|09:57 pm - The Coyote Road|
Alan Garner's The Guizer is a collection of traditional trickster tales, and the tricksters in them- Coyote, Anansi, Raven- are not nice people at all. Impulsive, violent, casually cruel: somewhere between sociopath and brain damaged.
The tricksters in this collection were written by 21st century westerners and are a much more civilized lot. Only the evil suffer, if anyone suffers at all, which is how we like it in our fictional worlds. I don't say I'd like the trad figure in my stories, but these benevolent tricksters are, mh, well.
There *is* an amoral force in Jeffrey Ford's The Dreaming Wind, but it's the wind itself, which one can live with. And Theodora Goss' poem How Raven Made his Bride has sociopathic Raven, sure enough, who doesn't win in the long run. Otherwise I really liked The Fiddler of Bayou Teche for the setting- Louisiana bayous- and the semi-patois and the sad werewolves who live out in the swamp. Also Kelly Link's The Constable of Abal for its unique take on ghosts and oddly derived, not quite traceable, world building; and Jedediah Berry's The Other Labyrinth for the inevitable echoes of Borges and the unexpected and almost certainly unintentional echoes of Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard.