Sunday, December 31, 2017

My father and I just finished Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip

My father and I just finished Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip.

Once again McKillip proves that she ranks alongside J.K. Rowling and Diana Wynne Jones and even Tolkien himself. She has written Gilgameshian, Shakespearean, and Fairy Tale epics. This was Arthurian. 
A crazy and unprecedented blend of medieval and modernity very seldom do questing knights ride limos and text each other with a powerful splash of Celtic myth. Camelot is nice, but I'll take Severluna, capital of Wyvernhold and realm of King Arden Wyvernbourne, any day. Acknowledging that you never know when depraved chefs out of demented fairy tales might steal sacred artifacts and ruin your taste-buds.

Peace and tasteful dinners to Pierce Oliver & Val & Leith & Heloise, Carrie and that old wolf Merle, Prince Daimon and Dame Scotia Malory, Hal and Tye of Kingfisher, Princess Perdita, and the fay ones of Ravenhold.

New Year's Eve

As 2017 rolls away I think it is only fitting to look back on this year's accomplishments:

  • Dragonworld by Byron Preiss and Michael Reaves
  • The Opening of the World series by Harry Turtledove
  • Sherwood Smith's The Crown & Court Duet
  • The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
  • The Tower at Stony Wood by Patricia A. McKillip
  • Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer
  • The Battle of Hackham Heath by John Flanagan, book #2 of his Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years series
  • The Colors of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty
  • Goldenhand by Garth Nix, sequel and final book of the classic Abhorsen Series
  • The Taste of Lightning by Kate Constable, sequel-companion novel of her Chanters of Tremaris trilogy
  • The Elenium series by David Eddings
  • The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell
  • Tales of the Bard series by that master of myth named Michael Scott
  • Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip (I add this assuming that Dad and I will finish it tonight)
(Also and on a side note, I can finally say that I have been a Magic: The Gathering player for a full year)

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

Just started The Book of Dust

This is a Life Event. One I have been waiting for for approximately 10 years 馃槏

The Book of Dust was like a myth, like a fabled mist-shrouded castle one endless walks towards yet never reaches nor even sees clearly. For over a decade nearly all we heard was that Philip Pullman was "working on it," this message updated/rephrased every few years or so.

Only now it will be a series (Yay!!!), companion to His Dark Materials, and I can at long last say that I have started La Belle Sauvage, Volume #1 of The Book of Dust trilogy by Philip Pullman.

Lyra may be only a baby, but I am looking forward to seeing her and making a new friend in Malcolm with all my heart.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

For everyone and everything, there is a time to die.

"Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?" In this case a bit of both, and my deepest thanks to my friend Caleb for setting me on this path so long ago.

Just finished Goldenhand by Garth Nix, sequel and final book of the classic Abhorsen Series 馃敂
As always, the seriously long climax nearly gave me heart-failure, but I would been disappointed otherwise. And such a pleasure to see old friends again! Sabriel & Touchstone, Lirael & Nick, Sam and Ellimere...and new friends like Ferin of the Athask tribe.

If you want to read a truly unique and wondrous Fantasy of the first order, look no further than the Old Kingdom.

Thank you for everything Garth Nix, none the least for teaching me one of the basic principles of High Fantasy morality the sentiment of the Abhorsens: "For everyone and everything, there is a time to die."

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Dragonborn comes

Back in August I posted a music video of the Skyrim song The Dragonborn comes as an example of how music is one of great moral pillars of the High Fantasy. (It must be remembered, after all, that Fantasy games have no less story potential than Fantasy literature).
However, another moral pillar is the respect given to, and inspiration drawn from, the ancient world – and one of my favorite olden cultures that of the ancient Celtic peoples. After all, they were the original Druids and produced some of the finest Bards. So here is a Celtic-style version of The Dragonborn comes I found recently. Frankly, I think it is genius.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Small and simple lessons

One of the beauties of the High Fantasy is that it teaches critical real-world lessons in totally out of this world ways. For example, take the age old question of: What does one's race have to do with friendship?

None that I can see. And the above is just one example, the image (from MtG) so good as to be irresistible. Take Legolas and Gimli, Elf and Dwarf and about as different as different can be, as another and arguably the most famous instance. One loves gems and mountains, the other woodlands and flowers, and there is a long history of distrust, scorn, and even war between their races. Yet between them blossoms a friendship based on battle-born trust, a hugely funny love of slaying orcs, and a whole host of shared experiences coupled with being the sole representatives of their races in the War of the Ring as fought in Gondor and Rohan. Not enough? Well, who can explain why people become friends? Sometimes it just works and, in my experience, the strange friendships often turn out to be the best. The point though is that racial differences were overcome to the degree that, long after the Sauron's fall and the death of Aragorn, when they were last two living members of the Fellowship in Middle Earth, Legolas took Gimli to the Undying Lands with him.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Just for the record...

Just for the record, the following basically sums up my approach to life, explaining my dry sense of humor. As always, Diana Wynne Jones hits the nail on the head.