1. Judith Tarr
Judith Tarr is a well known
author within the SF/F community but I don't think she has ever attained
the broader recognition her books patently deserve. My favorite of her
work is Lord of the Two Lands,
a fantastical alternate history of Alexander the Great moving into
Egypt. The main character, an Egyptian priestess named Meriamon, is sent
as a lure, omen, and diplomat into the heart of the invading Greek
army. What makes Tarr brilliant is her writing style: she uses short,
punchy, fragmentary sentences that nevertheless manage to convey
eminence depth of meaning, emotion, and characterization. Everything she
writes is precisely implemented, bladed and cutting, even when joyful.
After a long while she found another word. "Sekhmet?"
Soft paw, prick of claws. Murmur of inquiry: "Mrrrrttt?"
Trust me, in context, those few words will make you cry. The Lord of the Two Lands is
as near to perfect as a book can get, filled with adventure, action,
and tension yet also bittersweet and wildly romantic. It's one of those I
return to again and again, and as an author I am always slightly
disheartened knowing I myself could never write such clean sharp prose.
2. Ann Maxwell
Ann Maxwell is a prolific writer better known for her romance novels then her science fiction, of which her last was Timeshadow Rider in 1986. (I still live in hope that she may finish the Firedancer
series, three of which came out in the early 80s, ending on a
cliffhanger.) I can't fault her, since her romances afford her a living,
we writers must eat. But if you can get a hold of some of her stand
alone science fiction, you're in for a treat. Timeshadow Rider is
my favorite. Where Tarr is a master of brevity, Maxwell dances with
words. Her prose is lyrical, poetical, and flowing but not flowery. Her
science fiction reads like some surreal myth about the future. Her
aliens are precisely that, so alien I feel, as a reader, like they are
almost beyond my comprehension, and yet I am eager to try to understand
them all the more because of that. Each time I reread her books I feel
like I am learning something different about her dream-like vision of
what could be.
3. Claudia J Edwards
J Edwards wrote four fantasy novels in the late 80s, one of which was
the first in a planned series. Sadly, she died in 2010. That series
might have been one of my favorites, but as it's unfinished, so I'll
focus on Taming the Forest King. I adore
this book. It's one of the few I reread regularly and I know will
always cheer me up. It's a straight up classic fantasy with a super
tough female main character, military service, magical monsters, and one
of the most perfectly executed love triangles ever written. This is one
where I'm not going to comment on the writing style, because, frankly
I'm too sucked into the story - every time - to be able to tell you
anything about it. And that, in and of itself, is a major
GAIL'S DAILY DOSE
Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Your Infusion of Cute . . .
|via the FB|
Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
PROJECT ROUND UP
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second. Out now!
Soulless Vol. 3 (AKA Blameless the manga) ~ Out now!
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third. I honestly do not yet know the exact release date. Probably early November 2014.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Working rough draft.
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First: Delayed. Why? Rewrite begins soon.
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
Audiobook of Crudrat releasing end of April 2014. Find out more at crudrat.com
The Nocturnal Library says of Curtsies & Conspiracies, “It would appear that Gail Carriger gets even more bold and hilarious with each new book she writes.”
Quote of the Day:
"The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame."
~ Oscar Wilde
Labels: reviews, shaving the beast