other authors to compare with DWJ

PREISIG, Kylie Kylie.Preisig at qed.qld.gov.au
Tue Aug 31 19:10:13 EDT 1999

> Neil Gaiman: _The Books of Magic_ is great, but _Sandman_ while
> wonderful, started as a horror comic and retained vestiges of
> that throughout its life.  I can read it, and I'm an utter wuss
> about horror, but be warned.

I'm glad someone feels the way I do about the _Sandman_!  I had these books
as a recommendation by Alexlit, but I had them recommended from other
sources too.  I really don't like horror that much, and the ones that I have
enjoyed most in the series were the furthest away from horror.  I was quite
put off by the first one, and if I hadn't already read one further along in
the series I might have given up there.  Also I don't think much of the
artwork.  For graphic novels that are beautifully drawn I love Wendy and
Richard Pini's Elfquest series.

But I love some of Neil Gaiman's other work.  _Neverwhere_ was great and
_Good Omens_ (with Terry Pratchett) is one of my favorite books of all time,
and possibly the funniest thing I have ever read.

> Connie Willis: Do *not* start with her short story "All My
> Darling Daughters".  Please trust me on this.  It's a brilliantly
> executed, absolutely horrifying story about an extremely taboo
> topic, and once you read it you'll feel unclean for a week.  

In fact, I wouldn't recommend starting with her short stories at all, if
your tastes are anything like mine.  What I like in short stories is a basic
story that is told in not very many words.  But for some reason lots of
authors get all clever and arty when they are writing short stories and try
and play games with the reader.  They try and hide things from the reader or
shock the reader, and some just try to be as depressing as possible.  I'd
count Connie Willis as high on the clever and arty and low on the story.

I really didn't like _All My Darling Daughters_.  Standing back from it, I
can concede that it is brilliantly executed.  But the subject matter is just

I like her novels, though!

> Lois McMaster Bujold: Adult themes (rape and violence) are
> implied and, in later books, the violence is explicit.  But
> the violence is never gratuitous, and the baddies are always
> known to be Bad.

And the later books are so much better than first ones!  I started reading
this series on an Alexlit recommendation, and wondered what all the fuss was
about.  The I got to "Borders of Infinity" and thought that there may be
some hope after all.  And I have really enjoyed the last couple of novels,
and I am keeping _Komarr_ on the pile of books that I am holding off reading
until I want to read something I know I'll really enjoy.  Also on that pile
of books is _Blue Moon_ by Laurel K. Hamilton - another Alexlit success.

> Helen Cresswell:  Helen Cresswell is perfect.  No warnings.

I rather like the Bagthorpes series.  Quite a few years ago there was a
television series of _Ordinary Jack_, which I only saw one episode of (like
with _Archer's Goon_).  Has anyone seen it?

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