Showing posts from September, 2014

Review : The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman

"I t didn’t matter where you were, if you were in a room full of books you were at least halfway home.”             --Lev Grossman, from The Magician’s Land Unless you’ve been caught in in an enchanted sleep for the past several years (or just don’t pay attention to book news at all, I suppose) you’ve heard of The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman. “Harry Potter for adults,” it’s been called, as well as both a deconstruction of and loving homage to The Chronicles of Narnia and other classic works of genre fantasy. It’s achieved widespread critical acclaim and popular success. It’s also received the most polarized reviews I’ve ever seen on Amazon and GoodReads. Grossman’s series is a collision of literary tropes with genre fantasy tropes, all told with snarky verve and crackling Whedon-esque dialogue. Some people can’t stand these books. I love them. I LOVE them. I finally finished reading the last installment of the series, “The Magician’s Land,” this weekend. And it was the

Last publication for the year: notes on "The Berry Girl"

When it rains, it pours. Or something like that. My last story for 2014 came out this week (same week as " Congress of Dragons .") This latest one is " The Berry Girl ," up at Lakeside Circus . A podcast should be coming out soon. It was released just as summer ends, which is fitting as the story is an ode to summer. STORY NOTES (possibly mild spoilers below!) I wrote this story last year, in the thick of summer. The new raspberry bush in our front yard was giving us its first harvest. Every day my youngest daughter checked the bush for ripe berries. It was her greatest delight to pick the berries, bringing them one or two at a time into the house in a little yellow bowl. One morning I was in the shower when my little girl entered the bathroom. She slid open my shower door to proudly show me her harvest--her bowl full of ripe berries. And she sang, "I am the Berry Girl! I am the Berry Girl!" So I sat down to write a story about a Berry

Worth reading: review of One Throne Magazine, Summer 2014 issue

There’s so much good reading online these days. My reading (and writing) leans toward the speculative fiction genre, and I struggle to keep up with the journals in that field. Clarkesworld , Lightspeed, Shimmer , Apex, Strange Horizon s. . . The list goes on. Aside from clicking to Brevity when a new issue comes out, I rarely look at “literary” or non-genre journals. But a little while ago, one of the editors at One ThroneMagazine e-mailed me asking if I would consider reviewing his magazine. Just before Labor Day weekend, I finally read the Summer 2014 issue straight through. I’m glad I did.  First off: the layout of this magazine is gorgeous. It is a slick, professional-looking online journal, and lavishly illustrated. Each story and poem is accompanied by artwork, and I was surprised at how well the pictures went with the text. I found most of the illustrations intriguing and lovely on their own, but when combined with powerful prose or poetry something truly resonan

New publication at Mirror Dance!

I wrote a story about dragons. Because, hey, dragons. If you want to know more, head on over to the current issue of Mirror Dance , a lovely magazine put together by award-winning writer Megan Arkenberg . My story is " Congress of Dragons, " and it's the first piece I've ever had that is accompanied by an illustration. I'm thrilled by the artwork that Megan selected. I think it catches the mood and fits very well. I never thought to see my character, Erran, like this, and I actually love it that the dragons aren't depicted. I haven't had time to do more than skim through the magazine and read the first story (" The Frost Queen Requests Your Support" by Aimee Picchi --an unusual take on a frost queen story, with prose as sharp and gorgeous as ice), but as always the entire thing looks sumptuous. I'm looking forward to settling in with this one. Thanks to Megan for reading and publishing my story, and for the work that she does in putt