Monday, 24 September 2012

Overhaul

So, I'm going to be giving this space a bit of restructuring (or... destructuring) over the next few weeks. I keep two blogs, this one and the more subject-specific Rushlight List. I originally set this one aside for fantasy book reviews and the occasional piece of my own writing, and it'll continue to serve this purpose, but I've also decided to move in and make it my own personal blog. This effectively means that I may occasionally blog about stuff apart from fantasy books, like regular books and films and even - mon dieu! - life. There'll also be some cosmetic changes to make the place more bitternine (botaurine?) and generally a bit more professional.

I've just finished vol. 3 of A Song of Ice and Fire, having finally given up my 'have-to-be-the-first' pride and joined the masses. At this point I'm planning to review the series in one segmented post when I've caught up to the most recently published.

I'm rather less sure what to do about The Wheel of Time. The author died two books ago, the final volume is out this month, and I'm only up to vol. 9, with a good 5,000 pages still to go (and let's just take a moment to reflect on how this sentence could only apply to Robert Jordan's epic). Do I review the entire series, or knuckle down and review each book in turn? Well, I can say that it's not going to be the latter.

In fresher news, I started Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen recently; at some point I'll post a review of the first book, Gardens of the Moon. I'm looking forward to comparing three of epic fantasy's most interminable series; so far I've been very impressed by all three.

Currently I'm reading Great Expectations, in the hope that soon I might finally start to have a handle on classic literature. I've found I tend to read around the classics in a way that might be called Gummo Marx Syndrome - if I'm going to read a Brontë it has to be Anne; if someone tells me to read Jane Austen I'm more likely read Mansfield Park than Pride and Prejudice. With Dickens it was a struggle not to go off and find a copy of Edwin Drood, but this time I managed to restrain myself and to pick up one of his best known works. So far what I've heard about Dickens has been borne out: gifted but verbose, witty and observative but with no understanding whatsoever of women.

Writing goes slowly. I had a piece published online in Untold Method magazine ('Black Bells' in Issue 4: Infestation) and otherwise I'm feeling rather backed up. All ideas, but whenever I try to put them down in some semblance of order something doesn't quite click. Alas. These things come in waves, and, to quote the fabulous Varys of A Song of Ice and Fire, "Storms come and go, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling." Writing has always felt more like paddling than swimming to me, and as long as my head's above water I have no intention of stopping.