What books look
like to me now
(Photo credit:
Open Letters Monthly)
I am in a crisis. As mentioned in my last post, I recently read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and now I can't seem to read anything else. I tried reading Troilus and Cressida, but really struggled with itnot because it's not my kind of story. It's totally my kind of story. Before The Night Circus, I had just finished Electra, I've read Iphigenia, The Iliad, The Odyssey and The Aeneidbut because Troilus and Cressida didn't flow as well as The Night Circus. Did you hear that Shakespeare?

Well, Cynthia, I said to myself, stop crying about it and try reading something more contemporarysomething maybe that flows better. So I tried reading The Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee, which I bought because I read the Top 14 Books of 2013 upside down and thought it was #1. Hey, I never claimed to be a numbers wiz. Anyway, I'm only 5% of the way through the book and the author has already used "obdurate" twice. I can't. I just can't.

Here is my dilemma. I like to write science fiction, but I mostly can't stand reading it,  because sci-fi writers tend to try and incorporate everything they ever learned about physics, chemistry, biology, geology or any other kind of -ology or -ics into their stories. Still, there are still some sci-fi authors I love.
Part of my problem is that my favorite sci-fi authors are no longer with us, confounding my dreams of having a neverending flow of interesting, funny or beautiful books to read.

Most other sci-fi books are filled with characters with unpronounceable names that have either excessive consonants or vowels. Sometimes it's just the noise you make in the back of your throat as you swallow. There's so much weirdness and alieninity (I made up a word 'cause I can), it's hard to follow the protagonist through their way-too-alien world, which is way too alien because authors want to do something completely different from anything that's ever been done before. Well, hey. Different has been done. Try not being lame. That's different.

Back to my initial rant. Erin Morgenstern's book is not sci-fi. Its fantasy. I don't normally read fantasy unless it's written by C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkein, because it tends to be even more overblown than sci-fi, but this one I loved. The biggest problem is that Erin Morgenstern has published exactly. One. Book. So I can't even read anything else of hers yet to help ease my pain.

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