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elijahkinchspector

Uncertain, Fugitive, Half-fabulous

Stories about people. People who must ponder the implications of their laser gun swords.

Currently reading

Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond
Bill Campbell, Edward Austin Hall
Deathstalker War (Owen Deathstalker, Vol. 3)
Simon R. Green
Jews Without Money
Michael Gold
The Dedalus Book of Flemish Fantasy - Eric Dickens, Paul Vincent This is a great book that's... well, the presentation doesn't match the quality. Daedalus is clearly a very small press, but usually small presses have low budget packaging but a great eye for detail. This book has a horribly ugly cover that's clearly a .jpg blown up too big, organizes its stories alphabetically by author (which provides neither a contextual nor thematic experience, and which means the reader starts with one of the most off-putting stories in here), and never even gives the publication year for any of them. On top of that, it doesn't tell you that some are excerpts from larger works, you kinda have to figure it out yourself. Lastly, the title of the book makes no sense. Hardly anything in here is fantasy: there's magical realism (which is often, but not always, fantasy), modernism, postmodernism, and so on... it really just feels like a survey of Flemish literature on a larger scale.

All these things frustrating me because it's a really, really good survey! There were only two stories in here that I actually didn't like, and a great number of ones that I loved. The single translator does a great fucking job of capturing extremely different styles from extremely different time periods (you can guess publication slightly because the bios in the back give birth and death dates), and of making almost every story enjoyable and interesting. And, though most of them aren't fantasy, most of the authors, based on this sample, are really amazing.

It isn't "genre" really, but a lot of it is bizarre. There's a great story about an entire city getting syphilis and changing its whole culture, and another about a young man who makes cannons as a form of religious expression for a religion that he doesn't follow. There's an insane postmodernist spy/terrorist... I guess it'd be a thriller, and some disgusting fairy tales, and a bunch of other cool shit. It really is a good book if you can find it.

And, even though I spent the first paragraph complaining, it's good to support small publishers that do stuff like this, bringing us things that we wouldn't normally get to read.