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Friday, December 10th, 2010

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What's Stretching My Brain This Week
I've just finished reading jamesenge's The Wolf Age, the third volume in his series about Morlock the Maker. The Wolf Age is the most delightful, surprising book of the many I've been zipping through since bringing the baby home, and you should all rush forth in a buying frenzy to get all of jamesenge's books, if you haven't already. A lot of the stuff I've been reading lately allows me to congratulate myself on how much more I like my own work, but Enge makes me want to be a better writer. You'll never mix Morlock up with any other character you'll ever read, and the werewolf city in an election year gives a take on werewolves so fresh, I can forgive all those other werewolf books that are out these days--thank them, even--because they created the market conditions that allowed this book to reach the store shelves.

The one thing about having an infant that's actually good for a writing brain--though the benefits don't show up right away--is that reading is the only thing you can do while nursing. I keep a book next to every chair in the house that's even halfway comfortable, since carrying the kiddo makes it hard to carry anything else. At any given moment, I'm in the middle of six novels. Most of them have been classic pulp reprints, 1920's through 1950's. I'm trying to fill the gaps in my Sword and Sorcery education. There have been some lovely discoveries. For instance, I've fallen in love with Leigh Brackett's prose style, though it took me a while to warm up to her characterization, which is more archetypal and less psychological than is to my usual taste. I also got a big kick out of Lord Dunsany's The Gods of Pegana and Time and the Gods, which read sort of like The Silmarillion might have, had it been written by a satirist with the gift of brevity.

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