Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Speculating on starting a series of speculative fiction and other fantasy fables

As of now, I'm in the midst of a horror themed readathon(which is going very well) but as soon as it ends, I do have a reader's choice to make. Which of the new fantasy/semi sci-fi series on my shelf should I start next?

I say "semi sci-fi" in regards to one set of books, due to author Margaret Atwood preferring the term "speculative fiction" for such books as her MaddAddam trilogy. All three of these novels take place in a bleak futuristic world, where scientific tampering and environmental causes have altered the course of humanity.

 Beginning with Oryx and Crake, the story of how this all came to be is told through the viewpoint of certain survivors such as Snowman, who guides the new generation of artificial created beings known as Crakers.

The Year of the Flood picks up some of those threads in following a group called God's Gardeners, who are devoted to preserving the natural world of plants and animals as much as possible.

 The finale, MaddAddam, deals with a new threat to the remaining inhabitants of both stories, a group called The Painballers, which gives you a good idea of what harm they can do. With an adaptation of all three books in development for HBO, this certainly feels like the right time to read Atwood's triple play saga that seems to show how while some things change, others never do:

Although I did splurge and get the entire Maddadam trilogy, I decided to take my time with Patrick Rothfuss' The Kingkiller Chronicle. One reason is that each book in this in progress trilogy(which has an extra novella attached to it) is a nice thick stack of pages to read.

The Name of the Wind is the starting point here, as it records the back story of Kvothe, a legendary warrior with musical and magical abilities. From his childhood with a group of traveling entertainers(which was cut tragically short) to his days at "University" where the darker arts were learned, Kvothe's journey takes him down a road that he never meant to go down. Yet, he can not help but to answer it's call.

I've heard a lot of good word about this book alone, so I'm willing to take a shot and see if this is a plot pathway that I wish to follow as well:

Oddly enough, I learned about the first book in Daniel O'Malley's Checquy series, The Rook, by hearing a number of positive reviews about the second book, The Stiletto, which just came out recently.

The leading lady of The Rook is Mwfanwy Thomas, a secret agent in Britain who handles supernatural cases. One day, she wakes up in the middle of a park surrounded by dead people,with no memory of what happened or who she actually is.

Piercing together clues,some of which she thoughtfully left for her future self, Mwfanwy soon discovers who and what she is up against. Yet, that knowledge may not be enough to save the day or civilization as we know it. I have to admit, this whole concept sounds mighty entreating in a Being Human meets The Office kind of way and I may have to pick this up sooner than I expected to:

Stories like this make that old saying about too many books and too little time to read them feel all too real there. However, that doesn't mean giving up although on tackling these strange new horizons. What's needed is a bit of planning and pacing to enjoy as many as possible. Oh, and being sure to start with the first book first. Yes, there are some series that do allow you to take up a title out of sequence and be able to enjoy but I do feel that you get a better flow of the whole thing by beginning where it properly begins:

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