17 July 2007

Molehills of Madness

I'm about halfway through reading Rhys Hughes' At the Molehills of Madness (I promised I'd review it for Prism) and my goodness, young Mr Hughes has a very sick sense of humour! So far, there is the odd nasty story, some seriously twisted ones that will make you laugh and one very distasteful one that I couldn't finish because it was just too gross ('The Death of Ganymede', I'm looking at you.) Did get quite a few chuckles out of 'Necessity is the Mother,' which is a sort of time travelling serial killer thingy. Loving lots of the weird tales in the collection, though my inner prude witters quietly about the odd bit of crudeness in some of them.

Chronicles of Amber
Have also just finished reading the first 5 books in the Chronicles of Amber series by Roger Zelazny. (Well, Gollancz did put them in a nice compilation volume as part of their Fantasy Masterworks series...) The Amber stories were recommended me by Mike Chinn (buy his Paladin Mandates - there be a collection of riproaring tales, as I never tire of telling people!) and mostly, they were fun. The world set up is great - the whole Amber with its shadows and travelling between - I love that kind of stuff. The family politics, again, another thing that hits my buttons. Corwin started getting a bit whiny towards the last couple of stories in the book though. And I totally called the revelation about papa Oberon.
It would have been nice if the female characters had been better though. Flora - depicted as stupid. Most of the other sisters thought of as generally useless. Fiona got to flex some intellectual muscles due to her part in one of the conspiracies (won't spoil how in case there's peeps that haven't read it.) Dara - there was hope. Sneaky, excellent fighter, then you find out the whole point of her is to be mother and possibly wife... eesh-kabeesh. Apparently there are a few more Amber books to go so maybe things improve.

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