Ajax Penumbra and Aliette de Bodard have really driven home to me the extent to which I’m enjoying The Ultimate Time Traveler’s Almanac (i.e. not as much), which I’ve been slowly reading since February. The time travel stories are good, they’re fine, but I’m not relishing or affected by the stories or characters.
My brain is sufficiently scrambled (headache is back and biting this week) that the best I can muster is very nearly ‘that was interesting’ (in a good way).
Cat Valente has a gift for myth. She is inspired by it, she works with it, she weaves into new and strange configurations and leaves the reader to work out where they’ve got to and how they feel about it.
I’m afraid I didn’t enjoy this anywhere near as much as The Lady Astronaut of Mars. There are good ingredients in this Hugo-winning short story (and it is short), but it didn’t pack the emotional resonance of Lady Astronaut.
It took me a long time to read Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors. I picked it up, put it down; read the table of contents, put it down. Eventually I got round to reading the Introduction, and then I was pretty much committed. And when I finally devoured the treasures within, I found I enjoyed them a lot. Much of it was dark, true, but that’s always suited me; much of it was also magical.
So there was no real doubt I would acquire and read Fragile Things.