Thursday, February 22, 2018

Jane Lindskold

Jane Lindskold is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning, internationally published author of over twenty-five novels, seventy-some works of short fiction, and a variety of non-fiction.

Her new novel is Asphodel.

Recently I asked Lindskold about what she was reading. Her reply:
Lately, my reading has been mostly fiction. I just finished Barsk: The Elephant’s Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen. Although this book has been frequently compared both to Dune (because of the element precognition plays in the plot) and to Brin’s “Uplift” books (because most of the characters are “uplifted” animals), I felt that Barsk: The Elephant’s Graveyard has a strong identity of its own. The “Fant” and their culture are well-designed, and the aversion felt for them by the “furred” races is later revealed to have deep and sinister roots. I would definitely read another book in this setting.

I’ve also recently returned to Rick Riordan’s “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard” series. I’m currently in the middle of the third book, Ship of the Dead. To talk about my reaction to this book, I really need to first touch on my reaction to Rick Riordan’s various on-going series about the trials and tribulations of various pre-teen and teen demigods.

Riordan’s jaunt began with the first of the “Percy Jackson and the Olympian” books, The Lightning Thief. I’m a hard sell for books that feature mythology. Simply, I know too much and spend too much emotional energy getting annoyed at material handled incorrectly or simplistically. However, when a friend who is both a classicist and a librarian gave The Lightning Thief a big thumbs up, I gave it a shot. I think I’ve read just about every book in the series and the various spin-off series.

I’m impressed not only by how Riordan handles his mythological material, but by how the plots stay fresh and innovative. I was dubious when I started the first Magnus Chase book, especially when I realized it shared the same universe as the Percy Jackson books, but so far Riordan is making it work. And, yes, for those who wonder, I’m also reading the “Trials of Apollo” thread.

Finally, last week I discovered Ursula Vernon’s “Hamster Princess” books. I’ve now read Harriet the Invincible and Of Mice and Magic, and will be looking for the rest. They’re cleverly illustrated so that the text and illustrations intertwine in a fashion I’ve never seen before. Best of all, they’re not only funny, they’re smart, taking on various fairytale tropes and giving them a hard shake. Not only do I plan to read the whole series, I’m thinking of kids on my list I can give them. I might not stop with kids!
Visit Jane Lindskold's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue