Just last night, I saw greygirlbeast
's link to a site about Peter S. Beagle's battle with Granada Media
. Beagle, the author of The Last Unicorn
and screenwriter for the animated film, has been screwed for decades by Granada, who won't give him money for the work he's done for them.And
, as I've already griped, they won't release The Last Unicorn
in widescreen. Fucking Granada
, I thought. We'll just see if they'll get any of my business from now on.
So to-day, the mail brought a soundtrack I ordered off Amazon a couple days ago. It's from the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes
series, possibly the best Holmes adaptation ever
. And produced by Granada Media.
Damnit. So much for my scruples.
Also arrived from Amazon to-day, and not
produced by Granada, was sovay
's Singing Innocence and Experience
. It may be the next thing I read, which it really oughtn't to be, since I've got Ursula LeGuin's Lathe of Heaven
(no, I've never read it!)(which I've been borrowing from Marty for about two years now), William S. Burroughs' Exterminator!
, two books Trisa gave me, and who knows what else. But sovay
's book is so new and pretty, with Waterhouse's The Siren
on the cover.
Add to this the serendipity of it arriving the day after I finished reading Gene Wolfe's The Knight
, which was a marvellous book. Unrestrained, unapologetic fantasy on so many levels. There's an exhilarating quality to the narrative as it cheerfully ploughs in whatever direction it likes without regard for conventions about how plots are supposed to go.
There'll be a scene where Able, the protagonist and narrator, meets some people, vows to help them in their troubles, and then . . . gets sidetracked by different people, vows to help them with their troubles, goes at it and then . . . a different, unrelated beastie shows up, he fights it, and then . . . he's in another dimension . . . It goes on like that and it's great
. In this soup also floats excellent characterisations and bits.
Able's a teenager at the beginning, but is transformed into an adult very quickly and by the magic of a fairy queen with some very obvious and amusing subtext. He roams the world, intent on living as a knight, whether or not anyone recognises him as such. And like all good fantasies, there's copious sex and violence.
That the story is told through first person, and the teller is a teenage boy, makes it slightly curious that all the beautiful women he encounters seem attracted to him and get naked at some point. Wolfe pulls off a nice trick as, even while you're not sure you can trust Able's perceptions, the world described nonetheless feels complex and fully realised. Wonderful book.