Rusty's World

Rusty’s Reading List 2019 | July 16, 2019

So many thoughts.
First, a disclaimer. I consider one of the authors of this book a good friend. I have known Amal for… a long time… and watching her develop into the immense talent she is now has been a treat.
(Side note: In fact, thinking about what to write here got me thinking about what it is like to know very successful people. I am going to turn that into a separate post, so as not to detract from the book and make this all about me.)

I agree with Stu, the novella is not one of my favourite forms. Despite that, I am read two very good ones very recently. As for the collaborative book, that is a different matter. Normally, when done well, it feels seamless. This time is not that, but not because it isn’t done well. Amal and Max took great advantage of their differing voices as an integral part of the book.
(Side note #2: I took great delight in realizing that I could ‘read’ which part was Amal very quickly. This glee was short-lived when I closed the book and realized they told us which part was written by whom on the cover. Great detective work there, Lou.)

Speaking of the novella, I recently read someone on twitter complaining about long novels and how writers should get back to stuff more concise. I disagreed, but that isn’t the point. A commenter said that those with big novels waste time ‘world-building’. I was aghast. World building is essential to any novel, but especially those that work in a milieu different from that outside our window. Yet this book EXCELS at world-building, despite the sparseness of words available to do it in. IN fact, it reminds that world-building and setting are not one in the same.

The world they have concocted would be very suited to a tv show. (ahem)

YET, who would read this book and be FIRST struck by the world? Oh, no. It is the characters that are centre stage. Both of them. (Yes there are others, but let us be clear, this is a story about two characters.) This is a love story, and an exceptional one.

I don’t want to give anything away but the one spot where I was taken aback was when I first realized that the love story angle had me making assumptions about who these two women were. I was wrong. But I digress.

Buy this book. Read this book. You will not regret it.

2019 Reading List

This Is How You Lose the Time War – Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
Why I Hate Saturn – Kyle Baker
The Cowboy Wally Show – Kyle Baker
Transmetropolitan Vol. 4: The New Scum – Ellis / Robertson / Ramos
The Obelisk Gate – N.K. Jemisin
Gotham Central Book 2 – Half A Life – Rucka / Lark
Walking to Aldebaran – Adrian Tchaikovsky
Just Words: On Speech and Hidden Harm – Mary Kate McGowan
Star Wars Vol. 1 – Skywalker Strikes – Aaron / Cassaday / Martin
The Tower – Simon Toyne
ARC Poetry Magazine #88
The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin
The Walking Dead Vol. 7 – The Calm Before – Kirkman / Adlard / Rathburn
A Pretty Sight – David O’Meara
Avengers: The Korvac Saga – Shooter / Michelinie / Mantlo / Perez / Various Artists
Indiana Review Vol.40, No.2
Avengers: Death Trap: The Vault – Fingeroth / Lim
This Wound is a World – Billy-Ray Belcourt
The Auteur Vol.1 – President’s Day – Spears / Callahan / Anderson
Astro City Vol. 2 – Confession – Busiek / Anderson / more
Astro City Vol. 1 – Life In the Big City – Busiek / Anderson / Ross
Animal Man Vol. 2 – Origin of the Species – Grant Morrison / Various Artists
Power Ball – Rob Neyer
Denver Quarterly Vol. 52 No. 3

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