melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2017-04-06 04:24 pm

(no subject)

I have been watching the Hugo and Nebula noms come out and be raected to with glee. Finally a set of Hugo noms where I actually legit want to read nearly all the nominations! I was almost tempted to buy a vote again and then I remembered that the reason I only did it in the Puppy years is that there was no way I could read everything in a year with a proper nominations list, and I came to my senses. (I haven't even managed to pull The Snow Queen out from under my bed yet.)

But yay for the series category! That was long overdue, and they all look like series that deserve being the first series winner, even the three and a half of them that I have not read. (OMG a category where I had already read almost half of the nominees!) For those of you voting, I suggest picking one that doesn't already have ALL THE HUGOs.

(True story: I once met Lois Bujold, back when I had just started reading her stuff and didn't understand, and complimented her on her chunky author necklace with the interesting sfnal beads all along it, and she was like, "oh, right, those are all my Hugo awards". And that was several Hugos ago, iirc.)

Anyway, since this has once again become an all sff-fandom all the time blog, can we talk about Nebula award nominee Every Heart A Doorway? Because I read that one, and I liked it! Okay it was very clearly a book about the characters and worldbuilding with a mystery plot tacked on as an excuse, but I support that choice. And there are lots of things about the characterization and the way it lined up with the worldbuilding that's really interesting. Or how it just wasn't vicious enough to say the things *I* needed someone to say about kids' portal fantasy (I think I might have needed one set at the school for kids who *don't* want to go back.) or how I kind of think that one yuletide fic did a lot of it better than the original.

But on the whole, I liked it, it was fun and diverse and had things to say, would recommend,


I can't get over the fact that she made "Logic" and "Nonsense" as two opposite divisions of portal worlds.

Someone who thinks "Logic" and "Nonsense" are opposites isn't qualified to write about logic, definitely isn't qualified to write about nonsense, and absolutely isn't qualified to write about portal fantasy as a genre, because if you haven't read The Annotated Alice you don't have your foundation, and if you have read The Annotated Alice I don't understand how you could think they are opposites. The main theme of the books that basically founded the genre is how nonsense and logic are indistinguishable much of the time.

Yeah, there is some talk in Every Heart a Doorway about restructuring the classification system, which is good, but the nonsense/logic problem never comes up and *that* is their basic problem and how can none of the characters have ever properly read Carroll?

I know I'm coming on strong here about a book I basically liked but dammit Gardner's Annotated Alice is one of my foundational texts and where I learned at least 75% of what I know about formal logic and everything I know about formal nonsense. (Hell, you don't even have to have read Gardner, you just have to have made any attempt at all to understand Alice!) (Or, for that matter, to have spent much time in a traditional Fairyland.)

I spent a lot of time after reading that book grumbling to myself reclassifying worlds on a nonsenselogic - sense axis instead. It works a lot better. Narnia is basically 100% sensible. Alice is of course all the way on the nonsenselogic end. Orcus balances pretty well in the middle. (Most of the worlds in McGuire's book that we see anything of to speak of are classed under "logic" but leaning hard toward Sensible But Not Particularly Logical, much like her protagonist. Which is probably good because I suspect anyone who thinks nonsense and logic are opposites would fail utterly at writing real nonsense.)

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