reviews

reviews: Master Li & No. 10 Ox; Bearskin Cloak; Imaginary Beasts v.23

The Fable of Joyful Wing is one of those stories that's technically fanfiction, but you wouldn't be able to tell if you weren't already familiar with the works on which it's based. And I mean that as the very highest praise. It's a lot more fun to read if you know enough to catch various references and to work out who's actually being referred to despite the unfamiliar names, but the story itself is accessible by anyone who enjoys fairy and folk tales, particularly those of China and Japan. It's based on The Dresden Files and The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox--and although I've never been able to get into the former, I loved this story so much that I went and bought the latter sight unseen. And I'm very glad I did.

The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox contains three novels (which were to have been part of seven, if the author hadn't had so many frustrations with the publishing world) that take place in an "ancient China that never was", which stand in ranks of those rare books that manage to contain a world entire and unique. As well as being very funny and at times almost heartbreaking. Perhaps not quite appropriate for younger readers, but the author is a master of writing obliquely and knowing when to do so.

The Bearskin Cloak by horridporrid is also a fusion--this time of Stargate: Atlantis and Hans Christian Anderson's The Traveling Companion--though I do think it far outshines both its sources. Again, it is eminently readable whether or not you're familiar with the sources, but has a depth and weight to it that's lacking in both. (And trishkafibble's frontispiece for it is absolutely gorgeous.)

This has nothing to do with anything, but is too marvelous to not be shared: "Edward Gorey's" adaptation of The Trouble With Tribbles. Exactly what you'd expect. Exactly. And it is perfect.

imaginarybeasts book 23: Crime and Punishment
some stories:
The Princess and the Fox - Which is mine, but I'm going to be tacky and list it anyway. Here the crime goes as yet unpunished, and is still playing itself out. But there is hope and help and a much bigger story waiting to be told.
Everything Must Go - In which dead people may commit crimes, but the living are the ones who have to pay the price. Despite the pun in the title, a melancholy story.
The Fifth Door - In which the punishment is earned four times over. A somewhat familiar tale, updated and retold and very well done.
and some art:
The volume's cover art - Pink and awesome and I love the policeman's trousers.
Close Your Eyes - There is obviously a huge, massive story going on behind this picture, and I desperately want to know what it is.