Tuesday, February 15, 2005


The Meredith Gentry Novels by Laurell K. Hamilton
I finished the third Meredith Gentry novel by Laurell K. Hamilton yesterday. I've been following the Anita Blake stuff for years, and watched as it slowly turned more and more into mindless porn. The MG novels have, however, been rather different. There's porn in them, but there's an actual reason for it, and I was really impressed that the most recent one had only one actual sex scene...everything other than that was largely magical allagories for sex...but nowhere near as explicit.

However, dispensing with that, the books are well done. Hamilton builds and interesting, intricate, and fascinating world of faerie living in modern America. The books are far superior to Mercedes Lackey's SERRAted Edge and Bedlam's Bard novels, where the Seelie are bright, beautiful, and good, and he Unseelie are ugly and evil. Rather, Hamilton creates a faerie cosmology where the two courts are just as bad, but for differnt reasons. The fae really do come off as alien, creatures of incredible power who think and do things that just don't make sense to humans. Their politics are intricate, and diverse, and the courts exist in a far greater sense than "Sidhe are good and smart, everyone else is servile". While there IS plenty of that (especially in the Seelie), its clear that all the other fae races have their own sense of pride...and some of them are just as dangerous as the sidhe (pronounced "she" for all you folks who always wondered).

The setting is the sort of thing that I would LOVE to play in. Its Changeling done the way it could have been. There aren't really any games that can handle modeling the series, though Dark Ages: Fae and Exalted: The Fair Folk could come close. There are aspects of the way the setting works that I want to incorporate into Vigo the Gladiator, an Angel: The RPG (by Eden Studios) character I play in one of AlexanderLambert's games. Vigo is a 2100 year old Redcap prince, and I've been doing some work on designing the political and social dynamics of the weird little dimension of Faerie that he originated from. Its always amusing.

Jack Kirby's Mister Miracle

Been reading this over the last few days. Its a much easier, more approachable book than New Gods, and I'm enjoying it a lot more. However, a few things have occured to me.

Mister Miracle uses a LOT more gadgets than a conventional escape artist. His skills are only partially based on actual skills, and dispraportionatly based on his technology. The man uses a freaking MOTHER BOX to perform his escapes. Of course, there IS something incredibly amusing about watching Scott Free get strapped to a nuclear missile and try to escape.

Also, I have a new favourite Jack Kirby line. When Big Barda lifts a huge Civil War cannon over her shoulder with one hand, one guy watching comments: "This 'Women's Lib' thing is gett more serious than I thought!!" Mind Barda is lifting the cannon whilst wearing what I jokingly call her "mega-bikini" (...the woman is dressed like some female Tarzan-wannabe...it just seems kind of odd...though it DOES play up he fact that she's something like 6'5").

Overall, though, I'm enjoying the book. It's got some nice stuff in it.


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