Mar. 5th, 2009

starlady: (jack)
In yet another sign that comics are crawling out of the ghetto, The New York Times has introduced three sequential arts bestseller lists this week: graphic novels hard and softcover, and manga. Now, me, I'd have combined the first two categories, because how many graphic novels actually get hardcover releases, really, as a percentage? It can't be more than 15%, tops. And I'm not sure how I feel about the division of manga into its own little ghetto category. Not all manga are graphic novels, but some graphic novels are manga. Still, after The Times ghetto-ized J.K. Rowling off its bestseller lists by creating a children's list, it's nice to see them doing something positive with increasing specialization.

In other news, I got Fast Ships, Black Sails out of the library yesterday, which made me quite happy. Highlights include: 
  • "Boojum" by Sarah Monette ([livejournal.com profile] truepenny) and Elizabeth Bear ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala);
  • "Araminta, Or, The Wreck of the Amphidrake" by Naomi Novik ([livejournal.com profile] naominovik);
  • "Beyond the Sea Gate of the Scholar-Pirates of Sarsköe" by Garth Nix.
These are the three stories I read the collection for, and I was not disappointed by any of them. For me, the thing about short stories is that they're (if done right) always so wildly inventive that I would love to read novels set in the worlds they delineate, and all three of these hit that mark easily. "Boojum" is set in the future, with ships that are alive; "Araminta" is set in a very alternate, pagan-ish 18th C Britain, showing off Novik's skill at writing in a faux-18th C style; and Garth Nix's story continues the adventures of Sir Hereward and Master Fitz, agents of the Council extraordinaire, who are as awesome as their author. I hope that eventually their adventures are collected in book form, since I don't subscribe to Jim Baen's whatsitsname, in which the first story about them was published. I also enjoyed most of the other stories I've read so far, though the collection is marred by typos and inconsistent editing--is it cannons or cannon? (Cannon.) is "merchantman" capitalized? (No.) I enjoyed the Eric Flint/David Freer outing, whereas normally I dislike Flint, while Paul Batteiger's story had a great concept but absolutely atrocious dialogue, and to be honest I don't know why Kage Baker's effort was included at all, since it seems to not be fantasy. At any rate, I'd recommend giving it a go.

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