I’m making good on that promise to catch up with my recommendations.
For those who are new to my journal, a quick story. Last year, finding that my spare time for reading was scanty enough that maintaining a monthly fiction recommendation was getting hard, I set aside three months of the year (April, August, and December) for “primary source” recommendations (or folklore recommendations, as I call them on the page). My reason was that these sources are the bedrock on which fantasy is built, but few people seem to read them. And I particularly wanted to bring them to the attention of fantasy writers, since the genre as a whole will be well-served if its people familiarize themselves with something more than an adaptation of an adaptation of an adaptation, the way it so often seems to go. (Tobias Buckell has a good piece on this called “Original Source Creativity,” though at present I can’t find it on his site.)
Last year’s primary sources were Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and the Old Testament — three foundational works with a profound effect on English literature. I like the idea of organizing these around a theme, so this shall be the Classical Year, opening with the Iliad.
And with that, I’m back on schedule, provided I can get something posted for May in the next twenty-three days. That should be manageable, right?