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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Comeback Post: Hi again, and How are You? (+free stories)

Remember me? How are you, dear follower? Drop me a line so it doesn't feel like shouting out into empty space. I've missed book-blogging, and hope to get back to it, but I see a few of you have left, there are plenty new faces around, and the YA blogging world is still its fiiiiiine self.

I’m incredibly busy these days, trying to fit in projects and final semester and job interviews and such into a schedule made worse by my writing commitments, but I had to talk about what I was reading and my relationship with Young Adult literature in general.

 I haven’t been reading very much YA these days, basically because I stumbled across writers in an adult genre who I enjoy reading. Granted, I am still very much enamored by fantasy and speculative fiction, and I have been reading a lot of what is called “slipstream” or “weird fiction”, the likes of which you don’t find a lot in YA.

One of my favorite authors at present is Catherynne M Valente. Her writing is incredibly touching and beautiful, drawing from vast sources that stretch from Russian history to Japanese mythology, creation myths to popular culture, film noir to universes populated by intelligent singularities. For all the fantastic characters that populate her pages, Miss Valente can still do sentences like this:

Cassian Uoya-Agostino set the box on the boardroom table. I caused it to sink down into the dark wood. The surface of the table went slack and filled with earth. Roots slid out of it, shoots and green saplings, hard white fruits and golden lacy mushrooms and finally a great forest, reaching up out of the table to hang all the ceiling with night-leaves. Glowworms and heavy, shadowy fruit hung down, each one glittering with a map of our coupled architecture. Ceno held up her arms, and one by one, I detached leaves and sent them settling onto my girl. As they fell, they became butterflies broiling with ghostly chemical color signatures, nuzzling her face, covering her hands. Her mother stared. The forest hummed. A chartreuse and tangerine-colored butterfly alighted on the matriarch’s hair, tentative, unsure, hopeful.

 [From the highly remarkable Silently and Very Fast]

And this is why I love fantasy with all my heart; because it is so unsure, so hopeful, so beautiful in that it makes you dream. The author’s novel Palimpsest, is a speculative fiction triumph. It is incredible, and if anyone is looking to crossover into the adult genre, Palimpsest is a book that gives you the wonder of new ideas and new mythologies as in YA, but does it in a lyrical way that will weave a spell about you. Here are links to 3 free works by Valente, so you can get a taste of her writing.

SILENTLY AND VERY FAST, won the Locus award for best short novella, and was a Hugo and Nebula nominee. For the uninitiated, these are all very prestigious awards in the speculative  genre. This novella tells the story of an artificially-intelligent house-like being called Elefsis, and is wonderful.


THE GIRL WHO RULED FAIRYLAND FOR A LITTLE WHILE, is set in the same world as the author's popular The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own Making and is as wonderful as the book. If you're a Gaiman fan, you will love this.

Here is finally, a collection of three poems, one of which is a Rhysling Award winner. One is a retelling of Rapunzel, one addresses loss and rootlessness through the eyes of the girlfriend of a Russian immigrant, and the last one is both about love and about how we relentlessly destroy the earth in pursuit of precious metals.

Have a read.


Other than that: things are changing in life, but I'd like to come back to blogging about books and writing. I'd like to do more Trifecta, and more reviews. How are you all? Got any great book recommendations? Just want to say hi? Hit the comments!

2 comments:

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  2. Heyyy glad to hear you're back! You do sound like you've been busy. So, I have not read anything by Catherynne M Valente. I need to change this STAT, yes?

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