LP: Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane
1969 RCA Victor LSP-3766
Favorite Track: White Rabbit
Science Fiction is out. Fantasy is in.
There has been a switch in my primary interest in fiction. I am positive Leviathan Wakes made me hate science fiction. Also, I am working on diversifying the fantasy section at the library and have been looking up lots of female authors whose series sound fascinating. Plus, there is V.E. Schwab, but I will get to that later.
First, a trip down memory lane…
It start with The Crimson Legion by Troy Denning. Ha! I bet you were expecting me to say The Hobbit but I read that book and hated it. I do like Lord of the Rings but I am one of the few who love Tom Bombadil more than the entirety of the last book.
The Crimson Legion had a striking cover. I wasn’t impressed by the muscular gladiator on the cover. It was the weapon in his hand: a pair of four-bladed axes tied together with a rope. Did he swing one and trip somebody? I had to find out. It didn’t matter it was the second book in the series. I actually read the series for the first time in this order: 2, 4, 1, 3, 5. The Crimson Legion is a brutal, violent, but fascinating book. Rikus and Neeva lead the recently freed slaves to attack another Dragonking tyrant. They befriend a psychic mantis warrior named K’kriq who is easily one of my most favorite characters in fantasy. The book does not end happily. I’m pretty sure I cried.
Most of the early fantasy I read came from the books based off of Dungeon and Dragons, mainly the Dark Sun and Forgotten Realms settings. There was a fun series about dwarves that I loved even though the last book had a terribly lazy book designer who stole word for word the last paragraph of the book and put that as the back cover descriptor. Then there was Drizzt. I bought Game of Thrones for a quarter at Half Price books but it took me ten years before I read it. It was okay. I was late to Gaiman discovering Sandman in college and reading American Gods just a few years ago. I listened to part of the first Wheel of Time book but never felt the desire to read all of those huge books.
Earlier this year, I heard about V.E. Schwab and her book A Darker Shade of Magic. Kell has a magic coat that is more than just one coat. He can also travel between worlds: Gray London, a dull magicless place; Red London, where magic is celebrated; White Lodon, where magic corrupts; and Black London, which has fallen. Lila is a street urchin who can never have enough knives. When their paths cross, an adventure begins.
I loved the characters and the idea behind the plot. The magic system makes sense. She could work on her world building. For a novel containing multiple Londons, never had the great city felt so small, contained in a few set pieces. But that’s fine. I read through the book super fast. I’m in the middle of the second book right now.
Our library is having a book sale right now and I found so many goodies:
I found books four, five and six in Michael Moorcock’s Elric series, something I have wanted to read since high school and I used to look at an omnibus edition at the book store every day.
I also found books one, three, and four of Moorcock’s Hawkmoon series. I know nothing about this save that the artist Matt Kish recommended them to me.
I found the Female Man and the Zanzibar Cat by Joanna Russ. Yes, sci-fi, but important.
I bought all three Dragonriders of Pern books by Anne McCaffrey. The original trilogy with the super fantastic art on the covers. I know nothing this as well, but I love dragons and most series tend to spend too little time with dragons, and I love reading a series I know nothing about. I also like getting lost.
I found the Lord Dunsany poems that inspired H.P. Lovecraft to create a Mythos.
I’m going to go play Arkham Horror and do my laundry.