Best Books 2002 (long, because I don't know when to shut up)

Ian W. Riddell iwriddell at
Tue Jan 7 09:15:03 EST 2003

On Tuesday, January 7, 2003, at 03:55  AM, Kathryn Andersen wrote:

> On Mon, Jan 06, 2003 at 02:17:06PM -0800, Jenwa Hsung wrote:
>> --- Kathryn Andersen <kat_lists at> wrote:
>>> The Most Waste Of Money And Mysterious Missing Book
>>> Award
>>> "The Fall of the Kings" by two authors whos names I can't remember,
>>> and I can't look up because the book is missing.  I *thought* it was
>>> either in my to-be-tossed book box, or put aside somewhere to be
>>> sold second-hand, but I can't find it.  This was a book I bought on
>>> spec in trade paperback (about $40!) because it looked good, it
>>> sounded good, and I felt like spending some money.  And though it
>>> started out well and vividly and picturesquely, I got completely
>>> turned off when the two heros turned out to be gay, and got in bed
>>> with each other.  Not the kind of thing I want to read about, thank
>>> you.  I class this as "most waste of money" since at least with "The
>>> Shelters of Stone" (which I bought hardback) I actually finished the
>>> book.
>> While I'm still working on a Best of 2002 list, I feel
>> the need to pop up briefly and defend "The Fall of the
>> Kings" by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman.
>> I really enjoyed this book.  I found it absorbing,
>> with an unusual and detailed worldview, vivid
>> descriptions, and fascinating characters.  The text,
>> concepts, and imagery have a literate savagery -- no
>> punches are pulled here.
>> Yes, many of the prominent characters in it are gay.
>> Forgive me if I don't understand why that makes the
>> book automatically dismissable.
> You're forgiven. 8-)
> I got the book because, from reading the blurb and the comments, I
> thought it was going to be a great friendship (or a Great Friendship)
> book -- and it turned out to be slash.  I don't read slash, whether 
> it's
> slash fanfic, or professional fantasy.  End of story.
> For me, it was a bit like finding a worm in my apple.
> And though one man's worm is another man's witchety grub, it was a worm
> for me.

I guess my question would be . . . would it have been slash for you if 
the two characters had been of opposite genders instead of the same 

(not trying to pick a fight, just curious)

Fairy tales are not true--fairy tales are important, and they are not 
true, they are more than true. Not because they tell us that dragons 
exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be defeated.
G.K. Chesterton
Ian W. Riddell
iwriddell at
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