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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Review: All The Birds In The Sky

All the Birds in the Sky - Charlie Jane Anders

I think this will be this year's Goblin Emperor for me. As in, the enormously popular speculative fiction book that everyone loves and is completely inaccessible to me. I can tell this is good. There are some really excellent turns of phrase and I dig the pacing and some of the plot points. 


And yet.


I suspect I am the wrong sort of genre fan for this. After finishing it, I went back and read Anders' Big Idea post, and I suspect I would have loved the version she decided to not write. This is specifically where we disagree:


"But when you just smush a bunch of genre tropes together, you end up with something kind of spoofy. It starts to feel like you’re just making fun of the genres, instead of exploring what makes them powerful. And instead of bright vivid contrasts, you can easily end up with an indistinct mish-mosh."


Alternate theory: mining and combining all the tropes from genres as a way of celebrating them. 


Proposed evidence: Roger Zelazny's entire bibliography.


So, yeah.This book is quite good if you are not me. If different things make your brain happy. If only, if only.