Welcome to the last Friday Five of the year!
Thanks to very vexing circumstances it’s just me and Murray Stanley Long in the flat right now. And let me tell you, providing all the fuss a bored permakitten believes is his due is actually quite exhausting. Particularly when you’re struggling to get to sleep and he tries to break your nose by climbing all over it.
And it’s in that state of exhaustion I present this week’s Friday Five.
1. The end of the year means lots of lists! So let’s look at some of them.
The Fantasy Hive have a most anticipated of 2022 for those looking for future reads, which is good for me as I didn’t realise De Bodard’s next book had been announced.
Speaking of the Hive, love their end of year awards, and totally agree on Mephi
Ollie at Infinite Speculation has done his top 10 and honestly I almost wish my tastes overlapped with his at all. Maybe I’ll try some of them this year *steps in front of unread copy of Mordew*
Let’s look at some more Top 10s that I think could provide people with some good recs
LexLingua is as eclectic as ever
Sahi has done 21 and I’m planning on grabbing a few of them for future consideration
Eleni’s list is a great one for those who love where commercial fantasy is right now
And on a completely different type of list, if you’re looking for short fiction, Charles Payseur is a one stop shop
2. Reviews. Not many out there piquing my interest at this time of year, but Briana at Pages Unbound has found a corker with The Dark Queens – “the remarkable, little-known story of two trailblazing women in the Early Middle Ages who wielded immense power, only to be vilified for daring to rule.”
Also intriguing is Joachim Boaz’s review of Roger Zelzany’s To Die in Italbar
Last but not least, Jay’s review of Cazadora by Romina Garber
3. A fortnight ago, Beth was my blog of the week. Now she’s my hero for her booze and books post. With cocktail recipes! I’ve done this before, but just with general styles, not full cocktail styles. Beth is one classy lady.
4. Talking to a friend about continuous writing reminded me of Andrew Trollope, so I searched for more details and found this reasonably useful article on how his methods led to success and what to take from them
5. I make no secret of the fact that I actively like reading series out of order. Therefore I was delighted to see Kopratic wave the banner for it over at The Fantasy Inn.
The last point about the Chronological timeline got me thinking though. Something I discovered when getting into the Vorkosigan Saga is that it’s all over the bloody shop with a number of different suggested reading orders (I believe Bujold herself doesn’t suggest publication?). She’s not alone. Gemmell’s Drenai Saga is all higgledy-piggledy too, as is Lackey’s Valdemar series and Cherryh’s Alliance-Union universe. Less messy but still untidy are Eddings’ Garion novels, Feist’s Midkemia Cycle, Jordan’s Wheel of Time, McCaffrey’s Pern, and Brooks’ Shannara as prequels and outrigger novels have been added over time. You could call it an old timey thing but Selby is going down this route too, and I’m not a 100% sure but suspect that with all material De Bodard’s Xuya and Dominions of the Fallen series are likewise.
It seems to that perhaps malleable reading orders are in fact the more natural state of things than “you must follow the order”. The presence of heavyweight sequential series like Lord of the Rings has changed our mind otherwise but even then, isn’t there a case that a chronological and publication order look different?
And that’s it. Time to go sag into a ball for a little! Have great new years, weekends, next years, and everything else.