Saturday, November 15, 2008


A magical blog about children's books (chapter and picture) and fantasy literature -- all the posts have a sparkling sense of adventure, a deep love of reading, and a spirit of play. Essential reading in gloomy times!

The SF/fantasy shelf of Delirium's Library has received a good dust-off recently, as I decided to read my way through Ursula K. Le Guin, having revelled in Malafrena and Orsinian Tales, two of her less-known books. While travelling in the US (that most invented of all countries), I read the first three Hainish novels, collected in one volume as World of Exile and Illusion by Orb Books, as well as Fisherman of the Inland Sea (whose title story is one of the most haunting and resonant stories I have ever encountered). Any Hainish stories, which are about travelling across interstellar distances, are the perfect narrative and philosophical accompaniment to transcontinental jet lag!

I also read her odd YA novel called The Beginning Place, which I found secondhand at the incredible Moe's Books in Berkeley, which combines an eclectic range of new books with an astonishing secondhand SF section. _Worlds_ came from the equally amazing Borderlands, a live and kicking SF specialist store in the Mission in San Fran, where I discovered that Le Guin's incredible essay collection Dancing at the Edge of the World has been brought back into print by kick-ass Grove Press, who also revived a lot of Kathy Acker's novels.

I also enjoyed a long browse (and time with some feral kittens) at The Other Change of Hobbit in Berkeley, rediscovering writers whose worlds I'd inhabited vividly but whose names had slipped from the tip of my tongue, like Jane Yolen, O.R. Melling, Terry Windling, and James Tiptree Jr. (the balance on the 'to-be-read' shelves has been restored by the addition of Julie Phillps' necessary biography of Tiptree/Alice B. Sheldon, to whom I was introducted by Le Guin's series of essays on the 'is s/he, isn't s/he' question that are included in long o/o/p The Language of Night).

The very helpful clerk at Borderlands also introduced me to Emma Bull's _The War of the Oaks_, as I was on a quest to find urban fantasy/SF for a friend with a serious Stephanie Meyer addiction. The quest led me (back) to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, both of whom have been waving their gothic lace-gloved hands from the 'to-be-read' shelf. I'm excited about entering some lurid, graceful, sexy, dreamlike, bitter, funny imaginative worlds. Any further suggestions welcomed!

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