Tuesday, July 1, 2014

[Rogues] Bradley Denton: "Bad Brass"

Oy, what a weekend. It's Tuesday and I'm still kind of broken. I know, I know. Age and all that. But I like to think I'm aging fairly well, as the child in me just refuses to let me grow up for real. Mentally, at least. It is with worry that I observe the continuing graying of hair, little by little. Anyway.
Took the lady of the house to town for a Pearl Jam concert, her favorite band, and I certainly don't mind them myself, and what a show it was. A band that really gives to its fans. So much that when it was finally over after thirty-four or so songs, I was well fed up with them. But what a front man, he really had the huge audience in his hand, and I dare say he has one of the best voices in music in general. If only he'd do a few growls in there... Anyway. It all led to fantasy stuff being put aside for a couple of days, but last night I returned to Rogues for another short story. After checking for any potential news on The Winds of Winter. And lo! and behold, there was news! Martin is going to France and Switzerland, so the book has been put on hold for a week. Not sure I like Martin's way of updating his fans on the book. Compare his blog to Joe Abercrombie's frequent, thorough and interesting updates and you'll see what Martin fans are missing. Oh well, back to lurking around to read the latest zany theories while we wait. Each week seems to bring new theories, often well researched and backed up, but usually there's one or two points missing to make a convincing argument when scrutinized.

So, "Bad Brass", then. What a quirky story! I really enjoyed it, strange as it is in many ways. Without spoiling anything, it gives us a main character with a pretty normal occupation (teacher) doing pretty strange things for a teacher (stealing from students); and his students aren't exactly of the normal variety either, specializing in stealing tubas from the school's music room and selling them to what in any other story would be weapon dealers (those kind of types). Well, I guessed I kind of spoiled it now. But I haven't spoiled the actual plot, which was engaging enough to keep me reading far beyond the time I should have closed the shop and get some sleep in. It's written in a somewhat humorist way, but it is also tense - and the quirkiness had me raise my eyebrows more than one time. It's not like any other story in the anthology so far (but that goes for all stories, I suppose) - a different take on the subject of rogues, for sure. Lovely. And I'm one story closer to actually reading Martin's contribution, "The Rogue Prince". But I have patience. One has to stretch out those moments during the Long Wait. Which got just a little longer with Martin flying over to Europe.

Of course, there are those with the opposite view on this. To quote from the Westeros news page:
Take your time Mr. Martin! I am so excited for your next book and loath those who want to rush you. I'd rather it be the story you have in your mind and have to wait than some rushed fan pleasing crap!
Uhm...he is taking his time, isn't he? It's 2014. We can agree we're excited about the next book. I sure don't "loathe" people for wanting to wait long and longer for Martin to finish The Winds of Winter, but I also can't see how this is an argument with merit. I sure don't want to rush any author in delivering their material, but there's a distinction between rushing and spending five or six years on a novel. Martin managed to publish three books in the time it took him to publish A Dance with Dragons, and the story he had in mind came out just fine even though we know he did have to change a lot of stuff to make it all work. But of course, A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords are just fan-pleasing crap. Sigh. How about Martin hiring someone to help him out with the actual work on the novel? How about at least give writing on a laptop on the road a chance?

1 comment:

  1. Another tale where the new reader is thrown head-first into an already established world and completely disoriented