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Entries from May 2008

Karen Russell: St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

29 May 2008 · No Comments

Most of the ten stories in Russell’s debut collection share the same literary device: the unease and tension of emerging adolescent sexuality is mirrored by strangeness (supernature, surreality) in the external world. Russell has a knack for killer first sentences, like “My brother Wallow has been kicking around Gannon’s Boat Graveyard for more than an [...]

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Tags: fiction · r-author · s-title

Robert Sheckley: Uncanny Tales

28 May 2008 · No Comments

Uncanny Tales comprises 16 short stories of uneven quality from the final two decades of Sheckley’s career. “Magic, Maples and Maryanne,” is a fine cautionary fable of magic and morality with an almost Jonathan Carroll-like vibe. “The New Horla” (the title is a reference to a classic Guy de Maupassant short) is grimly gripping in [...]

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Tags: fantasy · s-author · science fiction · u-title

Karl Schroeder: Ventus

22 May 2008 · No Comments

Part of the fun of Ventus lies in discovering how Schroeder’s unusual milieu arose, so I will try to avoid spoilers (I didn’t read the book jacket flap before I started reading, and I’m glad). But it’s very quickly obvious that Ventus concerns a collision between two societies — one feudal and pre-industrial, one extremely [...]

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Tags: s-author · science fiction · v-title

Lauren Henderson: Freeze My Margarita

08 May 2008 · No Comments

It may partly be “too many books in the same series back-to-back” syndrome, but Freeze My Margarita felt much more tired and formulaic than the previous book in the Sam Jones series, Black Rubber Dress, and several particulars bugged me:

The opening scene is set in a D/s club. It seems to be set there purely [...]

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Tags: f-title · h-author · mystery

Charles Stross: The Jennifer Morgue

07 May 2008 · No Comments

I think The Jennifer Morgue is the most successful of Charles Stross’s novels that I’ve read so far. It’s a mutant melange of genres including xenophobic Lovecraftian horror/fantasy; Dilbert-esque, geek-celebrating cubicle rat satire; modern techno espionage thriller; and old-school shaken-not-stirred James Bondage — all served up with a hefty post-modern literary twist and dark [...]

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Tags: fantasy · horror · j-title · s-author · thriller