it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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i'm a freelance walker. i'm a freelance writer.

I come bearing a pail of random assorted book reviews. (Do you guys like the review roundups? Or is this boring and overly self-indulgent?)

maribou liked A Companion to Wolves

A really interesting, lightly spoilery, very thoughtful review of A Companion to Wolves at Books of Promise, focusing on the implications of the political structures of the book as viewed through a pagan lens.

ase liked A Companion to Wolves, with some reservations about hygiene.

jazzfish_media liked A Companion to Wolves, and got the caretaker subtext. SCORE!

andyleggett liked Carnival, though fair warning on the very purple blog. That said, however, I totally now want "This bitch can write." as the blurb on all my books now.

thebostonreader wishes to have liked Worldwired more. Drat me and my complicated plots!

Thomas Wagner at SF Reviews has the same problem with Dust. (This review v. spoilery.)

Carolyn Frank at SFRevu (Not to be confused with SF Reviews!)  thinks Dust is well-written for the general reader, however.

And slothman liked it on Librarything. Mmmm. Librarything.

Tobias Buckell reviews Dust for the Intergalactic Medicine Show.

kriz1818 liked Dust much better than Carnival. (Too much boyfriend intrigue, not enough cool alien tech on the latter.)

dsrtao votes yes on New Amsterdam, and writes a cheerful and amusing review that made me laugh. Extra points for "What number? We don't know!" and "They fight crime." (Yes. my original elevator pitch did involve something to the effect of "A middle-aged forensic sorceress with a complicated romantic life and a thousand-year-old vampire become embroiled in colonial politics on an alternate earth with! dirigibles!

They fight crime!"

nayad also liked New Amsterdam, and especially Sebastien. (You hear that, Don Sebastien? Your fans want that novella. Get to work in there, man! Quit stalling!)

Tamaranth liked Blood & Iron. I love this sentence: "I don't think I like Elaine very much: but I feel her pain, and I am utterly fascinated by her knife-edge relationship with Uisgebaugh..." 

She's not very likable. It's a strong genre convention that protagonists have to be likable, of course, but for me, some of my all-time favorites are not, and I do like playing that card. Broken people are interesting, and they are often brittle and full of sharp edges.

jewell79 not only liked Blood & Iron, but appears to have reached into my head and read the book I was trying to write. (Very spoilery review) Wow, that makes me feel kind of good, because the more distance I get from that book, the more I realize how truly it is a reflection of all the ways my brain processes information in patterns that mystify most people. I didn't know how to translate the inside of my head to the outside, yet, and so more linear folks find it incredibly opaque what's going on in there.

(I think I finally got this right in All the Windwracked Stars, by the way--keeping the intuitive thing balanced on knifepoint while getting the linearity in there to make it comprehensible. Dust is too linear, as is Undertow.Blood & Iron did not have the overlayer to carry the story forward for people who were not watching the thematic interlace.

I said a while back that for me, books have shapes--and I just realized that one of the problems with Chill right now, and why I haven't really started writing it yet, is that it doesn't have a shape. Neither did Dust, which was just a straight line (well, I guess that's a shape.) and that probably has to do with why I still feel it could have been a better book. The pendulum swung too far to the left-brain on that one, as it was too far right-brained with Blood & Iron. I need to get both things in a book to be happy with it, and not feel like it's either too opaque, or too surfacy and slight.

I did figure out something thematic about Chill last night, though, and it involves why Tristen is the protagonist of the book, so I'm pretty pleased about that. Of such small gains are mighty acorns grown. Or something.)

eternaleponine liked Whiskey & Water much better than she liked Blood & Iron. (I kind of feel the same way about them, really. ;-) )

cherith liked Hammered, and even managed to sort out the reason for the choppy POV, which makes me happy. *g*

Wil Wheaton also liked Hammered, and loved the supporting characters. (I really do too. I adore Razorface. He has an origin story. I'll tell you about it sometime.)

Chris Perridas reviews my short story "Shoggoths in Bloom," which is in the new (March) Asimov's. (Which I haven't seen yet. I wonder if they forgot my contributor's copy. I shall have to swing by Borders and see if they have one, so I can pet it. Pet the shoggoth! Maybe not such a wise idea.

And now I am going to go take a shower and hope the hot water drums some story into my head, and when that is done, I am going to burn a CD for ashacat and then go take netcurmudgeon to the dump. (Don't worry: I'll bring him back.)

Oh, and maybe I should feed this cat and make some coffee for myself. (Your entertainment dollars at work!)
Tags: reviews

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