Welcome to the Bittern. I'm Michael, and I read and write fantasy, though I'm not even sure what that means, or whether it means anything at all. Because I'm escapist by nature, I read all stories with the hope of being taken to far-off worlds. Ah. That about covers it.
This blog is mainly for fiction reviews. I may occasionally post more general thoughts on writing, and some of my own fiction - we'll see how it goes. My reviews are geared specifically towards writers of the fantastical, but many of the stories reviewed won't fall comfortably within the fantasy genre, and some not at all. Genre fantasy still spends far too much time looking inward, re-hashing old themes and settings. Some are timeless; others are not. As I've said, I consider all fiction to be fantasy of sorts, and in writing about less obviously fantastical literature, certain common themes will surely re-surface.
Who am I to pass judgement on established writers? Well, I'm a highly critical reader who has been fascinated by stories since as long as I can remember. I'm also an active writer, and spend a great deal of time thinking about the intricacies of storytelling: structure, plot, character, pacing etc. Stories are for anyone and everyone, whether you're reading with a wide frame of reference or none at all. I'm approaching from somewhere in the middle.
I hope, down the line, people will have something to say about my reviews - I'm always interested in discussing, debating, and outright arguing over stories, and I'm also perfectly open to changing my opinion. For me, each story is a journey through new and unknown territory, and each person's experience is different and unique. I'd invite anyone treading similar paths to share their own.
Check back soon for my first review: The Green Child by Herbert Read.