miércoles, 3 de septiembre de 2008

If you write reviews...

...like this...

I don't really care if you put an "h" in "Sara". In every other case, I'd prefer if you didn't. (1)

Here's the excerpt, 'cause I can't help quoting.

Sarah Genge’s haunting description, psychological complexity, and careful evocation of real world parallels make “Prayers for an Egg” a standout story this month. Lasa is a household servant in a stratified society who feels honored to have been chosen as jaja-maid by her mistress, Jandala. But even as Jandala and the new master publicly demonstrate their “proper” disdain for the servants they believe to be biologically as well as mentally inferior, privately tradition demands that the newlyweds share some of their most intimate moments with them. Perhaps the masters’ culturally unacceptable desires are innate, perhaps they stem from that intimacy, or more likely they are an amalgam of these and the sort of attraction those in power can have to those they control, where the expression of that attraction is an abusive act of ownership. Another story by Genge, a memorable politico-romance entitled “Family Values,” appeared on Escape Pod a few weeks ago, and her most recent offering is just as original and well-crafted. In both stories, she somehow manages to ease her reader into understanding an alien culture without explicit exposition. Our understanding leaks in around the edges of the narrating character’s consciousness, her culture’s stated assumptions (which mostly feel quite organic, as opposed to contrived), allowing us to fill in the ghosts of both her deeper, unaccepted thoughts, and those which shaped her culture’s taboos. This is engrossing, thought-provoking SF in the tradition of Octavia Butler and Ursula K. Le Guin, and on its own well worth the cover price of this issue.



Yep. I will go and die of happiness now (2)


(1) I don't really know why I'm so opposed to "Sarah" with an "h". I think the main issue is that it isn't pronounced and "cut needless words" spills over into "cut needless letters". Also, there's a Spanish poet, Juan Ramón Jiménez, who was a fan of the phonetic spelling. He went as far as to remove all "h" from the Spanish language, the result being airy and childish seeming poetry which was in fact not very childish at all. More than a century later, copyeditors are still trying to catch the last of those deliberate misspellings--and failing. I have at least one edition in which the occasional "j" glares up in the page. It looks all comfy there, standing in for the "g", but it is an eyesore.

(2) I do think it's a bit obscene to compare my work to Octavia Butler's and Le Guin's, but, hey, I'm not complaining!

(3) Sarah Genge. This is so people will find my blog. There have been a couple of reviews and pubs lately that got the "h" wrong, and I'd hate to think of people getting lost in the Interspace, flailing around for want of direction and "h"

1 comentario:

Sebastián dijo...

That "h" must be for "high quality". ;)

It's a pity Asimov's isn't online because its print version doesn't appear here in Argentina, so I can't enjoy that story. (sigh) I hope you keep publishing material in online mags, surely not Helix but maybe others.