I just uploaded a new short story to the "Other Writing" section. It's called "Atatakai Otoko" and is a companion piece to "The Snow Woman" as told from the opposite perspective. You can read an excerpt and download the whole story here: Atatakai Otoko. Happy reading!
I'm thoroughly in love with a "kids" author by the name of Frances Hardinge -- a British writer who has published four books in the U.S. and five in the U.K. While her heroines are children, thereby condemning her books to the children's section of a bookstore, the books themselves have a sophistication that matches the best of books, in that they can be enormously appealing to adults and children alike. As the Harry Potter books have a wide age-range appeal, I really believe that Hardinge's books are equal to any of Rowlings' work. Hardinge uses intricate plots, cleverly sketched characters, and language so rich that I often times find myself rereading a section just because it sounds so good in my head.
It amazes me sometimes (ok, really quite often), how some books become big hits and others dwell in obscurity. The Da Vinci code was an alright book, but it is not all that much different than other books in that genre. The Twilight books are very mediocre and very much of its genre, but it struck a chord with so many people. The Harry Potter series (I am a big fan) I can understand, for I'm still amazed at Rowlings' breath of imagination and control of plot, but I still can't figure out why that series became so popular. Sure it's terrific, but my other examples here are decidedly not.
Not that Hardinge is wallowing in obscurity. I believe her books do well enough. It's just that I am such a big fan, I wish I could get more people interested in her work. She deserves a following right up there with the most popular of authors.
Plus, you will never read anything funnier than the antics of the homicidal goose, Saracen, in Fly By Night and Fly Trap. Hilarious.
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