Jun. 10th, 2017

via http://ift.tt/2t616NI:
Flowers, new guy, and this week’s share. (at Troy Waterfront Farmers Market)
via http://ift.tt/2rXBumX:
Yes!!! I have read all of her books I think. There might be one I couldn’t get my hands on, but I’d have to check. 

(And yeah, the blurbs for her books never do them justice. Says a woman who can’t write summaries of her own shit to save herself, so it’s not like I’m disapproving or whatever. )

City of Bones is the first ebook I ever bought, because I couldn’t get it in print and I wanted so badly to read it. I haven’t reread it in a couple of years, and I think it’s probably time I did. 

It is a fascinating story, set in a post-apocalyptic society; the climate changed, from ocean-coastal to desert, at some unspecified time in the distant but not unknowable past, and there’s a very stratified society set up now, rife with instability and corruption. Relics of the time before the change of climate are very valuable and sought-after, and knowledgeable sorts who are educated enough to know the difference between genuine ones and fakes are in-demand. One of the main characters ekes out a living as just such an expert. Another of the main characters is a woman who is a member of the elite ruling class, a highly-skilled practitioner of a martial art of a sort.

The relic dealer is also a member of what turns out to have been a created race [it’s not a spoiler if it’s in the official summary! I checked]: genetically engineered to survive the desert, his kind are considered outcasts, not well protected by the laws and often hunted for their bones, which sell on the black market as tools for augury. 

He’s an excellent character, a classic Martha Wells outcast type, more cynical even than Moon but recognizably similar– even down to some of his traits, i.e. being beautiful, being violently separated from his blood family, ingrained sense of direction, sharp teeth, some mild inversions of gender-related tropes in worldbuilding [both gender and sex stuff– his race are marsupial-ish so males can gestate young, and are in-demand as courtesans for various reasons and such like], and so on. It’s not… hm, a satisfying ending in some ways (there’s not really a romance subplot– typical of many of Wells’s works, there’s not really time among all the action– but there is some… tension that doesn’t really… resolve)– it turns out she meant to do a sequel, but there was no market for it. So I’ve spent a lovely long time imagining that sequel, it would be great for that. As it is, and some of this might be because it was the first ebook I ever read, I was genuinely shocked when the last page was really the last page; I’d assumed there was more. But you know, she’s not one for dragging things out.

And, I’ve written fic for it, just because I wanted there to be more of the book. I just did a classic gap-fill, and it’s notable because that’s probably the only writing I did during that entire year. I took a very long hiatus from writing at all, a while back… It’s not my best work, it’s a bit wooden, but I wrote it entirely for myself, because the book was that good and I found it that absorbing. (It contains no spoilers for the book, because it’s a prequel gap-filler, FYI, but I don’t know if it makes any sense on its own. Again, not my best work.)

At any rate– it’s a fascinating read, well worth a story, and for what it’s worth, it’s not in continuity with Wheel of the Infinite, but she has said, somewhere, that some of the worldbuilding overlaps with the stuff in that book, there’s a kind of cross-dimensional force of chaos that carries over. It’s extremely fascinating, and underneath all that there’s some really satisfying emotional resolution, not related to any romance plots but on the matters of identity and found family and the like– again, typical of her works, and those underlying themes are really what make all of her stories, even the short ones, so goddamn addictively satisfying and rereadable ad infinitum. 

(I did not go back and reread anything for this, but I have a whole lot of confidence that i have enough of the book memorized so I know what I’m talking about, just for the record. It did, I remember, take me a little doing to get immersed in the worldbuilding the first time through, but I promise, put up with the weird names and the unpleasant setting and you’ll get sucked in once there’s enough emotional resonance to hook you. I promise.)

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