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What I've Been Reading - W/E 12 APR 2019

Have another five from my reading list for this week.

First up, I've finished re-reading "Making Money", and moved on to "Feet of Clay. Since this one doesn't have chapters, I'm reading it out loud to myself, and stopping when I get through a couple of scenes. It's about five pages a night, or thereabouts.

Next, for uni, I've been required to read Lovecraft, for the first time. "The Call of Cthulhu" and "A Shadow Over Innsmouth". Which means I've now seen the origins of a great amount of the strangeness of the internet, and possibly due to being desensitised by long exposure to the internet itself, I haven't turned into a gibbering wreck. I do see where Bob Howard gets his comments about Lovecraft's purple prose from, though. All the shades, from aubergine through heliotrope to palest, palest lilac. Plus lots of focus on the "uncanny", as well as a lot of the racism and xenophobia for which Lovecraft is rather infamous. Seriously, if the guy hadn't been so absolutely and pathologically terrified of the idea of anyone who wasn't a white male upper-middle-class American from the North-Eastern US states having any access to anything by way of knowledge or power which he didn't have, he might have been a reasonable bloke to know. As it is, reading his stuff reminds me of a lot of reading memes from the alt-right bits of the internet - same sense of gibbering terror at the very notion of difference.

If H P Lovecraft were alive and writing today, he'd be a virulent blogger for the far right. If we were very lucky, he'd have been one of the Rabid Puppies and would currently be involved in a virulent argument with Vox Day about who was more hardcore and genuine, and therefore performing a service to mankind by keeping the two of them focussed on each other and out of everyone else's hair. I can admire the craft of his writing, while disliking a lot of the content.

I also had a look at one of the Hugo-nominated short-stories, mainly because it's a T Kingfisher story I hadn't seen before: The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society. Like many of her stories, it takes a fairytale trope, and turns it on its head, in a rather humourous way. I think if I ever wind up with money, I'm going to see about buying as much of her stuff as I can lay hands on (or get delivered to Australia).

So, final item, and it's basically an author/series recommendation more than anything else. I got interested in TwilightKnight17's Hours-Verse series, which is a fusion largely of Persona 3, Persona 4 and Persona 5, where the central premise is that the end of Persona 3 changes in a particular fashion that I'm not going to share, because Spoilers. It's up to 13 parts so far, one of which is currently a work in progress, and I'd definitely recommend it if you're a fan of any of the Persona games, because even the original Persona and Persona 2 get a look in. Also look at any of their other stuff - they're well worth the read, I'm finding. Good characterisation, none of the more annoying fan-writer quirks (such as describing characters solely by epithets[1]) that can sometimes get in the way of enjoying a story, and they're very good at plotting and pacing.

So that's what I've been reading (along with a lot of Persona 5 fanfic). What's on everyone else's reading list?


[1] What is it with that one? Do neurotypical people generally think of their friends as 'the tall one', 'the short one', 'the one with blonde hair' and so on? Why not just use their names?

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