Let’s first come right out and say that I’m only halfway through The Paths of the Dead by Stephen Brust, and that is as far as I’m going to get. The novel has an interesting concept: It is written as though it is a book composed by a somewhat pompous historian living at a later date in the same world as the one where events take place. According to reviews on Amazon, it is supposed to be something of a riff on The Three Musketeers. Be that as it may–I sure can’t see it–it’s incredibly slow-moving and the ploy with the historian only succeeds in disrupting the suspension of disbelief so necessary for enjoyment of a fantasy novel.
The Paths of the Dead is also fatally filled with annoying and spirit-crushing dialogue like this:
“But there must be one thing you can tell me.”
“And what is that?”
“Why you have come to visit me.”
“Oh, as to that–”
“You are right, there is no reason not to tell you.”
“Then you will do so?”
“This very instant.”
“Then I await you.”
Aaaaaaaahhh! Stop it! This is how every freaking conversation goes. Bumpity-bumpity-bump with zero information exchange. It was cute the first five times, and then it started to hurt me deep inside.
Nope, can’t take it. Made it halfway through on sheer obstinacy, but that’s it.
Brust has finally come up with a more annoying fantasy tick than the infamous “ten pages to walk around a bush” syndrome. Didn’t think I’d live to see the day.
Music: “Creek Mary’s Blood” by Nightwish [Opens in iTunes]
Includes Hollywood Dead, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, The Court of Broken Knives, and Port of Shadows.
Nic has a retinal tear and has his vision is saved by a laser.
Includes The Storm Before the Storm, White Trash, Calypso, Tell the Machine Goodnight, Prince of Fools, and Provenance.
The Internet tells Nic to install Ubiquiti gear in his house, so he does, and now he has thoughts.
What I wish I’d known when I started podcasting.
Nic starts a new podcast about—gasp!—American sports.
Mostly excellent non-fiction in this installment. Includes Fantasyland, The Miracle of Dunkirk, Das Reich, The Undoing Project, Waiting for the Punch, Vacationland and Points of Impact.