not the bad, or the ugly, but the. . .

September 29, 2009 at 3:48 pm (thinking)

I have a penchant for the terrible. It’s an aspect of my personality that baffles me, but even though I should probably be alarmed by things like, for example, the fact that I’ve read Eragon more than once, I choose to believe it is something of a talent to be able to consume the massive quantities of just downright stinky movies, writing, art, etc. that I do on a nearly daily basis.

Recently, however, I’ve decided to combat my addition to the awful by making an effort to seek out genuinely good artistic material. This should not be dismissed as a project just because I rented Van Helsing last night. . . it’s two steps forward, one step back with me about just about everything. Anyways, a while ago I read Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy and as I did, it provoked a sense of wonder and excitement, not just because of the gorgeous world he built or the compelling characters, but because I was taking the time to read something new, different, and genuinely worthwhile for pleasure, and I couldn’t remember the last time I did that.

I felt the same sense of warmth and beauty reading this piece of prettiness over at Fantasy Magazine. Caroline Yoachim’s story “Tending the Mori Birds” is moving, interesting, well-paced, and builds a beautiful and convincing fantasy world without spending an overly-long amount of time world-building, which is something I struggle with in my own writing and so admire greatly when I see it done right.

In other news: I will be making my first VeganMoFo post at 12:01 Wednesday night/Thursday morning!


  1. Raechel said,

    We should chat books over lunch sometime soon. I realized while reading this post that though I know some of what you enjoy in literature (and I’m forever grateful for you recommending that I read both Pullman and Nix), I wouldn’t know what to recommend to you out of the stuff that I’ve read! I have never been compelled to pick up fantasy works on my own, mostly because until meeting Jesse, and then you, I figured it was all dragons and hot ladies in tight armor, and though I’ve really enjoyed your recommendations, I’m not sure if the stuff I am compelled to read (by which I mean anything that can be described as both Japanese and surrealistic and/or avant-garde) is your cup of tea. That said, we share a penchant for weirdness and strange worlds, so if you’re looking for recommendations, I have a few things on my bookshelf that you should check out!

  2. molly said,

    That sounds awesome! For some reason I feel very alienated by modern non-Western literature a lot of the time, but that sheep-man book you were talking about sounded really neat. I think we have very different taste but now that I have a lot more time to read fiction I’d like to explore some of the stuff you find to be compelling!

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