Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint, Privilege Of The Sword, and Fall Of The Kings (with Delia Sherman) were indeed, as Claire said, the gayest fantasy books I've ever read. I didn't believe anything could out-gay Lynn Flewelling's, but these most certainly did. All three follow the family of Tremontaine through the generations as it rises and falls in influence and power in society. Fall Of The Kings I thought was particularly strong, deepening the world by weaving in the Northern myths and history, and leaving things wide open for another entry in the series. All three were actually pretty well-written too, if not quite the Oscar Wilde meets Georgette Heyer comedy of manners the pages and pages of glowing reviews that begin each book would have you believe.

The last book I finished in 2007 was Jim Shepard's book of short stories Like You'd Understand, Anyway. I read Project X a couple of years ago, so I had high hopes for these stories. I'm happy to say they met those expectations. The stories in this collection may range from a present day high school football team to Paris during the revolution to the Roman Empire, but nearly all concern themselves with familial tension, most often that between fathers and sons. He probes at the feeling of competition between brothers and the feelings of failure on both sides when a son doesn't fulfill the dreams of his father, universal struggles that make even the Chernobyl nuclear disaster relatable.

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