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Bücherliste 2019

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Tanith Lee, Nightshades, Thirteen Journeys into Shadow

Schon eine ganze Weile suchte ich eine Kurzgeschichte von Tanith Lee, von der ich mir sicher war, dass ich sie als Buch hatte, aber trotzdem nicht finden konnte. Erst als ich beim stöbern bei Amazon in dieses Buch blickte, wurde mir klar, dass ich die Geschichte nicht gefunden hatte, weil ich dachte, dass es sich um einen Roman handelte. Überdies lag das Taschenbuch schon seit Jahren bei mir im Verkaufsregal. Aber sei's drum, jetzt las ich ihn als Ebook wieder und musste feststellen, dass ich außer der gesuchten Story "After the Guillotine" und der schon bekannten "The Devil's Rose" fast alles in dem Buch vergessen hatte. Vor allem die Titelgeschichte. Hier gefiel mir vor allem "Huzdra" und "Blue Vase of Ghosts" am besten, aber am meisten beeindruckte mich doch nach wie vor "After the Guillotine".
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It seemed, when it came, like a blow, the blow of a sledgehammer, but not quite hard enough - so there was an instant's appalled thought: Those bloody fools have botched it! Then the perspective altered. The eyes glimpsed the basket as the head fell into it, and other faces, already forgotten, looked up at it with anxiety as it came to meet them. After this the light went and there was only one odd final sensation, the head lying where it was, but the last reflexive relaxing spasms of the body eerily somehow communicated to it. Is this what a chicken feels? And a moment of horror, wondering how long one must endure this this. Followed by oblivion.
Oblivion, of course, for D'Antoine the atheist had reckoned on nothing. And here nothing was. All senses gone. The void. Blackness not even black, silence not even silence. Sans all.
There is a certain smugness attached to finding oneself perfectly right; even if one can no longer experience it.
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In this story, you see, the lovers do not join for ever to violin accompaniment on a cloud of mortal love. The lovers are no longer mortal, and tehre are no violins, no clouds. It is difficult not to experience annoyance or mournfulness, or even fear, that individual liaisons do not need to persist, in frantic intensity, there where the love is all-pervasive, calm and unconditional. We must try not to lament or be irritated by them. Only note how happy they are, even if "happy" is an analogous word.
While somewhere close as a hand to a glove, D'Antoine 'turns' over and finally wakes, and is no longer D'Antoine. The lenghty sleep of nothingness has acted like a sponge, and wiped away physical identity. Though the emerging soul remembers it, of course, as all of them remember who they have been, plan who they will be (no unfinished business is ever left unfinished; there will be other work, other loves, other springs), it is now a garment held in the hands, not the substance of the self. The true self is quite free. It leaps forward into liberty with an analogous roar of delight and resolution.

(Tanith Lee, After the Guillotine, 1993)

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Bücherliste 2019

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Jasper Fforde, The Last Dragonslayer

Ziemlich unsinnig, aber irgendwie hatte ich bis jetzt immer gezögert mit der Dragonslayer-Reihe anzufangen, weil sie mehr für Jugendliche geschrieben wurde. Aber schon die ersten Kapitel des ersten Bandes überzeugten auf Anhieb und ließen mich die weiteren Abenteuer von Jennifer Strange aus dem 'Ununited Kingdoms' schon fest einplanen, schon bevor ich über 50 % erreicht hatte. Wieder eine typische Fforde-Welt mit allen skurrilen und treffenden Details, überaus spannend dazu und mit einer wirklich überraschenden Wendung am Schluß. Wirklich perfekt.

The Kingdom of Hereford was unique in the Ununited Kingdoms for having driving tests based on maturity, not age, much to the chagrin of a lot of males, some of whom were still failing to make the grade at thirty-two.
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'Well, counting in base ten is pretty wild, for a start,' he said after giving the subject a moment's thought. 'Base twelve is far superior. You also have extraordinary technical abilities, a terrific sense of humour, thumbs, being built inside out -'
'Wait! Being built inside out?'
'Of course. As far as the average lobster is concerned, mammals - with the possible exception of the armadillo - are built inside out. Any crab worth his claws will tell you the soft stuff should definitely be on the inside. Bones in the middle? Whoever designed you was having a serious off day.'
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'But where does magic come from?' I asked. 'And where does it go?'
'Explaining magic is like explaining lightning or rainbows a thousand years ago; inexplicable and wonderful but seemingly impossible. Today they are little more than equations in a science textbook. Magic is the fifth fundamental force, and even more mysterious than gravity, which is really saying something. Magic is a power lurking in all of us, an emotional energy that can be used to move objects and manipulate matter. But it doesn't follow any physical laws that we can, as yet, understand; it exists only in our hearts and minds.'
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(Jasper Fforde, The last Dragonslayer, 2010)

