Satisfying Book Experiences of 2008 (Part II)

Happy New Year, everybody.  Here are a few more of my favorite book experiences to round out the year.

howls-moving-castleHowl’s Moving Castleby Diana Wynne Jones.  Howl is a hard wizard to pin down–even his castle is always on the move.  The young Sophie Hatter, an equally interesting protagonist, has to navigate her way through a maze of obstacles to find her fortune while under a spell that’s transformed her into an old woman.  Diana Wynne Jones brilliantly combines good old-fashioned storytelling with original, telling details.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.  I read these books back to back, in the same month.  Two very different experiences of course.  One is the story of an older man with an inappropriate, stalker-like attraction to a barely pubescent girl who, surprisingly, reciprocates his interest, and the other book is… oh wait….  Really, though, Nabokov’s brilliant sentences and mastery of human psychology make Lolita well worth reading and re-reading, and Twilight is a fun, fast read. 

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Interfictions 2 Seeking Genre-Bending Fiction

Interfictions 2 is looking for submissions of “interstitial” fiction, or stories that bend genres, defy categorization, and are just all around weird. The first Interfictions anthology was high-quality stuff, so this will be a cool anthology to be part of.  It’s edited by Delia Sherman and Chris Barzak, both amazing writers who have been known to break genre rules now and again, and the whole thing is a project of the Interstitial Arts Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes the idea of interstitial art.  (The IAF’s official address is a PO Box in Boston,  but I believe that the organization’s true headquarters may actually exist at the nexus of several parallel universes, like in the DC Comics Crisis on Infinite Earths and sequels; however, this has not yet been confirmed.)