Overloading on Fantasy

When I was at the ancestral home for the weekend after Christmas, I found a box of books that had lain dormant for over a decade. Among the treasures found therein was the discarded public library copy of The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, which I’ve been eagerly rereading over the last three days. I was surprised by how much of it I’d forgotten; it’s still an amazing historical fantasy. (In the rereading, I made particular note of the doubling theme, which plays out in a different way in Powers’ most recent novel, Declare, described in, among other places, this interview.

Also, over the last month or so, I’ve been reading Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey in bits and pieces. It’s one of those sprawling, nearly 1,000-page epics that turns out to be the first installment of a trilogy…well, I knew that coming in, since two of the three volumes are already in paperback. It was fairly entertaining; unlike many fantasy epic series that take place in a completely imaginary world, Carey’s is rooted in our own past, the premise being that blood of Jesus spilled at the crucifixion creates an angel-like being, Elua, with whom some of the angels in heaven align…so the story unfolds on a funhouse-mirror version of the European continent and the British Isles. The other noteworthy element is that the protagonist is a bisexual submissive whose masochistic tendencies are linked to an angelic gift/curse bestowed at birth. So there’s lots and lots of erotica, reasonably well done compared to other attempts by fantasy writers. Certainly I don’t know many others willing to write with such an explicitly queer sensibility in the mainstream realms of the genre. (Though of course I’m aware of the excellent indie publisher Circlet Press.)

30 December 2003 | uncategorized |