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Tag Archives: fantasy

Eventually the Mountains Rang With It

He could not make up his mind what he thought about it, and wished he had some friend who would tell him what to think. Actually it seemed to him wholly unsatisfactory, and yet very lovely, the only really beautiful picture in the world. What he would have liked at that moment would have been […]

Characterized Through Stereoscopy

I often start by imagining the character as a physical and psychological object, and then imagining how that object appears to other people in the drama, including me. Then I start adding detail to justify or confound those assumptions. Then I go deeper, to see if I can discover an interior landscape that challenges the […]

Titus Groan

I heard or read someone recommend the Gormenghast novels at some point, but I don’t remember who it was, or if they were trustworthy. Based on that flimsy and possibly imaginary endorsement, I picked up the omnibus at the library. It’s not supposed to be a trilogy, but Mervyn Peake died before he could write […]

Briar Rose

Jane Yolen is a deft writer, and in Briar Rose, she punches me in the guts. Repeatedly. Then the face, then back to the guts. I remember picking it out at the library, thinking, Oh yes, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. How nice. Surely it’s not actually about Nazis. But it is. The events of […]


I read Cages, which is written and illustred by Dave McKean, right after Signal to Noise, one of his many collaborations with Neil Gaiman. Cages is McKean on his own, and it shows, in new and pleasant ways, but also in some slightly tiresome ways. I like it; I think it’s very well done, and […]

The Ladies of Grace Adieu

This collection of eight short stories by Susanna Clarke reads in much the same vein as her novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which one might expect, since all but one of the stories are set in that world. The odd one out, called The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse, is part of Neil […]