After twenty days of faithfully following the Wyrd & Wonder prompts, I kind of just disappeared for the last ten. Turns out that if you're coming up with ideas on the spot all the time, sooner or later you'll realise you're just using the same ideas all the time and don't know where to find fresh ones. That's a shame as there were some good prompts I ignored. So, I've decided to just do a mass post, a couple of ideas for each one. Next time, I will plan this out in advance so I don't use the same ideas over and over, and even hand out illustrated copies of each individual post to all other Wyrd & Wonder bloggers while riding my flying pig.
And since this is the end, I thought I'd say thank you. Thank you to Imyril, Lisa and Jorie who have done a huge amount of work to give us all so much to bond over. I caught the end of this last year and thought it was great; taking part this year has been even greater than I hoped. Thanks to all of the other bloggers who've posted so many great reads and in particular, those who've commented here, chatted with me on twitter, shared my articles and so on. To name a but a few, Jenna and Beth have been fantastic about comments (it's no longer just Bea), I look forwards to sharing my thoughts on Mistress of the Empire with Rin, JonBob has been great on twitter... I can't name all of you, but you're cool peeps. And this won't be the end, because I'll be seeing you on the interwebs, leaving comments, shouting about your good work, and so on.
Here we go...
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: I tried very hard to think of a non-Discworld answer to this, but I think this the Witches sub-series by Pratchett. It is all about power - magical power, social power, ingrained power - and the responsibilities that come from it. Some of the speeches, particularly from Granny Weatherwax, are as straight to the point about it as anything could be. Other things that spring to mind with a bit of thought are Aliette de Bodard's Dominions of the Fallen and Kim from GGK's The Fionavar Tapestry.
Beyond the Binary: Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy seems to fit this in many way. It blurs the lines between good and evil, it has heroes who become villains and villains and who becomes heroes and many who fit uncomfortably in between, and it shows many different types of sexuality.
Tall Ships: Paul Kearney's The Sea Beggars is my forever cry out when it comes to nautical fantasy. It's a great duology and the fact it was never finished as a series is just a sadness upon me. I wish people knew more about it, I wish that they did and that this might translate to it getting its ending. Also, a little shout out for The King's Buccaneer by R.E. Feist, one of his semi-forgotten post-Riftwar books that is a tidy little adventure fantasy.
Comfort Reading: A lot of people say Pratchett for this but while I can't deny it kind of is for me, it kind of isn't. Every Pratchett makes me think. It doesn't always fit comfort read. What did work for me was David Eddings but, ah, well, I don't think I'll be going there again. So where now. David Gemmell maybe? Katharine Kerr? Ooh, what about Hughart? But I think really its Lindsay Davies. I think that when I get a paperback copy, RJ Barker's Age of Assassins will join the ranks.
Consummate Professional: David Gemmell's Waylander come across as a very deadly assassin. Erik von Darkmoor from Feist's Serpentwar Saga is the sort of man who'd be professional at whatever he did - blacksmithing, horse handling, soldiering. Ehiru in Jemisin's The Killing Moon is totally dedicated to his priestly vocation and clearly very good at it.
Mic Drop: Tigana might be as old as me but it is still, to me at least, the unquestionable heavyweight champion among trad fantasy standalones, which tbh mightn't be the greatest thing ever. There's a lot of fine ones in the more modern liminal tradition but trad, not so much. Priory of the Orange Tree might be up there when I finish it mind. Small shoutouts to Echoes of the Great Song and Snakewood.
Not All Heroes Wear Capes: Karal in Mercedes Lackey's Storm Winds trilogy. He's a priest, a pacifist, a man whose magical power is to sit there and let other people do great things through him which is about as unheroic as you can get. Yet it's his capability for empathy, for forgiveness, for reaching out to people and persuading them to change - his courage - that's the most important thing in the trilogy.
As You Wish: Oh... uhm... I mean, hmm. You know, for all I love a good romantic relationship, I can't think of many I want to shout about. Falco's and Helena Justina's in Davis' Falco series is just a life goal, but that's not a fantasy book. Uhm. Hmm. Weird beginning aside, F'lar and Lessa in McCaffrey's Pern books are pretty cool. I have soft spots for Erik and Kitty in the Serpentwar (boo that retcon), Rek and Virae in Legend, Rhodry and Jill in Deverry (broke my heart a wee bit), but, I dunno, nothing wowing.
Book Rainbow: A difficult one to do in words, so here's a list of books in a rainbow of mood.
Really Idealistic and Comforting: Mercedes Lackey is really good at this when she wanted it to be with books like By the Sword and Take a Thief. I think Brennan's Turning Darkness Into Light fell under this for me too.
Idealism in Harsh Lands: I think RJ Barker's Age of Assassins is a great example of this, although you could also do Pratchett, or Hughart's wonderful Bridge of Birds
A Light in the Dark: Kerr's Deverry cycle, or Gemmell's Rigante series
Bastards vs Bastards: Abercrombie's Best Served Cold and Dickinson's The Traitor
Fond Farewells: If I ever find an author and series that sticks with me like Sir Terry Pratchett and Discworld again, where long remembered scenes still make me chuckle and the ideas inform how I see the world, then I'll consider myself a very lucky man. I still haven't read The Shepherd's Crown because I haven't been able to bring myself to say I've read all the Discworlds.
Fave Read: This was Cold Forged Flame by a long chalk. Shoutout to House of Sundering Flames as well. And honestly, I think those are the only two first time reads I finished in the entire month. I started a lot, but it was only when I started re-reading that I really started to enjoy myself. Sometimes I look at all the people constantly finding books they love and wonder what the difference is between them and me.