So there I was at the 2011 Eastercon, Illustrious, over the weekend, having multiple fascinating, deep and inspiring conversations about SFF literature. And there was the usual dealers’ room, where I could always find friends. Some dealers are friends, and not just because I give them money.
Now back home, I unpack the bags and count up. Thirty acquisitions by 28 authors of whom 15 were male, 13 female.
In alphabetical order:
Neal Barrett Jr – A Different Vintage; Through Darkest America; Slightly Off Center.
If there is a more underrated living SFF author on this pile than Barrett I’ll be surprised. Two collections, both signed. A Different Vintage covering 1960-79, and Slightly Off Center mostly 80s. These stories include quirky SF, straight-ish fantasy, all points in-between and most typically Barrett, stories you can’t categorise because they change as you read them, or afterwards as you try to walk away.
Through Darkest America is a 1986 post-apocalypse novel that comes with cover quotes from Tim Powers, Lewis Shiner and Howard Waldrop.
Terry Bisson – Talking Man
This was a gift for a friend. Nobody talks about Rural Fantasy but the opening of this surely fits. It’s also a great SF road trip to *a* north pole. For charm, concision and imaginative power you should read this.
D.G. Compton – Chronocules
Ian Sales has been praising Compton for a while, so I thought I’d take a chance on a cheap copy of this near forgotten British SF novel of experimental time travel and post-catastrophe Britain.
Avram Davidson – The Phoenix & The Mirror; The Boss In The Wall (with Grania Davis)
A fantasy novel about Vergil, the poet believed to be a Sorcerer, and a short darker work about House Devils. Davidson was a writer of wondrous talents to combine mundane words, scenes to truly fantastical effect. His body of short fiction should be read by all who love words.
Paul Di Filippo – Fuzzy Dice ARC
Of which I know nothing, but I used to read PDF a lot at one time. Bought in a deal that got me a real bargain on another book, of which more later.
Bernadine Evaristo – Blonde Roots. I read this last year, so picked it up in another bulk buy for a friend. It’s a satirical role reversal where White people are the slaves. What could be clumsy though is saved by thoughtful working through the conceit.
Mary Gentle – Under The Penitance.
Signed, limited novella linked to her award-winning Ash. This was another case of getting several interesting novellas together cheaply.
(To be continued)
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