Monday, September 26, 2011

A Reading Round-Up

I have been remiss in updating my current reading at the bottom of the page.  You can pretty much bet that, if it ever fails to show that I am reading both a non-fiction book and at least one piece of fantastical fiction, then there has been a failure to update.  In fact I am in the midst of three books right now, a case of reader ADHD, perhaps.  These are:

A. Merritt's Dwellers in the Mirage (1932, originally printed serially in Argosy)
Hecate's Cauldron, edited by Susan Shwartz, (1982) -- Short stories about witches
Snow White, Blood Red, edited by Datlow & Windling (1993) -- Retellings of fairy tales for adults

Of the three of these, each has some interest and some good stories, but Merritt's classic -- the most recent acquisition -- has the greatest grip on my attention.  The paperback (1967 reprint) is very beat up, but I just couldn't live with an electronic copy only in this case.  The kraken Khalk'ru and the compulsion towards the ancient, dangerous unknown outside normal human life is giving it a Lovecraftian feel so far, although critical blurbs about it being an adventure story make me wonder if it isn't headed in a rather different direction.  I keep hoping that Planet Stories will add another Merritt book to the lonely (and fantastically illustrated by Virgil Finlay) Ship of Ishtar.  And no, I'm not just adding ATTN: Erik Mona here so he will find it the next time he googles his name.  (Okay, yes I am.) 

Khalk'ru the Dog-faced Kraken, Artist Unknown

What's on tap after I clear out the three above?  I've got Planet Stories second Silverberg collection, The Planet Killers, waiting in the wings, but I am afraid by then we will likely be in October so I may be more in the mood for Halloween reading.  I've got some beauts already lining up: mostly new but at least one re-read, so I will post about my reading list sometime early in October.  One thing is for sure: if you want to engage in mythopoesis, you've got to keep feeding the poet, not only with raw materials, but with the work of others to learn from their craftings.  When it comes to raw materials, I look for some guidance tomorrow as we continue to read Gygax in the next installment of Tomeful Tuesday. 

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