Went on a book crawl yesterday, ostensibly looking for Moonwise, now I remember a) what it's called and b) what its author's name is. I could order it online but online wants $38 just for starts, and I don't do pigs in pokes at that price. I was also looking for early Pratchetts which the first-run bookstores don't have. Online has those too, but online means amazon or indigo, which are... morally tatty. Am not sure I want Tiffany enough to give money to these guys.
I came back with a stack of paperbacks, bought for various reasons that seemed good at the time. And now I'm faced with the prospect of actually having to read them. Ah, how a thick English-language paperback can make the heart sink within one.
Not a problem for The Discworld Companion (for those times when I can't get online) or The Wee Free Men, and possibly not even for The Light Fantastic, because very very early Pratchett is still Pratchett and goes down easy.
Not so sanguine about Sunshine, since Robin McKinley read better to me in my (and her) twenties than she does now, and vampires are so not my thing. I know I'll drag my feet on that. Ditto possibly Stargate. Let it count as Canadian Content.
I have a thing about fictional representations of Shakespeare and tend to read them even when they're not immensely good, or even convincing. Fallout from meeting Cue for Treason and The Players and the Rebels at an impressionable age. (Keep hoping I'll find something as convincing as the latter, one more time.) Anyway, *when* do you *ever* find a copy of The Armor of Light *anywhere* in a bricks and mortar store? So I had to have that one, even though it struck me as soggy and priggish first time through, not unlike Sir Phillip Sidney himself. What an odd person to develop an authorial pash on, she muses. At least it has Marlowe, if not quite enough of him, and m/m sex, if not even remotely enough of that. (Rather like Point of Dreams, in fact. There's no satisfying a western yaoi fan. Always too much or too little.)
I'm a little less pleased with Ill-met by Moonlight. I should have read the first page. "Will stopped at the entrance to the garden, his hand on the rickety wooden gate. A feeling of doom came over him, like a presage of some evil thing." Umm, yup-- as one with an anxiety disorder I can agree that feelings of doom generally *do* feel like the presage of evil things about to happen. "A young man of nineteen, with overlong dark locks that curled on the collar of his cheap russet wool suit, Will felt as if he were about to walk into a trap." What's that got to do with how old he is or what he's wearing? "He looked around anxiously for what the trap might be, but saw nothing amiss." You know what it is? In the days before fanfic you'd merely call that clumsy. Now we know. It reads like fanfic. Amateur.
And yes, I was looking for Elizabeth Bear too, but didn't find any.
Then there's that 'if I don't buy it now I'll never find it again' thing. Ah, Eliot's Books has another Ile-rien book by Martha Wells. It's not like The Death of the Necromancer bowled me over or anything, but. But. If-I-don't-buy-it-now... So now I have The Wizard Hunters. And DotN from an earlier crawl, to reread. Why don't other people read as easy as Pratchett? Why is most fantasy prose just so much uninspired slog? I blame the absence of editors. I could blame a lack of background in English literature, except that Scott and Barnett do have that and it helped them only marginally.
Probably I should have had my eyes open for John Fords as well, except that I have two of those still unread. Does the man always have a wise and mysterious father-mentor figure in his books?
Anyway, there I am. Eight books. Total cost, $38. For which I could have had Moonwise.
And now shall go back to rereading The Fifth Elephant.