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Kathy Reichs, Swamp Bones

Auch diese Novelle machte beim wiederlesen richtig Spaß, neben einer gehörigen Portion Spannung und ein gut Teil Gruseln wenn es um die Pythons ging - irgendwie kann ich mir immer noch nicht vorstellen, dass es in den Everglades soviele von den Riesenschlangen geben soll. Und der Fund von Knochen im Magen eines Geiers im Magen einer Python rangiert vermutlich bei den exotischen Fundorten in der Serie ganz weit oben.
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By the time we'd gathered around the autopsy table, I also knew that, along with the four main coolers, the facility could store as many as 555 bodies. Why 555? Exactly the capacity of a 747 jumbo jet.
You've got to love Florida's sense of mortality. And the state's willingness to pony up funding for a state-of-the-art death investigation system.
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(Kathy Reichs, Swamp Bones, 2014)

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Bücherliste 2019

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Jasper Fforde, The Fourth Bear (Nursery Crimes 2)

Irgendwie hatte ich doch schon mehr von diesem Buch vergessen, als ich dachte. Die nuklearen Gurkenzüchtungen, Mary Marys Date mit ihrem Alien-Kollegen, Jack Spratts Ehekrach mit seiner Frau (bei dem ausgerechnet Punch als Friedensstifter fungiert), der Showdown mit dem Gingerbreadman - alles kam erst beim lesen wieder. Und bereitete wieder höllischen Spaß.

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Jack said nothing but Mary was right. Despite the trammelling they had received in the past few weeks, the division's record through the years had been sound. The closing down of Rumpelstiltskin's straw-into-gold dens, the Cock Robin murder inquiry, arresting notorious serial wife-killer Bluebeard, the detaining of the 'Emperor's clothes' confidence tricksters, the capture of the Gingerbreadman and the Scissor-man, the Humpty murder inquiry - it had all been good, solid, unconventional police work. Good and solid - until the Riding-Hood debacle.
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'Because networks are everywhere. The road and rail systems, the postal service, the Internet, your friendships, family, electricity, water - everything on this planet is composed out of networks.'
'But why understandable?'
'Because it is the way you are built - your bodies use networks to pass information; you veins and arteries are networks to nourish your bodies. Your mind is a complicated network of nerve impulses. It's little wonder that networks dominate the planet - you have modelled your existence after the construction of your own minds.'
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(Jasper Fforde, The Fourth Bear, 2006)

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Bücherliste 2019

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Jasper Fforde, The Woman who died a lot (Thursday Next 6)

Mittlerweile halte ich die Ankündigung eines 7. Bandes (Dark Reading Matter) für einen Teaser, so wie die angekündigten nächsten Bände der Shades of Grey-Reihe, aber bei Fforde weiß man ja nie. Und eigentlich rundet dieser Band die Serie sehr schön ab, Thursday kann sich endlich von Aornis und ihren Mindworm befreien und darüber hinaus die Erinnerungen an ihre nicht existierende Tochter behalten, und auch mit Goliath abrechnen. Und hat einen neuen Job als Chief Librarian, der in ihrem Universum natürlich komplett anders ist als man erwarten sollte.

I stared at the number of meetings I still had to attend on my schedule.
"I've got an idea," I said, "I'll just turn up tomorrow morning and start having meetings until my brain turns to jelly, then we'll stop and I'll hide for a bit, then do some more while thinking of other things, then forget it all by the evening and we'll do pretty much the same thing again the day after - and rely on subordinates and assistants to deal with actually running the place."
"Thank goodness for that," said Duffy with a sigh of relief. "I was worried you had no experience of running a large public department."
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"A drawn elephant has a desire to exist?"
"Certainly. All of everything came into existence simply because it wanted to be. The Big Bang wasn't so much a Big Bang but a hasty dash towards an opportunity to trade nothingness for somethingness. The main contributory factor to the entire universe was a momentary effect in need of a cause. And in that split second, everything that wanted to have existence - which is everything - came dashing through in one huge hot mass. They've been trying to sort themselves out ever since."
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(Jasper Fforde, The Woman who died a lot, 2012)

