mjj (flemmings) wrote,

July stats


Archer's Goon, Wynne-Jones
- now see, DWJ has Aliens With Powers quite often, I believe, but she doesn't have to tell us straight out that they're aliens from a distant galaxy (because possibly they're not) nor why they're here (mining expedition or collapse of the home world), nor does she show us the silver space ships in which The Earthmen they arrived. I have only just realized that there /are/ spaceships in this book, and they're so neatly worked in that I didn't for a moment register that DWJ had got that nasty SF into my pristine fantasy. DWJ being DWJ the possibility still exists that she didn't, and we're still doing Weird Brit Fantasy TM. The refusal to name, or rather, to slap a convenient label on things, is a virtue. If something is strange, do I care that it's strange because it's from another planet (which makes it SF) or from another world (which makes it fantasy) or from the brain's recesses (which makes it psychological horror) or Just Is (which makes it either manga or an English kids book)? Just let the thing be without annotation, and concentrate on the family dynamics instead, and I at least will be happy. (More or less. I ought to like Amber more than I do because it has a large dysfunctional family in it, only I fancy Zelazny's attention was *not* on the family as organic unit at all; and that's why I don't.)

Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Priest
- people heal from stab wounds and gunshots rather quickly in this one. Maybe they're all vampires.

Polite Lies, Mori
- series of essays on how Japanese social customs stack up against midWesterners'. The author prefers the midwest. By a Japanese woman who's lived half her life in Japan (in an upper middleclass dysfunctional family) and half in Minnesota. Reminder that the Japanese are no more the Borg than we are, though the author doesn't make that point.

Gifts, Leguin
Cloud Atlas, Wossname


100 Demons 18
100 Demons 17
The Do Everything Company Now Prospering Mightily, Kirishima
-- Kirishima manga are fun, even when dropped into midseries. Woman is not afraid of wasting ink. Fluff, but visually satisfying fluff.
Ouchou Romanse 2

And by a nose (= finished y'day), a one dollar book from BMV, Detective Stories from The Strand. The Strand was the magazine that published the first Sherlock Holmes stories and personified the between-Wars golden age of English detective writing. There's a number of fun stories in this one, suitable for reading on the subway or the bus-- which is fine, I later discover, because the originals were intended to divert people on the train. Included are several late Holmes stories, which I'd read, alas; and a pastiche by Ronald Knox, which I hadn't. I have read better pastiches, il faut dire; the plotting may be good but the style is just a trifle off. Possibly it's the author's name that ensured inclusion.

This leaves me thinking still, and again, about Judge Dee. I have a copy of the one and only English-language pastiche sitting around here somewhere. A casual glance inside suggested that it was less pastiche than cut and paste, which some people get confused. I'm hoping to be proved wrong, but still... I should like some decent Judge Dee pastiche, and am wondering how to do it. Alas, the first order of business is a plot or three, and plot is so not my thing.
Tags: dwj, holmes, japan, manga_09, reading_09, writing
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