February 21st, 2009


Lord Darcy

I felt the necessity last October to deak out of Tav and Kiro's wedding reception for fifteen minutes to snaffle two Lord Darcy books from Eliot's Books around the corner. Lord Darcy, for them as doesn't know, was early AU timeline fantasy:
Garrett is best known for the Lord Darcy books— the novel Too Many Magicians and two short story collections— set in an alternate world where a joint British-French empire still led by a Plantagenet dynasty has survived into the twentieth century and where magic works and has been scientifically codified. The Darcy books are rich in jokes, puns, and references (particularly to works of detective and spy fiction: Lord Darcy is himself partially modelled on Sherlock Holmes)
Emphasis on the early: written mid-60s and oh does it show in the attitudes to race and sex and class, to say nothing of what's considered acceptable writing. How many times can you call someone 'the tubby sorceror'? Ah, but he's Irish, see, so it's OK to emphasize his (and I quote) roly-polyness.

They are of their time and their time has passed, fortunately. Naomi Novik does it better, by and large.

Still, sad. Could have been interesting; could still be interesting if one were minded to write correctives, but somehow learning simplified Chinese hanzi feels more enthralling at the moment. Europe- been there, done that, time for new horizons.