Saturday, April 07, 2007

CHALLENGE | Once Upon A Time 2007

Finally, my list for Carl's Challenge - the guy really put a lot of thoughts and effort into this. Carl identified 4 genres we will be exploring: Fairy Tale, Mythology, Folklore and Fantasy. After deliberation, I chose Quest 3:

Read at least one book from each of the four genres of story, and finish up the challenge with a June reading of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I'm going to pick one book for each genre, then list a few BONUS choices. I haven't been very successful with Book Challenges recently so for this challenge I'm trying to set more realistic targets but always with the option of going a little further.

These are my choices:

  1. [FAIRY TALE]: Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Dream Country

    This collection includes the World Fantasy Award-winning short story, A Midsummer Night's Dream by Neil Gaiman. Charles Vess teams up with Gaiman in this reworking of the story behind Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

    Since I'm reading Shakespeare in June, I thought I kick off the challenge with one of the more enjoyable reworking of fables and fantasies: The Sandman. Since Carl had a Charles Vess tribute, I thought it fits in just nicely.

    BONUS: Stardust by Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess

  2. [MYTHOLOGY]: The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell

    The Winter King is the first of Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles, which takes a more "realistic" reworking of the Arthurian myth.

    I've wanted to try Bernard Cornwell for a long time. He seems to really know the historical epic novels really well. Most importantly, George R. R. Martin is a fan of Bernard Cornwell and I'm a fan of George R. R. Martin. ;)

    I hope this will be a full-blooded read.

    BONUS: Book 2 & 3 in the series: Enemy of God & Excalibur.

    The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander

  3. [FOLKLORE]: Book of Ballads by Charles Vess and other contributors

    A lot of folklores are transmitted in the oral tradition of songs and ballads. Charles Vess started the project to illustrate and reinterpret the many ballads across different cultures, and many talented writers and illustrators came onboard for the endeavour.

    I started collecting the series many years ago, when it was first released by Green Man Press. I loved it, but there was always the problem of publication delays. Then it later just sort of disappeared. Thankfully it has finally been collected into a hardcover - later in a trade paperback. Finally, I'm setting aside time to catch up with what I've missed.

    BONUS: The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers - I have this book on my selves from my university days, back when we were doing the poetry of the Romantics, and later the Gothic. It was Danielle (from A Work in Progress), who reminded me of this neglected little book.

  4. [FANTASY]: Ill Met in Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber

    Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd & Gray Mouser series is said to be one of those sword and sorcery fantasies that ought to read more widely.

    White Wolf previously released the Fafhrd & Gray Mouser stories in 4 volumes - with cover art by Mike Mignola. I had the paperbacks on my bookshelves for too long unread. It is time to do justice to them.

    BONUS: Books 2-4 of the Fafhrd & Gray Mouser series: Lean Time In Lankhmar, Farewell to Lankhmar & Return to Lankhmar.

    Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko - remember the Russian vampire film? That really cool one? This is the book that the movie is based on. With the forthcoming release of the Day Watch movie, I'm preparing myself.

    Threshold by Caitlin R. Kiernan. More in the horror genre, about an extraordinary albion girl with special powers.

Actually, I'll probably add more books as I find them.

Additional condition for myself: No buying of new books for the challenge.
All books selected MUST be from my existing stash or loans from the library and friends. Still trying to get around to reading those neglected books.

Let the reading begin!

To read all the reviews for this challenge, visit the Central Hub Blog, which has links to them.


Anonymous said...

I am reading Stardust by Gaiman right now and enjoying it! I really want to read those Cornwall books, too. I have all three, but just haven't gotten around to it. I got The Stress of Her Regard from ILL--I haven't yet dipped into it, so I will have to ask for an extension...maybe I should go and start it now. Too many books started....

darkorpheus said...

Ah, Stardust the graphic novel or the the novel? With all th books I'm reading I think I need to do the comic instead (faster read.)

My first Cornwell - I really have high hopes for him. Hopefully he will not disappoint me.

I know what you mean by too many books started - but then when you mentioned The Stress of Her Regard, I went "Don't have I that book?" There and then I know I need to read it.

So many books started, so many books unread.

Carl V. Anderson said...

Actually, DO, the Stardust comic is really and illustrated novel, and other than a couple of words that changed to reflect what Vess had drawn, they are the same word count. It may SEEM quicker, but it is not. It is a really quick read though.

So glad you're joining in this challenge. Look forward to reading your reviews of the books.

darkorpheus said...

Carl: Damn! You mean I can't cheat by reading the Graphic Novel instead of the booki? Was under the impression Neil Gaiman fleshed out the novel more.

Damn. Was hoping to cheat a little. ;p

Petunia said...

I'm finishing Stardust right now and loving it. I'll be looking for more by Gaiman now. Carl's created another Gaiman fan. In fact, based on the comments of others', he's made lots of new Gaiman fans.