jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
[personal profile] jazzfish
Havi, a couple of weeks ago:
Everything is stupid.

Everything?

Yes.

Including sweeping statements and broad generalizations? Maybe. Fine. I don’t care.


I bought Brust & Bull's Freedom & Necessity in hardback when it came out, and I was even one of the people who really liked it. (F&N is an epistolary novel set in England in the fall of 1849, with very muted fantasy elements. Not at all what one would expect from those two writers.) I loaned it to Kelly back when we were both still in Blacksburg; based on Certain Conversations about Certain Scenes I'd say it was sometime around spring 2004. Anyway, it got lost (the most likely theory is that she accidentally returned it to the library), so she bought me a replacement off Amazon or eBay or somewhere.

My daily dose of Lonesome October had me wanting MORE LIKE THIS, so I picked up Brust's Agyar, which has... I dunno, it's not even a similar voice, but Brust and Zelazny do have sort of the same feel to them. I chewed through Agyar pretty quickly, like I do, and then decided I wanted to reread F&N.

I got to page 65 and thought it seemed oddly familiar. It turned out the number at the top said 33, and not 65 at all. Crap. I flipped ahead a bit and determined that, yes, the printer had sewn in two copies of the 33-64 signature and zero of 65-96. ARGH.

So I ordered a third copy from Amazon, and it got here over the weekend, and I have been cheerfully devouring it ever since.

I'd somehow forgotten that James Cobham has long been my very favorite fictional character. He may have been the first memorable character I'd met who was both witty and damaged, and could use the one in defence of the other. I recognised... mm. In him I recognised a pure, archetypal, fictional version of how I wanted to see myself. (Real people in real life are never so neatly packaged, or self-contained. Nor are they redeemed and rehumanized so quickly by True Love.)

Miss Susan Voight, on Mr Cobham:
The most hideous thing in the whole hideous confrontation was that I knew, suddenly, that he wasn't really seeing me. It wasn't me he spoke to. It was some hateful part of himself that stood real as flesh before him: his demon, the author of his pain as well as the voice he called on to react to it. A perfect circle of torment.
Yeah. That sounds unpleasantly familiar.

Date: 2010-10-22 02:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] selki.livejournal.com
F&N is a great book. The layers of revelation were fascinating, and the period feel worked really well for me.

Someone I know felt personally mocked b/c they didn't know enough of the history to keep up with it. Like the authors were making fun of them or something. Sigh.

Date: 2010-10-23 04:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] selki.livejournal.com
I think it's the only fiction I've read in that time period, though I've read a fair bit of Regency, set 40-ish years earlier (Austen and Heyer).

... personally mocked? Seriously? I just what I don't even.

Yeah, me too.

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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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