's stuff? It's like mainlining imagination.

I like the weird, off-center stuff, though, so if you're not into that sort of thing, this won't suit you any more than heroic fantasy does.

Chad Hull said...

It's funny that as I read your comment, I got an email notifying me that my copy of Green is available at the library. I"ll read it for fun, and hope to get at least that much out of it. I think heroic fantasy in general is falling out of favor with me. This book was one that--for whatever reason--caught my eye, so I though I'd give it a chance before moving on from the genre.

Weird and off-center is good. I can do that.

As much as I've heard you rave about Palimpsest I'll be sure to but it on the list of books to be read.

Whatever happened to May? I was making such good reading progress in May; now I think the list is longer than ever.

Terry Weyna said...

The older you get, the longer your list.