This week I’m reading Hyperion, the Hugo award-winning novel by Dan Simmons, in which … uh … well I’m not really sure I can explain what’s going on, because it seems really complicated. Suffice to say there’s a planet named Hyperion that seems to be about to become ground zero in an interplanetary war between a couple of different human factions (one planetary, one space-based), and which is also haunted by a possibly shapeshifting, definitely fearsome creature, called the Shrike, which essentially teleports around impaling people and hanging them as ornaments from its gigantic backwards-in-time-traveling aluminum Christmas tree, and which is worshiped as a god throughout inhabited space, and which our small band of protagonists is currently traveling upriver, Heart of Darkness-style, to visit. Oh and also there’s a huge planetary labyrinth (one of at least nine such labyrinths on different planets) full of cruciform parasites whose significance I don’t yet know.
So recently, having waited over six years for the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series to come out, with no end to the waiting in sight, and being tired of missing out on all the delicious things that have been happening in the HBO adaptation “Game of Thrones” since it went past the end of A Dance with Dragons―Tyrion meets Dany! Starks return to Winterfell! Jon meets Dany! Dragons meet Lannisters!―I decided it was finally time to bite the bullet and wade through the discs from Netflix.
This week I’m reading volumes 1-3 of The Great Iron War, by Dean F. Wilson, a science fantasy steampunk series in which Earth (or someplace like it) is invaded by outsiders, called “demons” (even though I’m pretty sure that’s not what they are) who come in search of iron. Hence the name of the war.
It’s been a while since I reached into my giant stack of rejection (and a few acceptance) letters, so I figured it was time to totter off to random.org and ask them what letter I should choose. They told me “V”, but I already did the only V in my pile, so I asked them for a different letter and they told me “W”. As it turns out, nearly all my “W” rejections are from Weird Tales, or, as indicated in the scan below, “Worlds of Fantasy and Horror”, which is, uh, not quite as catchy a title as Weird Tales. (The astute reader will not be surprised to learn that this temporary title change involved the legal system.)
This week I’m reading Rebecca, the classic novel by Daphne du Maurier, in which a very young (and apparently nameless) narrator is swept off her feet by the dashing Maxim de Winter, quickly marries him, and goes off to live with him in his vast estate, Manderley, where it seems that―much like in the American South―the past is never really dead, and isn’t even past.