I finished reading Eragon a while back. It wasn’t a bad book. I’ve been reading fantasy from a very young age. I think I was 6 or 7 when I first started to read the Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve been reading fantasy, sf, and science fiction ever since, not to mention other genres as well. So I’m relatively familiar with some of the usual occurrences in this types of fiction. Its relatively predictable, but not nearly as predictable as Terry Brooks’ books.
I also finished the second edition of Octavia Butler’s Blood Child. The collection of stories are a nice set of her work. The fiction is fairly tight and the internal logic works well for each story. I enjoyed her afterwords on each of the stories. I like seeing some of the internal processes for different creative works. Both of the essays are well written, and amplify each other. Their subjects are similar, and basically boil down to if you want to write, you better just knuckle down and do it. Learn as much as you can about writing, and write as much as you can.
The story, “Blood Child” was interesting. I liked the description of the narrator’s older brother, as trapped, but safe unless something happened to the narrator. The disgust of the narrator over the revealed process and his jealousy and protection of his sister rang very true to me.
“The Evening and the Morning and the Night” is a story that just has a visceral impact on me, and I’m not sure why, even more than “Speech Sounds.” As the oldest child in my family, I’m used to responsibility. And I’m a very big proponent of allowing a person make their own choices. This story is about choices, who makes them, and how they make them. Those choices are the undercurrent of the story, but they resonate with me and my life. After watching several of my uncles decide that since my father lived so far away, they wouldn’t notify him of his uncle’s death until after the services were done and everything was over; I have a loathing of other folks making decisions for me that they have no right to make. So I like this story, it and “Amnesty” are probably my two favorite stories out of the collection.
“Near of Kin” was ok. Not really to my taste, but not bad.
Then “Speech Sounds” was next. What happens when babel hits again? The look at the chaos and resentment that most likely would happen is right on the money in my mind.
“Crossover” was ok. It might have been a great seed for a horror novel.
“Amnesty” was a story that was new for the second edition. Its one of my favorite of the bunch. Inscrutable aliens, and trying to bridge the gap between us and them. How do you help people and entities go beyond what they think they know and see what really is?
“The Book of Martha” is the last story in my edition. How would you structure the world if you could? I enjoyed the story, but it wasn’t one of my favorites.
It was a good book, and a good purchase. I’ll be looking for additional works by Octavia Butler in the future.