(well, OK, not so recent. Catching up on my summer of sloth)
–A Tangle of Magicks/Renegade Magick by Stephanie Burgis: the sequel to A Most Improper Magick/Kat, Incorrigible, which finds teenage witch Kat Stephenson in Bath, trying to shepherd her sister into marital happiness, prevent her older brother from gambling the family fortunes away–all the while struggling with her Guardian powers, and a dastardly plot to use the power of the Roman Baths for nefarious ends. Kat’s voice is as delightful as always, and this is a very nice, punchy mix of comedy of errors and adventure book. Very much looking forward to book 3!
-David Gemmell: hum, a lot of books? Finished the Drenai books, and found one I hadn’t read (the very last one, Swords of Night and Day). The earlier ones are still those that carry the most punch for me; I suspect partly because of nostalgia. Also read Lion of Macedon/Dark Prince, which is basically Greek legends on crack (I exaggerate a bit, since Gemmell obviously documented himself well and has always had a fondness for Antiquity settings in his books; but not by much. The entire many-worlds experience, and the Source vs Spirit of Chaos thing are very entertaining, but I very much doubt that they have anything of “authentic” Ancient Greece about them. Still, what I very much enjoyed about them is their scope: the books take place over decades, and it’s refreshing to see alliances form and break as time passes. It also allows the author space to show the characters grow and age, which isn’t often found in genre fiction–especially in epic fantasy–and this gives a gravitas to the books which prevents them from tipping into outright silliness. Not by much, admittedly).
My Vietnamese progresses; I can now get *some* words recognised by my mother when I say them (don’t laugh. The potential for screwing up words in this language is oh-so-boundless). And this weekend is going to be busy busy, as I’ll be at Rencontres de L’Imaginaire in Sèvres with the H, hopefully signing a number of books greater than zero…
Also, this: awesome xkcd comic. I want to go back in time and build one of those in high school.