This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is “ten authors I really want to meet”. Now, I’ve actually been lucky and met a fair few authors I love — Jo Walton, Robin Hobb, Alastair Reynolds… But I’m sure I can come up with ten more.
Ursula Le Guin. And nobody is at all surprised. Not even a little.
Patricia McKillip. I know very little about her as a person, but her writing is awesome.
J.R.R. Tolkien. I mean, not as a zombie or anything, but if I could go back in time. Attend one of his lectures maybe?
Hazel Edwards. She wrote There’s a Hippopotamus On Our Roof Eating Cake. Obvious.
Cherie Priest. She seems cool, I want to pet her dog, and I like her on Twitter.
N.K. Jemisin. Granted, I’d probably just babble quietly, but that’s the same with anyone I admire.
Robin Hobb. Again. I was fourteen at the time, after all.
Jacqueline Carey. Sign all my books. All of them.
Guy Gavriel Kay. Ditto.
Susan Cooper. The first thing I move into a new house is my copy of The Dark is Rising sequence, and I’m not even kidding about that. It goes in the first box or bag to enter the new place, and gets put on the shelf symbolically before anything else.
So, uh, yeah. I could probably think of more, but I’d better stop daydreaming now…
This book isn’t really quite what you’d expect if you know McKillip’s other work; it’s for a younger audience, and it feels like a different sort of story altogether. It’s more like… Famous Five, with ghosts; it’s not the total magic of The Forgotten Beasts of Eld or Winter Rose. It’s fairly specifically placed in time and space, and it has a lot of concrete, real-world detail.
The writing is still absorbing, the characters well portrayed, but the magic is really what I read McKillip’s work for, and this wasn’t at all like that. It’s also, as I said, rather younger; the kids are very frustratingly kids. Realistically, but yeesh. Puberty is not so interesting when you’re out on the other side of it.
I’m fairly lukewarm about it, in the end; it was fun enough to read, but it’s not by any measure a favourite and I wouldn’t have minded having to skip it.