Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Carrie Vaughn, "Raisa Stepanova"

Another day, another short story (or novella or whatever they want to call it) read. Raisa Stepanova is a well-written story that manages to pack a lot in few pages. It stands out by virtue of its setting and characters (Russian female fighter pilots) and surprised me pleasantly. There is some heavy-handed exposition that the reader needs in order to understand a certain motivation belonging to the titular main character, but it isn't really all that aggravating. Fluid, fast-paced, good dialogue, interesting setting, this is the kind of story that could turn into a good movie.
A good thing about Dangerous Women so far is that it really presents a vivid variety of settings and characters and styles, and for each new story I have to kind of readjust and realize that stories can be pretty entertaining without being the kind of fantasy I normally enjoy.
After this anthology, I am definitely going to sit down and write a list of my to-read-pile-books, decide on an order and actually read them through one at a time. Okay, maybe two at a time; one physical book, one ebook. Sometimes I have only one or the other available. I've got a bunch of physical books on the nightstand, including King of Thorns which I paused for this anthology, a Dutch novel my father gifted me (with the signature and a greeting from the author) entitled De Tovenaar (translated The Wizard, but according to the blurb, there is no magic in the book so I am curious about that), Miles Cameron's The Red Knight is still waiting, and then of course - still not finished since January 2010 (!), Brandon Sanderson's Way of Kings. I'm going to put it right on top of the list because it is really about time I finish it. And who knows, maybe it picks up the pace and the last half is a riveting, non-stop entertainment ride without an equal in the world of fantasy literature. Okay, I doubt it. But one can always hope.

Tonight is the premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I'm not going in the middle of the night for it (I might have considered it if the first installment had awed me the way Fellowship of the Ring once did), but I'll probably end up seeing it sooner rather than later, out of curiosity more than a genuine interest in seeing the continuation of the story. A curiosity mostly born out of wanting to see what Jackson and his team have come up with this time to pad the movie into a suitably epic length (from what I understand there's a whole non-Tolkien Legolas-subplot in there; perhaps a good choice, I reckon he's a fan favorite).

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