You have to wonder about that girl you dream about: whose face you half remember, whose touch lingers on your cheek in the morning, and whose laugh echoes in your ears upon waking; you have to wonder whether or not she exists. And, if she does, would you even recognize her at all? Sometimes I don’t know which is the scarier thought; that she does exist or that she doesn’t exist. Sometimes I also wonder if I’m delusional or romantic. Knowing myself as I do I lean towards the former over the latter. Then again that might just be my natural cyninicism towards myself leaking through.
Anyhoo, I’m currently reading Patricia McKillip’s short story collection “Harrowing the Dragon.” So far it’s been completely deserving of the praise it got from various industry sources. McKillip has a very poetic style to her writing and crafts fantasy stories more typically reminiscent of traditional fairy tales, infused with an ethereal beauty thanks to her masterful use of language, than more modern fantasy. McKillip is also a fantasy writer who bucks the “trilogy” trend, focusing her writing on tightly wrought stand-alone novels complete from beginning to end, her talent for writing this way shows in the quality of her short fiction present here.
I also recently finished Caitlin Kiernan’s “Daughter of Hounds,” a fantasy/horror story about changelings, time travel, and the nasty things normal people don’t see. Personally I enjoyed her previous book “Threshold” a bit more, but it was more directly drawn from Lovecraftian themes (unknown horrors from our ancient cosmic past persisting in the darkest spaces where human eyes were never meant to see). “Daughter of Hounds” wasn’t a bad book by any means but it lacked the creepy atmospher of “Threshold” and the more straight modern/dark fantasy themes of the book I felt didn’t play well to the lyricism present in Kiernan’s writing style.
Next I’m waiting for a book by Conrad Williams called “The Unblemished.” You can find info about it here, but finding a copy might be hard as I had to get mine off of abebooks.com. I found out about the book from the “12 Most Overlooked Books of 2006” list by Jeff VanderMeer found here on Locus Magazine’s website. At some point I’ll pobable order the Darkening Garden, also on the list, as well.
Other upcoming reads include Marvel’s Annihilation Book 1, available at your LCS this Wednesday. Ok peoples, until next time when, I promise, less sappy whining and more frustrated bitching.