Shagduk

Shagduk

This book from Pilum press, doesn't really neatly slot into any categories. It's set in the 1970's, a world I dimly remember from my childhood, in a Texas I have even fainter memories of. Nevertheless it captures something that I have glimpsed the afterimages of, and grew up in the fading echoes. It is real and grounded and almost utterly matter-of-fact, not written at all like your "standard" sci-if or fantasy book, especially of the last couple decades, yet it is magical. It pulls this off wit…

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The Wells of Ur

The Wells of Ur

Cities come, cities go, yet the city remains. Pilum is now working on getting it's fourth book published, Shagduk by JB Jackson, over at Kickstarter [https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deredordica/shagduk-de-re-dordica-book-one-a-novel-by-jb-jackson] . This, fresh off of successfully republishing Sky Hernstrom's Thune's Vision with the addition of a new Mortu and Kyrus story. I've mentioned their first collection, The Penultimate Men, in passing, but today I'd like to cover their second b…

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Forced Perspectives - On Higher Powers 4

Forced Perspectives - On Higher Powers 4

(I'd looked at several of Tim Power's books before - incuding the earlier Vickery and Castine story, Alternate Routes [https://thelastredoubt.com/on-higher-powers-pt-2/]). Since we last saw Vickery and Castine, things had not quite returned to normal. Sure, Ingrid Castine went back to work for the hush-hush transportation agency who's rogue manager had tried to kill her, and Vickery, a former secret service agent, was living a quiet life in a small home near the highway.  But both were a bit un…

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Higher Powers, Pt. 3

Higher Powers, Pt. 3

I know I've mentioned my love for The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers several times, most recently in my review of Alternate Routes [https://thelastredoubt.com/on-higher-powers-pt-2/]. The book made a profound impact on me decades ago in middle school, and held up well as more than childhood nostalgia disorder when I read it again recently. Nevertheless, I missed a lot of the symbolism in it. For example, the connections between the events in the book and the liturgical year. Then I came acr…

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Roundup

Roundup

It's been a while, and I've accumilated a few odds and ends that don't call for a full post. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hate is bad. So we are told. Of course, the same people will gladly tell us that "White Lives Don't Matter [http://archive.is/ME10Q]". I know, I know, they'll tell you that it's not "white lives" as in "the lives of white people," but instead "white lives" as in "lives lived as if you were white" - she even somewhat cl…

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On Higher Powers, Pt 2.

On Higher Powers, Pt 2.

I know I have once mentioned Tim Powers [https://thelastredoubt.com/on-higher-powers/], and specifically the book of his that left an impression on me for nearly 40 years to the point of tracking it down and buying it. Drawing of the Dark was as good as remembered, possibly better and weirder - and so I bought a couple more of his books. While one of his better known works, Anubis Gates, is in my reading pile, I ended up reading a much more recent work first, the hidden-world modern fantasy Alte…

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Style inNeon

Style inNeon

Alexandru Constantin recently put up two posts I'd like to tie together. The first was a review of "Neon Harvest" by Jon Mollison [https://barbarianbookclub.com/2020/03/23/book-review-neon-harvest-by-jon-mollison/] . > Neon Harvest does something different, something cool. It’s not a true sci-fi nor a true cyberpunk. Jon takes the technological baseline of the early 80’s and stagnates it. It’s a pre-digital cyber-thriller. The heroes still use pay-phones, newspapers are still on paper, and cas…

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Style is Part of the Substance

Style is Part of the Substance

Alexandru Constantin notes that not only is much of modern fantasy shallow in substance, but it also posesses no depth of style [https://barbarianbookclub.com/2020/03/26/its-all-about-style/comment-page-1/], rendering it almost unreadable. > Most of all, all three of the books had pedestrian writing that lacked any hint of style. The prose felt like early young adult, middle school grade, nothing fancier than early Animorphs, and the plot and characters felt stolen from a overwritten D&D modul…

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