starlady: (jack)
The King of Pop is dead...death to pop.

I had a short, somewhat pretentious post on how amazingly awesome Shaun Tan's graphic-picture-novella The Arrival is (It is made of awesome!), but email posting ate it. But go read it anyway! Tan occupies the borderland between graphic novels and picture books with extraordinary ability and humanity--his book tells the story of a single family immigrating from an Old World to a New, and the stories of some of the other people (escaped slaves, survivors of war and genocide) they meet along the way. Tan deals with all these heavy, universal concepts very gently, so that children of most ages and adults can both read and get a very thought-provoking experience. Plus, Tan's art is just awesome, and very funny--in some ways, The Arrival is the child of Maus and the works of William Joyce. In any case, it manages to communicate vividly the defamiliarizing experience of the everyday, whether for the expatriate, the immigrant, or the artist.

I also read P.C. Hodgell's God Stalk, currently available from Baen Books as the first half of The Godstalker Chronicles, on [personal profile] coffeeandink's recommendation. C&I characterizes the book as a "fantasy of manners," which I definitely agree with, but to me, considering that the book was published in 1982, it is far more New Weird Lite, or perhaps Pre-New Weird; the first chapter in particular would fit very well in the "Influences" section of The New Weird anthology, as the main character, Jame, pursued by Haunts, enters the city of Tai-tastogon during the Feast of the Dead Gods, and proceeds to encounter some things that go bump! splash! slither! and lurk! in the very dark night. Her further luck at negotiating the internal politics of the city from various angles and in various guises varies. I liked Jame, and I thought the book was interesting, but she never really grabbed me as a protagonist, and having peeked at the ending of Dark of the Moon I feel no need to actually read the second book (though I wouldn't mind finding out what happens in the next book, Seeker's Bane). YMMV, but definitely worth checking out if you like the New Weird, Lovecraftian fantasy, or fantasies of manners played out in settings very far removed from our own.

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Electra

August 2017

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