Guess somebody had a rush of oxygen to the brain: “Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry series, which has sold over a million copies worldwide since being published in the 1980s, has been optioned for television by Temple Street, the Canadian production company behind the hit show Orphan Black. Kay’s fantasy trilogy, comprised of The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire and The Darkest Road, follows the journey of five men and women who are thrust into war after being lured to Fionavar — the first of all worlds — under false pretences.” This is back in December of 2017, so I don’t know if they’ve gone ahead on production yet. Continue reading Huh. They’re making a Fionavar Tapestry TV series.
Guy Gavriel Kay’s latest, set in his not-quite-Europe just after the fall of the derived-from-Byzantine Empire to the squint-and-they-look-like-Ottomans. Part of the birthday Amazon extravaganza: all praise the glories of pre-ordering, hey? – At any rate, there appear to be analogues to the Holy Roman Empire and the Venetians involved, so hopefully Kay is going to rack up quite the stylish body count in this one. Guess we’ll see…
The latest Guy Gavriel Kay (River of Stars*) came in the mail yesterday, and now it taunts me. You see, it’s over six hundred pages long, and I know that the very second I open it I’m pretty much done until it is. Because that’s what happens with Guy Gavriel Kay novels.
I know: worse problems to have.
*Kinda-sorta sequel to Under Heaven, making it Chinese-flavored fantasy in a style that is pretty much unique to Guy Gavriel Kay. I buy his books in hardcover, and order them well ahead of time; enough said.
Tigana was written by Guy Gavriel Kay, and I’m not going to beat around the bush, here: Kay is one of my favorite authors, and Tigana is one of the best damn books he’s ever written. It’s low-to-mid-level fantasy based around the late medieval/early Renaissance Italian city-state period, and manages to be extremely evocative of the time period without exploiting it. Check it out.
Yup, short reign for The Collected Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Trying to keep these a little fresher. Continue reading Book of the Week: Tigana.
Under Heaven was the last of the Birthday Books to arrive; that I willingly put down money to pre-order it should tell you something, but not as much as the fact that it was written by Guy Gavriel Kay.
And so, we begin the long wait for Cryoburn.
A day late, but what are you going to do? – backhoe, remember?
Anyway, we say good-bye to A Song for Arbonne and hello to The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, which may not have been the best choice for light weekend reading. On the other hand, as Anglo-Saxon goes it’s prime stuff.
It being Sunday, we replace Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals with Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Song for Arbonne – a older book, but a fine one, and an excellent introduction to Kay’s work. Given that he’s finally given out information about his next book (Under Heaven, drawing from Tang Dynasty China, due in Spring of 2010), this gives some of you plenty of time to get up to speed on the author, and why you’ll want this one in hardback.
I was originally going to do a you’ll-like-this-guy – A Song for Arbonne is brilliant, you’ll love everything that he does, buy everything that he wrote – but never mind that now: read this article about the recent Russian poll of the greatest Russian ever. (Stalin in third, Lenin in sixth):
It would feel self-indulgent to launch a jeremiad about how very, very evil Lenin and Stalin and their system were. The novelist Martin Amis did this in a book a little while ago, Koba the Dread, which is essentially about his own belated discovery of that truth. And how his father, Kingsley Amis, and godfather, Robert Conquest (who exposed the atrocities of the Great Terror for the west) had been … right all along while Amis and his college chums had been proclaiming the glories of the Soviet Union and Mao’s China in the 1960s. It was nice to see Amis fils getting around to getting it right, but the tone of shocked baby-boomer awakening bordered on the amusing.
No, it seems to me there’s another point, a narrower focus to be sought here, and it comes from – unsurprisingly – Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose The Gulag Archipelago, smuggled out to the west thirty-five years ago, documented the abomination of the Soviet internment camps with a terrifying mixture of Biblical prophet and meticulously detailed scientist. (Solzhenitsyn, who did more to expose the reality of Lenin and Stalin and the Soviet empire to the world than anyone else who ever lived, and did so with unfathomable courage, did not surface anywhere near the top of the balloting, by the way.)
Here’s the issue that seems necessary to register after considering this vote: in The Gulag Archipelago Solzhenitsyn makes the point that as of 1966 some 86,000 Germans had been convicted in Germany for Nazi crimes. But what about in the Soviet Union – the Gulag, the enforced starvations, the Terror? “In our own country (according the reports of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court) about ten men had been convicted.” (The italics are his.) And he asks, “What kind of disastrous path lies ahead of us if we do not have the chance to purge ourselves of that putrefaction rotting inside our body?” Continue reading Looking for someone to read? (Guy Gavriel Kay)