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Bücherliste 2019

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Jasper Fforde, One of our Thursdays is missing

Auch von diesem Band hatte ich einiges vergessen, aber auch viel behalten - besonders die Geografie der 'erneuerten' BookWorld hatte ich mich schon beim ersten Lesen tief beeindruckt. Und dass Fforde Fanfiction nicht nur eine eigene Insel gibt, sondern es auch eine wichtige Rolle in dem Band spielen lässt. Mir fällt es wirklich schwer zu entscheiden, welcher Band der Serie am besten ist, aber dieser, in dem auch die fiktionale Thursday sich behauptet, lässt sich eh schwer mit den anderen vergleichen.

I walked across the causeway with a curiously heavy heart as I had no idea how to get back, but once I arrived on the other side it seemed a party was in full swing. Everyone was chatting to everyone else, and the mildly depressed feeling I had felt over in Vanity seemed to vanish completely.
"What's the party about?" I asked a hobbit who had thrust a drink in my hand.
"Where have you been?" she said with a smile. "Fanfiction isn't copying - it's a celebration. One long party, from the first capital letter to the last full stop!"
"I never thought of that."
"Few do - especially the authors who should really accept the praise with better grace. They're a bunch of pompous fatheads, really - no slur intended. Nice clothes, by the way."
"Thank you."
And she wandered off.
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"What is it, Mr Fainset?"
"The Unread, sir."
"Causing trouble again?"
"They're all over Horror like cheap perfume."
I moved off, as tales of the Unread gave me the spooks. Most characters who were long unread either made themselves useful like Bradshaw or went into a downward spiral of increased torpidity. Others, for some unknown reason, went bad and became the Unread. They festered in dark alleys, in holes in the ground, the crevices between paragraphs - anywhere where they could leap out and ensnare a character and suck the Reading Light out of them. Even grammasites, goblins and Danvers avoided them.
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(Jasper Fforde, One of our Thursdays is missing, 2010)

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Bücherliste 2019

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Jasper Fforde, First among Sequels (Thursday Next 5)

Technisch gesehen ist es der sechste Band, aber da der ursprüngliche fünfte Band in diesem wieder aufgelöst wird, nachdem Thursday ihr literarisches Alter Ego besiegt hat, kann 'The great Samuel Pepys Fiasco' wohl nicht berücksichtigt werden. Soviele geniale Stellen wieder in dem Buch, in dem Thursday, mittlerweile Mutter von zwei realen und einem fiktiven Teenager, nach einer wohl verdienten Pause in neue atemberaubende Verwicklungen gestürzt wird. Mycroft als Geist, die Auflösung der ChronoGuards, die zwei so unterschiedlichen fiktiven Thursdays - Nr. 1-4 und 5 - der Käseschmuggel, das Wiedersehen mit der Goliath Corporation und die Strandung auf der Moral Dilemma, und zu guter letzt der Cliffhanger mit der Bookworldversion eines 'Serienkillers', das alles ist einfach immer wieder gut zu lesen.

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Reading, I had learned, was as creative a process as writing, sometimes more so. When we read of the dying rays of the setting sun or the boom and swish of the incoming tide, we should reserve as much praise for ourselves as for the author. After all, the reader is doing all the work - the writer may have died long ago.
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There was a distant hum and a rumble as the reading approached, a light buzz in the air like static and an increased heightening of the senses as the reader took up the descriptive power of the book, and translated it into his or her own unique interpretation of the events - channelled from here through the massive ImaginoTransference storycode engines back at Text Grand Central and into their imagination. It was a technology of almost incalculable complexity which I was yet to fully understand. But the beauty of the whole process was taht the reader in the Outland never suspected there was any sort of process at all - the act of reading was to most people, myself included, as natural as breathing.
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When you tell a tragic story, someone dies for real in the BookWorld. I was in the Oral Tradition. Potentially the best storytelling there was - and the most destructive.
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I'd visited enough poetry to know that it's an emotionally draining place and on a completely different level. Whereas story is processed in the mind in a straightforward manner, poetry bypasses rational thought and goes straight to the limbic system and lights it up like a brushfire.

(Jasper Fforde, First among Sequels, 2007)

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