Tuesday, October 31, 2006

World Fantasy Convention

Heading to the World Fantasy Convention on Thursday and looking forward to seeing everyone there. You can catch me on these two panels:

Contemporary Art and Fantasy Book Covers
Sat 3:30 PM-4:30 PM Ballroom A
Anders, Gianni, Givens(m), Palencar, Vess

Does a successful 21st century fantasy cover necessarily have to be representational? What influences the degree of representation in a fantasy cover?

Will Somebody Please Explain This Book?
Sun 3:30 PM-4:30 PM Ballroom A
Anders, Bey, Dedman, Groell, November(m)
We've all read at least one: the book that leaves us going "What the h***?" Our good-humored panelists discuss books they found obscure, convoluted, or just incomprehensible. What do such books contribute to the fantasy tradition, and what do they mean?


Sarah said...

I'd love to be able to attend the Please Explain panel. I just gave up on a book-- more than halfway through, too-- because I couldn't handle constant flipping back to see if the current plot had anything to do with any of the previous plots.

Not that I wouldn't like the Covers one. There are lots and lots of pretty books out there.

Lou Anders said...

Hi Sarah, and thanks.
I am very excited about the book covers panel, as its a particular interest/concern of mine. Meanwhile, dare I ask what the book you gave up on was?

Sarah said...

Vellum: The Book of All Hours I by Hal Duncan.

I'm ashamed of myself for doing it, but I tried and tried and tried, took notes, wrote half-essays that didn't go anywhere, researched Summerian myths, put Snow Crash in the freezer so I wouldn't be tempted to cross-reference the namshub of Enki.

I'll pick it up again in the spring and see if I don't have a better perspective then. Sometimes you just want to read a story, you know?

Lou Anders said...

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for letting me know. I haven't read Vellum yet, but I had my suspicions. It is getting rave reviews, a good friend speaks really HIGHLY of it, and Hal is a GREAT guy, so if you do find your way back to it, let me know. It's on my "to read" list as well.

Sarah said...

Hi Lou,

I wonder what your friend is seeing that I'm not. Every time I felt like I got a handle on things, there's a time-shift or a change in POV. So probably I'm just in a bad headspace about it and not very receptive. I'd be interested to hear your perspective too, when it comes up in your rotation.

Lou Anders said...

Well, it will take me a while. It's very hard for me to read outside my own submission pile - but I will get there one day and promise to blog.

Meanwhile, if I can plug shamelessly, Sean Williams' Crooked Letter has been compared to both Duncan and China Mieville, but is probably a more traditional linear narrative. If I could induce you to check it out, I'd be curious to see what you thought of that too.

Martin said...

Sarah - don't feel bad about giving up on a book: if it's not doing it for you, it's not doing it for you, simple as that. I give up on more books than I finish, and I only read books that are widely considered to be very good.

I've just bought one, written by someone I know, which has been widely acclaimed left, right and centre, and short-listed for more than one award, but I know I'm going to find it hard going because the style is particularly dense.

Sarah said...

I appreciate that, Martin. If I hear someone say, "critically acclaimed, recommended by him, her, everyone, best seller list forever" my first thought is automatically, "So was the DaVinci Code."

Vellum isn't, of course, anything like that. Not doing it for me AND contrarian. :D

Tim Akers said...

Lou, seriously, you need to stop recommending books. I have no *shelves* left.