Glimmer Train Winter 2009 & Zoetrope All-Story Winter 2008/2009

glimmer_trainzoetropeI tried to read these with an open mind, I really did. I’ll always be, first and foremost, a speculative fiction fan. Like so many things, this is just a matter of taste. I’ve like many non-speculative books and stories, but nothing quite hits that “sense-of-wonder” button like a good science fiction or fantasy. I didn’t try to compare these literary stories to speculative stories as that wouldn’t have been fair. I wanted to decide if I would just enjoy them on their own, not compare them to some other ideal.

The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett

thelastcontinentI didn’t like this book as much as I’ve liked most of his other books. I think I’ve become much more picky since I started writing, so this may be a reflection of that. To me, it’s not that easy to relate to Rincewind because he is so cowardly by definition, his reaction to any danger is to run like heck in the other direction. He doesn’t MAKE things happen, things just happen TO him.

Wizard vs. Witch: Who’s the Real Villain?

The Wizard is in a position of power where he has spent a lifetime misleading the public and frightening his citizens into submission. A little girl from a far-off land approaches him, asking for assistance, and his response is to send her on a mission to kill his most dangerous adversary. In return he makes promises that he’s incapable of keeping, giving snake oil presents to Dorothy’s helpers and then escaping before fulfilling his promise to Dorothy.

Wicked–Novel vs. Musical

wickedmusicalwickednovelI read Wicked a few years ago, and hated it. Then I saw the play last year and LOVED it. I decided to give the book another try, just in case I’d been wrong. Nope, I still hated it. The book has almost nothing at all to do with the play, other than sharing the same characters and a couple settings.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

wonderfulwizardI read the original story by L. Frank Baum. I don’t think I’ve read this since I was a kid, if even then. I thought it was reasonably good, though it, not surprisingly, had a dry explanatory tone that is common in older literature. Also, there’s a lot of “As you know” dialogue. The scarecrow is constantly saying “I’m too dumb to do ____”, and similar statements from the Tin Woodsman and the Lion. What interested me most were the differences I noticed.