The Anti-slush Report

Posted: 27th July 2008 by onyxhawke in Uncategorized
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Since the last ASR I’ve read a lot of slush, some client work, way to many traffic signs and license plates. I’ve also managed
to read, or in one case reread three things with cover art that I liked.

First up is a reread of Mercedes Lackey’s Magic’s Pawn. I haven’t had the time to reread this is a few years. Partly because my last copy died after several rereads, and spilled drinks, and partly because I’ve been busy. This is truly one of her best works, and one of the better pieces of fantasy of the last quarter century. Very few people have the skill to take a whiny, self centered, and rather well damaged individual and make him carry a story. I think I respect this story more now than I did the first dozen times I read it.

Second up is Caitlin Kitterdge’s Night Life. My only real hesitancy about this book is my inability to call it either an urban fantasy or paranormal romance, fortunately it’s not that important in a story that’s done well. I’ve decided to call it a mystery with dark fantastic setting and romantic elements instead. Sure it’d make the buyers and marketing critters at the major chains a bit loopy if they ever saw a slew of books get sent to them labeled that way, but it fits. Night Life is well told, and gently sidesteps the peril of being a generic fantasy female who kicks ass story. Very nice.

And last, Joshua Palmatier. In The Skewed Throne half a dozen rules of good writing are broken along the way. I like this story for the unwavering fidelity to the character and the matrix of things that made the character. A great many writers decide to take their diamond in the rough character, pull them out of the hard scrabble ways that created them and a few turns of the page later we have a perfect member of the upper class. A perfect member of the upper class, only harder, sharper and more cunning. In general, those stories make me want to gag.

For those who haven’t read these books yet, it’s probably past time you did.

  • I've never read the other two, but I adore Magic's Pawn. I'll have to give them a try.