Monday, 24 May 2010

In my mailbox (4)

Books! I have new books! And so, time for another round of In my mailbox, hosted by The Story Siren.

I actually received The red tent by Anita Diamant last week, but didn't end up doing an "In my mailbox" last week — so figured I'd add it to this week's stash, with a thanks to Helen at Helen's Book Blog, whom I won it off!

I don't know a lot about what the book's about, but apparently it's a re-telling of Dinah, one of Jacob's daughters from the Bible. Never heard of Dinah before — don't even know if she actually existed — but that background on its own makes me want to read the book!

(I'm not sure what the title refers to, but my money's going on whatever the woman on the cover is wearing.)

I read this book years ago, along with a lot of George MacDonald's books. I loved them then for their fairytale qualities (and ignored their blatant overmoralising). I loved his books like A light princess (about a princess who is always happy and laughing, never cries, and weighs nothing, and her kingdom is in great peril as the lake begins to drain away to nothing. Those things may not sound related, but I think they are in the book. My summary makes it sound weird, but it was an awesome book) and of course this one, The day boy and the night girl, about a girl who's never seen light (literally) and a boy who's only ever seen the day. And, of course, about how the two meet and fall in love.... I don't remember anything else about the book other than those bare basics, so I'm looking forward to rediscovering the book!

My brother sent me a copy of The princess and the goblin for my birthday! (I may have dropped a hint that I was rediscovering George MacDonald.) This is a story about young Princess Irene, who discovers a secret stair to the top turret of her castle which, according to the back cover of the book, leads to a wonderful revelation. I have no idea what the revelation is, although I read and re-read this book many times about ten years ago. I do remember a miner's son called Curdie who saves Irene from goblins, who I think kidnap Irene to marry their king, or something of the sort.

George MacDonald was one of the granddaddies of fantasy, and influenced J R R Tolkein, C S Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle and G K Chesterton (according to wikipedia).

An anthology! I haven't actually bought one before. But I saw Elemental advertised on author Juliet Marillier's website, and learned that she and several other fantasy authors have all contributed stories to the anthology. Best of all, proceeds from the book go toward the Save the Children Fund — when the book originally came out in 2006 the proceeds all went to helping people in the aftermath of the Christmas Day Tsunami, which is such a good cause. And as I say, I haven't bought an anthology before — I don't generally read a lot of short stories, but why limit yourself? I'm looking forward to discovering a few new authors in this book.

Authors who have written stories for the book: Brian Aldiss, Jacqueline Carey, William C Dietz, David Drake, Lynn Flewelling, Esther M Friesner, David Gerrold, Joe Haldeman, Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Sherrilyn Kenyon writing as Kinley MacGregor, Tim Lebbon, Juliet Marillier, Syne Mitchell, Larry Niven, Eric Nylund, Stel Pavlou, Adam Roberts, Sharon Shinn, Michael Marshall Smith, Martha Wells, Sean Williams and Shane Dix, and Janny Wurts.

1 comment:

David Cranmer said...

I had never read of George MacDonald before your post and enjoyed perusing the net learning about this influential writer.