The Other Stories

July 14, 2014 at 8:19 pm (Reads) (, , , )

WarriorsA Warriors, Dangerous Women, and Rogues Miscellaney

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Of course, while reading all of George R.R. Martin’s extra Westerosi stories, I couldn’t resist reading the other stories in the collections that caught my eye.  There weren’t many of them (I tend to read more based on author than anything else, and a lot of these authors I hadn’t read, or hadn’t read enough to want to read what they had contributed), so I thought I would address them all in one post.

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“Soldierin'” by Joe Lansdale (in Warriors)

It’s not anything special, really. As usual, Lansdale shines with his dialogue and colloquial narrative, while touching on issues of race without being too heavy-handed. It’s a survival story about a group of Buffalo Soldiers being ambushed by Apaches.

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“Wrestling Jesus” by Joe Lansdale (in Dangerous Women)

First off, this isn’t a story about religion. Jesus is the name of a Mexican wrestler, and the story is about an old man who used to be friends with Jesus, and how they wrestle every five years to see who gets to go home with the woman they both desire. The story is fairly predictable, and the “dangerous woman” here is barely even a part of the story, but it’s Lansdale. No one else writes like he does.

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Dangerous Women“Bent Twig” by Joe Lansdale (in Rogues)

Are you sensing a trend yet? Yeah, I like Lansdale about as much as George R.R. Martin does. And of the three stories, this one is probably the best. My only complaint is that Leonard is barely even a character in this story, despite being half of the Hap & Leonard duo. Hap isn’t exactly deeply defined, either, but since he’s the narrator here, he gets a bit more attention than Leonard. I think Lansdale relied too much on folks already being familiar with the characters with this effort.

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“How the Marquis Got His Coat Back” by Neil Gaiman (in Rogues)

This story continues (precedes? I’m unclear enough on the Marquis’ physiology to know where this would fall in the timeline) Gaiman’s Neverwhere, giving us further insight into this cold-blooded villain and his coat. The coat is important because of its pockets, but I’ll let you figure out why. I was glad that I had revisited Neverwhere last year in audio format, since without it I might have been a little lost as to some of the details. The story was a well-told tale, with the usual Gaiman mysticism and craft, so if you’re a fan, you should check it out.

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“Now Showing” by Connie Willis (in Rogues)

Leave it to Connie Willis to come up with a story about a rogue that goes against the grain. The rogue this time is an ex-boyfriend with honorable intentions. The story is a typical Willis romantic comedy-of-errors story, but “typical” suggests that this would somehow be uninteresting. It’s not, because nothing about Connie Willis’ stories are typical. In fact, the story is a bit deeper than one would expect from the surface, as Willis has a lot to say about the movie industry. And by the time you reach the end of the story, you might wonder if there really is a conspiracy.

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Rogues“The Lightning Tree” by Patrick Rothfuss (in Rogues)

The good thing about this story (aside from it being a new Rothfuss story) is that it’s not about Kvothe. It’s about Bast, and if you want to know more good news, then you’ll be pleased to know that this story isn’t told in the first person. We just get to read a story and enjoy it for what it is. Given that Bast is a mysterious character from the Kingkiller Chronicles, it was nice to get more information about him, and get some insight into his character. Considering how The Wise Man’s Fear ended, I needed a little reassurance about the character. Oh, and can I just say how awesome it is that the character trades favors with children? Because it is. It’s Gaiman awesome.

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