Friday, October 17, 2014

Underappreciated Authors: Part Two

Friday, October 17, 2014 2
Back in August I wrote about some authors I felt were a touch underappreciated, which really has nothing to do with sales numbers but rather with my perception.  I acknowledged that I may only be looking through a very narrow lens and all sorts of wonderful conversations are occurring in places I don't see, but that's the only lens I'm able to look through right now.

I knew then that I wanted to continue to highlight more writers who I have enjoyed, but don't too much conversation about.  

The first of those is Daniel Keys MoranI wrote a bit about Moran in 2007, which is to say that some time during high school I stumbled across The Long Run, the second novel in his Continuing Time setting (which had an ambitious 33 novels planned) and I was absolutely hooked.  I've come back to The Long Run from time to time over the years.  He has published seven novels, though only four in The Continuing Time.  Honestly, his fiction has been a bit hit or miss for me, but The Long Run was one great chase of a novel and The Last Dancer was solid and opened up the scope of the story he was telling.  I'd probably skip Emerald Eyes (or just understand that it's rather rough / raw compared to the next two).  I sound a bit conflicted about Moran, and I suppose I am, but I know that I'd be quite happy if he was able to keep publishing his Continuing Time novels because I would absolutely love to read them. 

The only work I've read from Jennifer Roberson is her multi-generational Chronicles of the Cheysuli series featuring a race of shape changing humans dealing with all sorts of prejudice, love, prophecy, lineage, and expectations.  Cheysuli is an 8 volume completed series and, if my memory serves from high school, is quite good and worth reading.  Years ago, Roberson announced she was going to write three additional Cheysuli novels (two interstitials and a prequel), but that they would be written after three other books which have not yet come to fruition.  Roberson is also the author of the Tiger and Del Sword-Dancer novels. 

Katherine Kurtz is most well known for the long running Deryni series, and has also written the Adapt and Templar series.  I first discovered her novels because of King Javan's Year and then the earlier set Camber of Culdi novels, and what I most appreciated was how Kurtz blended religion and magic - and the ceremonies and traditions of each.  The details were richly written and, despite the nastiness of what is going on, there is beauty in the description and in the faith. Wonderful, wonderful novels.  My preference is the earlier Camberian era novels and not the later set Kelson books.  Kurtz is wrapping up the Childe Morgan trilogy this coming December and with luck, she really will write the 948 novel or the Orin and Jodotha novel she hinted at years ago. 

Any writers you feel have not had enough attention these days?

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Books Read: September 2014

Wednesday, October 08, 2014 0
All apologies for the delay in my monthly Books Read post and also for the overall lack of content.  There's been a number of things happening on the homefront.  First, we moved into our new house (from apartment), so there's been a plethora of home related items to take care of.  Second, I have a test coming up next week that I would really love to excel at, so that's been taking a good chunk of the remaining time.  Third, life's just been extra busy.

So, I'll probably need a little bit more time to sort this stuff out, but we're close to being through this busy patch.  After which, I'll resume the Memories Of series with Pern and Midkemia, plus at least one more after that.  We'll see.

The link below is to the one review I managed to write. 

1. Landline, by Rainbow Rowell
2. Bravo, by Greg Rucka
3. Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson
4. Hurricane Fever, by Tobias Buckell
5. The Mirror Empire, by Kameron Hurley
6. Book of Iron, by Elizabeth Bear
7. The Diamond Throne, by David Eddings
8. Maplecroft, by Cherie Priest (unfinished)

Best Book of the Month: I was completely caught up in both The Mirror Empire and Words of Radiance.  If you're a fan of the massive tomes of more traditional epic fantasy, you really can't go wrong with Words of Radiance.  But in the same vein, I kept needing to know more about what's going on in The Mirror Empire.  I couldn't review it and do it justice, but that's a landmark fantasy that I hope will be recognized as such for some time.  There's a lot to unpack in it, but it's worth the effort.

Disappointment of the Month: This may be the only time I ever put one of Elizabeth Bear's books in the Disappointment category, but I struggled to engage with the novella.  Given that I nominated Bone and Jewel Creatures for the Hugo a few years back, it's not the setting of this prequel I struggled with.  I don't know.  Whatever it was, it's me.

Discovery of the Month: None.

Unfinished of the Month: I've plowed through most of Cherie Priest's novels, and there is seriously nothing wrong with Maplecroft, but I had to force myself to keep picking the book up.  I'll give this one another try in the future.

Worth Noting: David Eddings, man.  Writing up the Memories of Riva column had me feeling nostalgic and while I'm still not sure the Belgariad will hold up for me, The Diamond Throne mostly did.  Mostly. So much of the book is obvious, but it's good fun if you don't think too much about what's going on or examine any of the issues too seriously.  But for Eddings, it's damn near adult and it's a piece of my teenage years that happily I can still enjoy.  I'll finish up the Elenium before putting Eddings back to bed, possibly for good. 

Gender Breakdown: Four of the eight novels I read (or attempted to read) were written by women. Half isn't bad, though I suppose one could argue with me over Maplecroft.  This brings me to 43/100 for the year. 


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