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Winter Tide

4/5. How to explain this? It's Lovecraft mythos transformative work. Aphra's people spend some years on land when they're young before living out their long lives in the sea. Until the U.S. government raided their town in 1928 and interned them all. Decades later, Aphra and her brother are the only survivors of the camps, and they go home in the company of an FBI agent to reluctantly do work for the government that destroyed their world.

You need zero fingers to count the number of fucks I give about Lovecraft. Never read it, never going to, don't care, don't care, don't care. Also, I had not read the free online novelette that is the prequel to this book; I didn't even know it existed until I started going wait a minuteā€¦this is assuming I've read something that I haven't. Something other than Lovecraft, even.

So this book had a hard uphill climb, is what I'm saying. And yet . . . and yet . . .

It's strange and a little chilly and extremely conscious of who its monsters are. Hint: they aren't the Lovecraftian horrors from the deep, they're us. There's a lot of time in libraries in this book, and time performing magic in groups; lots of still scenes while people rub complexly and uncomfortably against each other. This is roughly 80% character work by volume, and an indeterminate amount Lovecraft stuff. I don't even know enough about Lovecraft to more than guess what is canon and what is invention. Except I'm pretty sure Lovecraft's work wasn't a sustained, pained meditation on the complex faces of privilege and oppression and monstrousness.

Which is why I'm not reading that, but did read this.

Date: 2017-08-03 03:50 am (UTC)
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
From: [personal profile] cyphomandra
Ooh. I loved Litany of Earth, and hadn't realized this was out yet - thanks for the pointer!

Date: 2017-08-03 04:55 pm (UTC)
runpunkrun: john sheppard and rodney mckay in a rowboat (you can't not be on a boat)
From: [personal profile] runpunkrun
Do you know if the novelette is a prequel or an excerpt? I'm wondering if I should read it before the novel, or skip it because it's a retread.

Date: 2017-08-03 07:27 pm (UTC)
ellen_fremedon: overlapping pages from Beowulf manuscript, one with a large rubric, on a maroon ground (Default)
From: [personal profile] ellen_fremedon
It's a prequel. There's surprisingly little overlap with the novel.

Date: 2017-08-03 07:50 pm (UTC)
runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (Default)
From: [personal profile] runpunkrun
Good to know. Thanks!

Date: 2017-08-03 07:18 pm (UTC)
cathexys: dark sphinx (default icon) (Default)
From: [personal profile] cathexys
I just read the novelette and now plan to read the book. I've never been able to stomach Lovecraft (I can't get over his overwrought style so I never even made it to the myriad issues), but I love good transformations and this is a great setting and I love the character!

Thanks :)

Date: 2017-08-03 07:30 pm (UTC)
ellen_fremedon: overlapping pages from Beowulf manuscript, one with a large rubric, on a maroon ground (Default)
From: [personal profile] ellen_fremedon
I loved the novelette and I was so happy Winter Tide lived up to it.

Ada Palmer has a very long and rambling review of "The Litany of Earth" at her blog, which is only a little bit about Lovecraft and mostly about Petrarch and Diderot. I found it interesting.

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