Category: Books

Dresden Files Summer Knight Ch1

It rained toads the day the White Council came to town.

I’ve generally liked the openings of the books and this marks a sharp change in that.

Last book’s bit about phases of the moon was similarly a gesture toward the cliche and familiar magical elements, but “I never used to” is a twist that tells you some shit went down and if you stick around you can find out what. This is just a vague bit of weirdness. Toads aren’t even all that horrifying to people in the modern day – raining tarantulas would probably better fit how people should feel about a rain of witchy animals, and making it venomous snakes would give some actual reason why this is worth being upset about. It’s further undermined by the fact the White Council is a name outright designed to sound generically goodish, so if they’re showing up at the same time, then even if magic witchy toads are somehow a big deal, well, a bunch of good wizards are there to resolve it.


Dresden Files Summer Knight Ch2

I didn’t think the ghoul would be filing a police report, but I wiped down the shotgun anyway.


This is not, by itself, a problem. The statement “I didn’t think (assassin who tried to kill me) would be reporting I took (weapon they tried to kill me with) to the police who arrest people for assassination.” is very reasonable.

But he didn’t say the assassin, and on the heels of my questions last chapter about what, exactly, the ghouls had done and what, exactly, he had done to them, there’s a different way to take I didn’t think the ghoul would be filing a police report. He’s likely only referring to her as a ghoul because it’s urban fantasy and the author wants to remind you that ooh, ghouls, but normally, the epithet used in this kind of a sentence contains the reason why the person couldn’t go to the police.

Could a ghoul go to the police? (more…)

Dresden Files Summer Knight Ch3

A Faerie Queen. A Faerie Queen was standing in my office. I was looking at a Faerie Queen.
Talking to a Faerie Queen.
And she had me by the short hairs.
Boy, and I’d thought my life was on the critical list already.

Here we get into the problem with escalation.

This really doesn’t seem like it’s worse than Lea. What just happened with the letter opener was far worse, but instead of pointing to this as a sign of Mab being more dangerous, Harry instead said this was proof Mab had the same control over him as Lea.

So far, Mab wants him to do a thing while Lea wanted him to be a thing. And given how very badly he did against Lea, the year-and-day thing was just delaying the inevitable, so this is a huge step up for him. (more…)

Dresden Files Summer Knight Ch4

I was scared. Not in that half-pleasant adrenaline-charged way, but quietly scared. Wait-on-the-results-of-medical-tests scared. It’s a rational sort of fear that puts a lawn chair down in the front of your thoughts and brings a cooler of drinks along with it.

Oh, that is a very interesting admission about fear there, isn’t it? (more…)

Dresden Files Summer Knight Ch5 Part One

So, last time, we meet members of the White Council and good news, they’re not all white but bad news, that doesn’t mean diversity, it means ~diversity~.

The oh god why of diversity continues this chapter, as we learn that Simon the Russian is slated to be replaced by one of the Germans.” and Harry’s own mentor-dad, despite his seniority, isn’t allowed in because “There are too many Americans on the Senior Council already for the Merlin’s tastes.” and this is the problem with trying to have an international group, there are continents other than North America and Europe. (more…)

Iron Dragon’s Daughter: A Murder of the Isekai Genre

“It is good to be a cynic–it is better to be a contented cat–and it is best not to exist at all. Universal suicide is the most logical thing in the world–we reject it only because of our primitive cowardice and childish fear of the dark. If we were sensible we would seek death–the same blissful blank which we enjoyed before we existed.”

– H.P. Lovecraft, the original edgelord


QuickPosts: Annotated Bibliography Edition

This one needs some context:

My final project for one of my classes this semester was an annotated bibliography of recent critical works I thought were useful, so I basically wrote a quickpost in Academese for my final paper I thought I’d pass on to you. It’s ten books, 8 of which have not appeared here before, and a bunch of them are definite recs (some of them, not so much), so it should be useful! Well, I hope. I got an A in the class, so it was useful to me.

I also left on my summary at the end, which was meant to be something of a personal critical statement, which I thought might be relevant in some way to people who are interested in why I talk about what I do.

These are in pub order, because for some unfathomable reason my professor wanted it that way.

While I won’t list all the titles and authors here, I will do a special-rec callout of Literary Witches, which I had a surprisingly strong emotional reaction to. I actually ended up writing another piece about it for this course as well.

I haven’t made any edits here, so prepare for JARGON.



Dresden Files Summer Knight Ch5 Part Three

Ah, the ides of January. Let’s check in on these idiots.

The Merlin’s evil anti-Harry plan is accurately pointing out that they need a full Senior Council even more now that the wolves are at the gate.

“Let me guess,” I whispered. “He wants to fill the opening on the Senior Council so that he’ll be able to control the vote?”

I’m pretty sure he wants to fill the opening because the previous guy is dead and the wolves are at the gate, Harry. (more…)

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal COVID-19 Party

NEWS: The world is having problems you cannot fix

Heads ups: the SMBC guy gives away PDFs of his books for free here. The haul includes but is not limited to Augie and the Green Knight, which was discussed on this blog before, as well as two comic collection books, which contain exclusive content, continuing the valiant effort to create an SMBC comic for every single conceivable situation.

So, like, go grab them.

Gender Identity and Sexuality in Current Fantasy and Science Fiction

I don’t typically talk about all the academic books I read here (though… is that something people want?), but I bought this for a research project a month ago and I’m still irritated about it so I’m unloading on you instead of poor Mr. Act, who has his own shit going on.

This post is really a lesson about due diligence and the necessity of academic presses, for all their flaws.


QuickRecs: Spring 2020 Semester Edition

No Umineko this week because I’ve been huddled in a ball weeping finishing up my final papers, but y’all are apparently more interested in dry books about other books than I thought, so here’s some of my favorite stuff I read for research this past semester!

edit: Fuck, I forgot one! Read everything Ayanna Thompson has ever written about Othello, especially her introduction to the Arden edition of the play.


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