December 8th, 2011

wood cat

what should I read after Kalpa Imperial?

So I've just finished Kalpa Imperial by Angelica Gorodischer (translated by Ursula Le Guin), and now I'm stuck for what to read next.

Here's the problem, the way Kalpa Imperial starts:

The storyteller said: Now that the good winds are blowing, now that we’re done with days of anxiety and nights of terror, now that there are no more denunciations, persecutions, secret executions and whim and madness have departed from the heart of the Empire and we and our children aren’t playthings of blind power; now that a just man sits on the Golden Throne and people look peacefully out of their doors to see if the weather’s fine and plan their vacations and kids go to school and actors put their hearts into their lines and girls fall in love and old men die in their beds and poets sing and jewelers weigh gold behind their little windows and gardeners rake the parks and young people argue and innkeepers water the wine and teachers teach what they know and we storytellers tell old stories and archivists archive and fishermen fish and all of us can decide according to our talents and lack of talents what to do with our life -- now anyone can enter the emperor’s palace out of need or curiosity; anybody can visit that great house which was for so many years forbidden, prohibited, defended by armed guards, locked and as dark as the souls of the Warrior Emperors of the dynasty of the Ellydrovides.

(Nicked from papersky's review.)

That is, as you can see, kind of a hard act to follow. I'm thinking maybe I want something with a very strong first-person voice? Or something elegantly minimalist? Any suggestions?

(Hmm. Maybe Octavian Nothing, but that might be kind of harsh. I'd go for some nonfiction, but I want strong narrative too.)

ETA: I have just remembered that what I need to do next is review source for a Yuletide beta that I said I'd do, but further recs are welcome all the same.

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wood cat

Yuletide 2010 recommendations

I have ridiculously-belated Yuletide recs! For 2010, I downloaded everything that looked remotely like I could read it (that is, either I had some familiarity with the source or had seen it recommended as no-familiarity-necessary), smushed the files into several really big e-books, and read them offline. I don't know if this is why I have so many more this year, but honest, I really did winnow these down: this list represents about the fourth iteration of my "maybe recommend" composite e-book file. (And then after I formatted this post I stalled on it for ages and ages. Oops.)

I couldn't name just a couple standout favorites as I did last year, so I'm just going to list these by genre, with copious use of cut-tags because the list is so long. (If you're not reading this on Dreamwidth, come use the day view and you can inline-expand only the cut tags you're interested in!)

Format note: the first five lines (title, word count, author; fandom; rating; warning; summary) are those provided by the author; they're followed by my notes.

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(And if you read and like any of these, do let the authors know! All you have to do is hit the "kudos" button, you don't even have to leave a signed comment.)

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