Author Archive

Eye Spy

Obsession, and the tunnel vision it gives us, isolates us. That isolation, in turn, gives more room for obsession to grow. It takes a strong person to pull someone out of their own head over and over and to try to shove them back into the light. It requires a patience and love I have found in my family and in my friends.

Scorpion Soup

I feel a little irked by the lack of real delineation: each story has its own title, flush right in big letters, but that’s not really the beginning of a story. The real beginning is the beginning of the first story in the book. It’s a bit misleading, but there is something in it that delights me, too. It may be stringing me along in spite of myself, but if I have a goofy grin on my face the whole time, why should I complain? I’m being whisked off to places I’ve never seen before. It feels ungrateful to complain about not knowing where the magic carpet is going when I should focus on the fact that I’m flying on a magic carpet.

The Tale of Telsharu

I flip to the back cover of the book to read the author descriptions, and I discover that both Mechling and Stubbs have been studying martial arts for years. They would have experienced what it means to be changed by that kind of discipline, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually. The Tale of Telsharu is a book that could not be written by anyone else, and I think that’s a mark of a good writer (or writer team, in this case). They’ve found their unique voice.

Goodbye, Jimmy Choo

“…it’s difficult for me to legitimize the choice I made to put my own career aspirations on hold so that my husband could attain his. I have the nagging insecurity that comes with never having been completely independent, never having lived entirely by my own wits. I was raised to associate financial independence with adulthood. By taking on a domestic role, I fear I have doomed myself to perpetual adolescence.”

Mythology of Touch

Maybe I’m just saying that I like Dockery’s poetry because it’s not entirely a mystery to me. I legitimately feel that by expressing herself, she has taught me a little more about my own self. Her prose poems, especially, remind me of Robert Frost in their conversational tone, a strange mingling of speech and stream of consciousness, with just a pinch of song.

Tribesman

Culainn is a reluctant hero at best. He seems to act more out of compulsion than desire. He is warrior born and therefore he must save this village woman, beat up this bandit, and slay this demon wolf-thing that is trying to gnaw on his intestines. It’s like he can’t help it…

The Conspiracies of Dreams

…we have two characaters named Isaac and Rebecca who are rehearsing Milton’s Samson Agonistes as the play’s lead roles, Samson and Delilah. Perhaps the book was written for people who didn’t go to Bible school every Sunday for the first eighteen years of their lives, but I’m finding the presentation of the character parallels heavy-handed. I would have preferred a bit more subtlety and the chance to have an ‘Aha!’ moment…

Prince of Thorns

I prefer novels that don’t create their worlds from scratch because creating an entire world from nothing is difficult to do well. I have read plenty of failed attempts. By far my favorite method is to generate a world based on existing cultures, which is the case in Prince of Thorns.

Mayan Interface

One section I enjoy in particular discusses that this business of the Mayan calendar ending on December 21st, 2012 is based on a misunderstanding of the Mayan concept of time. December 21st is merely the end of the current Mayan cycle. There are several other…

The Silver House

Even within the first chapters of The Silver House, there is some very rich world-building. I’ve already been introduced to two different races with two different magic systems, city-states on opposite sides of continents, a besieged Cardanon, a class system rife with politics, and a long list of characters including a spunky story-telling street urchin…

Reviewer Spotlight: Rachel Castleberg

What’s the oddest thing you own? A, for lack of a better term, vase, short and made of clay with blue-green glaze, with a very severe/alien looking face molded into the front of it. My sister made it in a high school art class. I honestly can’t remember if she gave it to me or if I accidentally stole it.

The Lexicographer’s Dilemma

I started reading avidly for three reasons: I discovered that fiction was often much more interesting than my real life; I wanted to prove to everyone how smart I was through the number of books I could finish in a week; and I developed this little voice at the back of my head…

Warbreaker

Sanderson is one of the few fantasy authors who has mastered the art of concluding a story. I think fantasy authors’ peculiar attachment to writing sequels into perpetuity partly stems from how much effort these authors put into building their worlds. To let the narrative come to an end is almost to…

Dracula

Even if we are living our lives through books, trying to find meaning in the way our personal stories develop, we are never living only one story at a time: we have a main plot, yes, but it is littered with subplots and asides, grocery lists and electric bills and…