All posts by Glen Delaney

Equal Rites

Equal RitesThe latest entry in our Discworld marathon has been examined not just by Tom but Glen as well, for a joint look at Pratchett’s war of the sexes, the third discworld novel Equal Rites:

Glen: I’m a big fan of Pratchett, though my love for the Discworld has lessened with some of the newer novels. He’s a unique author and incredibly versatile. I’m currently listening to the Long Mars as an audio book, a completely different style to Discworld.

I flew back from Kentucky yesterday (thanks giving trip), it was a nine hour journey and I needed something to get me through. Terry Pratchett was that something. His writing is a warm, comfortable jumper I’ll that always return to. His books are still as funny when I picked them up as a 13 year old in our school library, though I’m now able to appreciate significantly more subtext…

I read both Equal Rites and the Fifth Elephant on the plane. In some ways they felt like two different authors to me. That made me take a long, hard look through the bibliography at the front of the book. I came to realise I’d moved beyond favourite character threads (Vimes vs. Rincewind, or Granny vs. Lipwig) as I was used. I’d passed through the looking glass.

Tom’s Perspective: Equal Rites offers a lot more meat than either of its predecessors, although that mostly comes in the form of Granny Weatherwax. By giving us a selection of main characters who actually respond and get involved with the story as opposed to just passing through it Pratchett gets to explore some far more interesting narrative terrains, although the ending boils down to roughly the same conclusion as the Light Fantastic.

Short, sweet, just the right length to engage and amuse without overstaying it’s welcome this was the perfect, mature, response to the anarchy of the first two novels.

Blackmail, My Love

I’ve recently moved to San Francisco and wanted to find out a little more about the city’s history. I don’t do well with textbooks (even sleeping with them under my pillow doesn’t work) so I absorb facts from fiction using some form of osmosis. I’m always on the look out for a piece of fiction that can give me a interesting perspective on the place I’m living in.

blackmail

Blackmail, My Love did just that. It’s a decent LGBT murder mystery but it’s the world-weaving (yes, that’s a thing), which I like. The book is rife with the geographical and historical touchstones that I love. The author does a really good job of bringing the 1950’s LGBT community’s plight alive. SF back then was definitely not liberal and a new law meant (in a round about way) that police raids were stepped up and a lot of the LGBT community were beaten, or in the case of the protagonists brother… disappeared. It really shocked me. I’ve always thought of SF as being a liberal city, it never occurred to me that those rights had to be fought for. I knew it in the back of my head of course but there’s a difference between knowing something and seeing it happen to a character you can identify with.
I googled the author and found an interview where she says that she interviewed a lot of people who lived through those times, so I guess it’s as legit as it can be. I also liked the drawings throughout (not too many, I don’t like picture books) and it turned out that they’re prints that she’s made. That sealed the deal. I’m kind of obsessed with her.

In short. Plot decent. World-weaving (again, real thing) great. Author’s credentials + print skills = legendary. I don’t think I’ll ever see the streets of SF in the same way again.