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View Diary: Sci-Fi Fantasy Club: Which Ugly SF/Fantasy Ducklings became Literary Swans? (140 comments)

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  •  I'm not sure why American Gods is so high on the (5+ / 0-)

    NPR list. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed it. I have enjoyed everything that I have read by Neil Gaiman. A lot.

    I just thought that the sequel, The Anansi Boys, was better.

    I'm just saying that if you have one on your list why not the other, better one?

    (I read them out of order and it didn't make any difference.)

    •  Because American Gods was first? (6+ / 0-)

      Because it set the stage for its sequel?

      I don't know -- I haven't read The Anansi Boys -- and technically speaking I didn't read American Gods, either (listened to the audiobook version, which was excellent).

      It's also possible that having read Anansi Boys first has influenced your opinion. For example, Tara read The First Wives Club & loved it, so she hated the movie; I saw the movie first, loved it, and then read the book: which was clearly inferior to the film. We have been agreeing to disagree on the subject ever since.

      IOW, the wonderful weirdnesses of American Gods came first for most of us, and may have influenced the NPR people; whereas the wonderful weirdnesses (I assume) of Anansi Boys came first for you, and may have influenced you to prefer it.

      I don't know, of course -- it's just a thought.

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 10:25:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those are good points (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Youffraita, Brecht, RiveroftheWest

        I believe that I listened to both in audio format.

        The Anansi Boys was just more fun. For one thing, the main character wasn't getting the crap beat out of him every other chapter. American Gods seemed like a crime novel or Film Noir.

        The Anansi Boys was one of the best audio adaptations that I have ever heard. It was read by a woman with a Caribbean accent, which was just perfect.

        Maybe that made me a little biased.

    •  You sure have read a lot of SF and Fantasy. (7+ / 0-)

      American Gods blew me away. I've read almost every Gaiman, and that was my favorite, along with Good Omens and Sandman (for very different reasons, obviously).

      I just found American Gods richer, deeper, subtler, more ambitious than his other books. But I also thought it was the best written as a novel.

      As I said in the diary, there is no certain objective standard of literary excellence. But I pay a lot of attention to prizes, as the boards who grant them put a lot of study and thought into awarding them. American Gods won the Hugo, the Nebula and the Locus, which is a lot more than any of his other books.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 10:43:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the Hugo and Nebula are huge. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ender, Brecht, RiveroftheWest, CorinaR

        Well, the Hugo's the one that actually sells books: it's voted on by people who have bought memberships to the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon), so it's sort of the Miss Popularity Contest of sf/fantasy. The Nebula is voted for by members of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA). Not sure about Locus.

        The World Fantasy Award is juried, but I'm surprised American Gods didn't sweep that one, too.

        Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        by Youffraita on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 11:03:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the compliment! (4+ / 0-)

        The Graveyard Book really blew me away. I haven't read his latest, The Ocean at the end of the Lane, yet but I hear that it is good.

        The Hugo and Nebula awards are usually my best guide. I was let down by the Nebula award for best novel this year. I thought that 2312 by KSR was very tedious.

        Here are my comments on 2312

        I think that the Nebula award was a plot to get people to buy Hugo ballets so that they could vote against 2312.

        •  "Some people thought that this was daring, but . . (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ender, lunacat, RiveroftheWest

          I thought it was a typo." Splendid.

          Shame, really, The Mars series was stupendous. But some prolix authors are the victims of their own success: once they make it, their editors become unwilling/unable to rein in their excesses.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 01:55:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I have a Gaiman story you might appreciate (7+ / 0-)

        Back in the 90's, my sister was an executive at DC comics, her staff was responsible for formatting of all the books.

        Once when visiting her in NYC, I saw a picture of her that someone had photoshopped to look gothic and surreal.

        She told me that it was a publicity picture for one of the books they were doing, Sandman, and that it wasn't her, but it was the character Death.  

        She denied any knowledge or involvement, but not only does it look like a photograph of her, at the time she had the exact hairstyle and leather jacket.

        I am amused to this day that someone at DC had immortalized my sister as Death.

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