Thursday, October 07, 2004

"People named Tinkerbell name their daughters Susan"

Went to the gallery opening for my friend Nico's mother, Bunny Harvey--these pictures are really ravishing.

Then came home and read the stories in Smoke and Mirrors. Neil Gaiman is a ridiculously good writer, though I prefer novels to short stories. My favorite from this collection: "One Life, Furnished in Early Moorcock." But there's a lot of really funny and smart stuff here.

My guilty pleasure reading this week was the final volume in the Magician trilogy by Trudi Canavan, The High Lord. I found the trilogy as a whole somewhat disappointing: obviously I liked it well enough to read all three volumes, but the writing is undistinguished and the characters and the world created in the end don't seem very distinctive either. But it is possible I've just been spoiled for all such things by the truly amazing Sabriel trilogy by Garth Nix. Garth Nix is superb. And I have always found that young-adult fantasy has an appeal that only the very best fantasy novels for adults have: i.e. the writing is often rather classier, and the characters more compelling. I think reading those Sabriel books was part of my inspiration for the trilogy I'm writing now (along with Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. It is rare to find books you read as an adult that have the magic of the books you read as a child--this is one way of describing my ongoing quest for really magical and mesmerizing books--but both Nix and Pullman are writing stuff that I would have been truly obsessed with had I read it at age eight. Well, I'm obsessed now, I've read both of those trilogies three times at least all the way through!

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