Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Return of Oblivion Hand

One of my earliest reviews was for the first two chapters of Adrian Cole's Oblivion Hand (reviewed on Black Gate today), and it was pretty harsh. I came down on Cole for everything from the names of characters to his purple prose. While I enjoyed the stories I still felt the need to hold them at some sort of critical distance. It was if a book was too nutty and too much fun it couldn't be that good, it must be defective in some way.

Well, in my two and a half years of reading lots of S&S and puzzling out precisely why certain books work for me and others don't, I've grown out of that attitude. John Clute's Encyclopedia of Fantasy called the Voidal stories "not serious" and I find I not only disagree with that statement, but I also find it obnoxious. 

I mean what is meant by that? Do all stories have to have some deeper meaning or make some larger artistic statement? Is it saying that the stories were just something Cole spun out to make some quick cash? 

I understand disliking the stories. They are crazy, thick with adjectives, and the character doesn't have much personality (though that starts to change as the book goes on and the imp, Elfloq has loads of character). But Cole was just writing some fun, colorful tales where his penchant for HPL, CAS and Druillet could be indulged. If the stories hold your attention what else do they need to considered successful? And if the art is intentional how is it not serious?

For music this week, Queens of the Stone Age. I like Josh Homme's first band, Kyuss, but I really like QotSA. His project with John Paul freakin' Jones and Dave Grohl, Them Crooked Vultures packs a mighty wallop too.

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