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mephistia

attempting obscurity

I mess around with writing, but deep down I'm pretty sure I'll never actually get published because I treat it like a hobby and not a passion -- I write when I have time, instead of making time to write.

 

When I read, I prefer YA sci-fi/ fantasy as my go-to fiction reads. I tend toward this genre because I read fiction as an escape from the daily drudge of life. YA sci/fi-fantasy usually has more upbeat/ hopeful endings, while adult fiction of any genre (except romance) tends to have more depressingly realistic endings. Sometimes I read romance novels, but I really prefer the type with plot/ character development between sex scenes, and I don't like having to hunt for them.

 

In non-fiction, I prefer history, biographies, psychology, gender studies, social/applied sciences, and law/ public policy.

Currently reading

Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps -- And What We Can Do About It
Lise Eliot
White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race
Ian F. Haney López

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive)

The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson I've done it again. I've started another amazing, incredible, awesome, well-written series that's in progress. It wasn't enough to get caught up in Song of Ice and Fire. I wasn't content with having to wait between releases of the Green Rider series, or to fall in love with Kingkiller Chronicles. I couldn't have just left it alone when I fell in love with The Dagger and Coin series. Nope. Reading four different series-in-progress just wasn't enough torture for me; I just had to go find another awesome series. This is the punishment and sweet torture of a reader.Anyway, melodramatics done, and yes. This book is amazing, goddamnit. It's brilliant. Beautiful characterizations, incredible descriptions, compelling plot, the whole nine yards. It starts a little slow, but then it's epic fantasy and epic fantasy will often do that. I've noticed in recent years that I trend toward authors who examine religion, belief, and non-belief. I like to read the stories that hold the prisms of faith up to the light and examine the way the colors refract and effect the world around us. Sanderson is excellent at this -- in his other works, he's had god-kings and immortals; he's had great and wonderful heroes who are flawed and terrible, and repressive, cruel villains who tried and failed to do "right." He does a great job of, through the lens of fantasy, examining the motivations, desires, cruelties, hopes, and dreams of humankind. He has the whole range of faith, too -- from pervasive religious orders, to true believers, to those who simply go through the motions, to those who find religion later in life, to those who switch religion, to those who lose religion, to those who never had religion. Somehow he manages to present these different characters -- to present how religion and belief (or lack of religion and belief) entwine with their personalities and lives to assist in their overall character development and story arch. And if that's not enough, he examines the role of mythology, legend, and religious belief in society, and how fact and history can become so entwined with mythology and legend that they are almost impossible to differentiate -- but he does all this in a very natural way that guides the reader through the story, and you may never even notice or realize that this is one of those fantasy stories that tells a larger truth.More than that, he's possibly the most innovative fantasy writer I've ever read. His people, their cultures, their races, their traditions -- I mean, we've all read the fantasy stories with a blue-skinned or sharp-eared race; a people who possess magic or secrets or what-have-you -- but Sanderson continually blows my mind with some of the oddly specific and brilliant details to differentiate his races and peoples. They're just so creative. In fact, the biggest problem I have with treading Sanderson's writing is that it's so imaginative and clever, I find myself thrown out of it by sheer admiration at his skill. The same thing happens to me with the Kingkiller Chronicles.