Summer Book Picnic

 Posted by at 8:05 am  Fiction  1 Response »
Jun 262010
 

Thanks to a friend who showed up on my doorstep a few weeks ago with a very tall stack of Elizabeth Bear books that I hadn’t yet read, my to-read shelf is looking very very yummy.

For an appetizer, I’ve just had a lovely plate of Chill, which I knew would be a delight the second I opened it and saw that the first scene was written from the POV of my favorite character from Dust: Tristen Conn. I loves me some man-with-a-regrettable-past, I does! (It doesn’t hurt that I also adore Mallory the necromancer and Gavin the basilisk almost as much.)

Now I’ve moved on to By the Mountain Bound. I’m only about 5 chapters in and already I’m heartbroken for 3 characters (this is a good thing) and am completely in awe of Bear’s ability to write a breathtakingly hot, wrenchingly desperate sex scene.

When I finish that, I still have Carnival, the 2nd and 3rd Jenny Casey books, Undertow, and A Companion to Wolves (written with Sarah Monette). My biggest problem is going to be deciding which order to read them in.

Comfort Reading

 Posted by at 4:31 am  Fiction  No Responses »
Jun 242009
 

Comfort reading is like comfort food, only not fattening. It’s an indulgence that you give yourself when you’re stressed or tired and want something familiar and beloved. Over the years I’ve discovered that my comfort reading list is really quite short: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings; Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks; the original Wild Cards series edited by George R.R. Martin.

And officially, as of right now, Elizabeth Bear’s Promethean Age duology The Stratford Man: Ink and Steel and Hell and Earth (aka, from Bear’s blog entries while she was working on it, Will and Kit’s Bogus Journey — which joke you’ll totally get if you’ve read it). I devoured it when it came out last summer, and it was the first thing my hand went to a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for something to read and none of the stuff in my unread pile looked appetizing.

And even though I know what’s coming, Bear is still making my breath catch in my throat. And I’m just as in love with Kit and Will and Tom and Lucifer and Morgan and Murchaud the second time around. Maybe moreso.

Want More!!

 Posted by at 2:59 pm  Fiction  3 Responses »
Sep 132008
 

Elizabeth Bear needs to write faster. I am rapidly devouring her entire catalog and I don’t know if I can handle not having another of her books already out there in the world, waiting for me to go and buy it.

I have read four of her books since July. Enjoyed them all thoroughly. Brilliant world-building, heart-grabbingly broken characters, and the language… oh, Gods, this woman is a world-class chef who uses words as ingredients. I swear, I’ve gained weight just from reading these books. And I don’t care.

The books? Yeah, I’ll tell you about the books.

New Amsterdam. What can I say? Vampire detective. Government sorcerer. Transatlantic airship voyages. An America that never broke away from Britain. And Tesla. Oh, yes. Even Tesla.

Dust. Angels. Sort of. Biotech so advanced it’s practically magic. And two young women with a whole world full of problems. (Hey, Bear? Lots more Tristen in Chill, please?)

And finally, the Promethean Age duology that started life as one very big book called The Stratford Man: Ink and Steel and Hell and Earth. Written from the alternating points of view of William Shakespeare and Christofer Marley (Christopher Marlowe). Everything you could possibly want in an urban fantasy set in Elizabethan times. Faerie queens, including Morgan le Fey. Gloriana herself, of course. Robin Goodfellow. Sir Francis Walsingham. Lucifer Morningstar. Ben Jonson. Earls. Elf-knights. Catholic-Protestant tension. A troll under a bridge. Romance. Conspiracy. Magic. Violence. Sex. Poetry. All gorgeously written in a pseudo-Early Modern English that really felt like the characters’ voices. No small feat considering Will and Kit were both poets.

And now I have a hopeless crush on a man who died hundreds of years ago, supposedly stabbed above the eye in a tavern brawl.

Supposedly.

Whoa

 Posted by at 8:17 am  Fiction  No Responses »
Jun 302007
 

I just finished reading Elizabeth Bear‘s Blood and Iron.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book where I could identify with and sympathise with every POV character. And most of the major secondary characters. And the couple that I couldn’t get into the skins of? I at least understood where they were coming from. They were still real. I just couldn’t stretch myself far enough to crawl inside them.

And the worldbuilding? Layered, rich, visceral. When I was growing up, I read all the mythology books I could lay my hands on, so much of this world is familiar to me. And yet, it’s not. It’s completely not.

Then there’s the Kelpie. Holy shit, the Kelpie. He’s worth a book all by his onesies.

Gods, this woman can write.

I’m glad the second book in the series is coming out next week, because I think I’m addicted.

Jun 142007
 

Elizabeth Bear is on a writers’ retreat. It seemed to have started off pretty well, but if you follow the entries along

Well, I think there’s something seriously wrong in North Carolina, and I think it may have taken out a good number of talented writers. At least a couple of whom I like as people as well.

Or Bear could be playing with us. Maybe.