A perfectly competent example of a subgenre I’m bored with

I’m not going to list all the books I brought home from World Fantasy, because I don’t intend to keep all of them.

It isn’t meant as an insult. Normally I fly to WFC, and that necessitates strict limitations on what I bring home. This time we drove, though, and so I grabbed copies of things I knew I would never read, because I can (and will) donate them to the library.

The thing is, “I’ll never read this” isn’t necessarily a judgment of quality. We did the traditional thing of reading the opening page out loud, and I described one of the books from my bag as “a perfectly competent example of a subgenre I’m bored with.” Other people still enjoy it, and that’s fine; more power to them. Or take the Pathfinder novels I received: I didn’t even bother with the opening page, because I know I’m not interested in the first place. But somebody at the library book sale might very well snatch it up.

If I really thought a given book was bad, I wouldn’t even donate it to the library. Like approximately 93% of the con attendees, I dumped one book on the swap table, and thought “good riddance.” I won’t name and shame the author, but it was self-published and rampagingly full of the stalest cliches, including one that I find offensive. I’m not inflicting that on the library.

So I won’t list all the books I brought home, because I don’t want to imply a major criticism when I don’t keep them. But there were some really good-looking ones in there (including Guardian of the Dead! Which was on my wish list!), so look for those to show up in my “books read” posts later.

0 Responses to “A perfectly competent example of a subgenre I’m bored with”

  1. mrissa

    Same here, except instead of the library, I give them to , who maintains a free book shelf for the kids at her clinic, many of whom don’t really have good sources of books otherwise.

    • Marie Brennan

      That too. And in fact, quite a few of the books I’m not as interested in are the sort of thing that could appeal very well to kids.

  2. alecaustin

    I’m going to take a look at a couple of the Pathfinder books, because Paizo has published several non-tie in books I’ve liked in the past, and I did gaming work for them back when they published Dragon and Dungeon, but one of them went back on the swap table right quick.

    • Marie Brennan

      Some of it’s honestly a matter of prioritizing, too. I might enjoy one of those books — but the list of things I want to read is already long enough that I don’t to add to it in that fashion.

      • alecaustin

        For sure.

        I value the higher end of gaming tie-ins as comfort reading, which is why said books made it onto my list. Especially since comfort reading is about all I can manage to get my teeth into these days, due to work stuff.

  3. sandmantv

    The title promised an example. The post had no example. C-

    • Marie Brennan

      <lol> I should have put the phrase in quotation marks. My point was more to talk about a category, rather than a specific instance.

  4. rachelmanija

    Was that the one with the extremely bad poetry and the hilarious cover?

  5. janni

    Sometimes, too, a book is fine and maybe even above-competent but just not my thing. I recently declined to blurb a book like this: it was well-written, and if it were the sort of book I loved I would love it, but it wasn’t.

    Guardian of the Dead is quite good, by the way, and The Shattering, her second book, even better.

  6. icedrake

    The sad part? Saturday afternoon, I went to a panel on which one of the Pathfinder authors was an active participant. He sounded very interesting and engaging, and so I went to try and recover his book from the swap table. The entire stack got cleaned up, and so now I’ve missed my chance.

    James L. Sutter, if you’re reading this? I’m sorry!

  7. kateelliott

    I took home the big WARRIORS hardcover of short fiction by fantasy writers, ed by Martin, I think, not for me to read (not particularly interested as I don’t have the short fiction reading gene) but for the library here. So I understand.

    • Marie Brennan

      Yeah, I decided to dump a couple of anthologies on the grounds that while I do read some short fiction, it isn’t a whole lot, and the anthos in question were not so specifically aimed at my sweet spot that I could see them going into the to-read pile any time soon.

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