1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

What are you Reading Now?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Mythopoet, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    11,166
    3,496
    413
    Reading Stacy Schiff's biography of Cleopatra.
     
    Rogue likes this.
  2. Rogue

    Rogue Dreamer

    11
    2
    3
    Do you read a lot of biographies? Especially of less recent historical figures. I ask because I'd like get into more historical bios but I'm always overly skeptical of sources that I've just started turning to individual referrals.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    11,166
    3,496
    413
    Not many. I read a fair amount of history, but not as many biographies. Sourcing is an issue, especially when you're going back to Cleopatra's time, for example. I think Schiff does a decent job of talking about sources and where they contradict, and also making clear when she is making suppositions. She is clearly enamored of Cleopatra, though. So far, it is a very favorable depiction.
     
    Rogue likes this.
  4. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    5,878
    3,762
    313
    With biographies it's more subtle than merely are the facts right. A biography is like a portrait. By it's nature it cannot be a perfect likeness, yet it can be more revealing than a photograph. The best way to get into biographies is the same as getting into other genre of literature: read, and develop your own taste.
     
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    5,878
    3,762
    313
    Right now I'm reading The Dragon's Path, by Daniel Abraham. It's pretty good, though I confess I'm getting tired of court drama in fantasy. Still, Abraham does it better than most. And other plot lines hold my interest better (he has multiple).

    But I also want to note that Abraham is one half of the writing team that is James S.A. Corey (The Expanse). I love that series. Best SF I've read in a very, very long time. What strikes me is writer voice. On one side it's SF, on the other it's traditional fantasy. On one side it's a writing team, on the other it's the one author. Can one hear the writer's voice?

    I think I do, but it's very difficult to say exactly what. There's something about the pacing of sentences. There's a curious blend of hard-eyed coldness layered over genuinely deep emotions. There's a sense I get that somehow Abraham himself is in there, down in individual scenes and certain emotions. There's definitely a use of small moments to add depth and pacing.

    Surely all those things can be said of other authors, yet somehow once you total them you come to a different sum for Abraham than you would for another author. It's something akin to being able to recognize a painter's style, or how you know that different musicians have each their own style, and you'd be able to pick them out even if they were all playing the same song.

    Art is weird.
     
Loading...

Share This Page