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среда, 30. јануар 2013.

Šta smo propustili...

Kraj prethodne godine zatekao me je u moru obaveza, a obala nikako da se pojavi na vidiku. To je najvećim delom bio razlog zašto su mi naslovi objavljeni s kraja godine potpuno promakli. "Crvenog viteza" sam slučajno pronašao početkom ovog meseca, ali propustio sam niz romana novih ili malo poznatih autora. Čak mi se prvi put u životu desilo da tokom prošle godine bude objavljen jedan roman kojeg sam veoma dugo čekao i kojem sam se radovao, a da ga ne pročitam istog trena kada se pojavi. No, tu je internet da skrene pažnju na propušteno i da pruži priliku da se propušteno ispravi - naročito uzevši u obzir da je januar 2013. relativno mršav kada je reč o naslovima koji mi upadaju u oči na prvi pogled.

Evo jednog omanjeg spiska romana koje sam propustio da pročitam, a voleo bih da to ove godine ispravim:

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan  

Moram priznati da me je amaterska naslovnica, ravna najgorim sočinjenijima naših IPS-a i Evro-Đuntija debelo odbila od ove knjige, međutim hajp na Amazonu dovoljno je veliki da bih joj progledao kroz prste. Istine za volju, naslov Blood Song i naslov serijala Raven's Shadow navode me da pomislim kako je pre reč o nekoj publikaciji iz edicije Elora's Cave nego o ozbiljnom romanu, ali kolektivni internetski glas vaskolikih gikova tera me da mu pružim priliku. 

The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm.
 
Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the unified realm. Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright and dropped at the doorstep of the Sixth Order like a foundling knows no bounds. He cherishes the memory of his mother, and what he will come to learn of her at the Order will confound him. His father, too, has motives that Vaelin will come to understand. But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the realm, but the world.
 
Naravno, presudno je bilo poređenje sa "Imenom vetra", što je gotovo opšti utisak svih blogera koji su čitali Blood Song.
 
Daughter of the Sword: A Novel of the Fated Blades by Steve Bein
 
Naslov objavljen u oktobru prošle godine, zanimljiv zbog nekoliko značajki. Najpre, autor je muškog pola i roda - i to ne krije - a protagonista je žensko. Ovo je već samo po sebi retkost, budući da je glavna publika urbane fantastike suprotnog, odnosno ženskog pola, tako da većina muškaraca koji pišu u ovom podžanru obično bira nekakav neutralni pseudonim, ili čak žensko nom de plume (videti intervju koji sam vodio sa Denijelom Ejbrahamom, u kome sam ga baš o tome i pitao). Međutim, kada se pročita blurb - da ne kažem sinopsis - vidi se da Daughter of the Sword ipak nije urbana fantastika, iako se deklarativno odigrava u epitomu urbanosti, Tokiju.

Mariko Oshiro is not your average Tokyo cop. As the only female detective in the city’s most elite police unit, she has to fight for every ounce of respect, especially from her new boss. While she wants to track down a rumored cocaine shipment, he gives her the least promising case possible. But the case—the attempted theft of an old samurai sword—proves more dangerous than anyone on the force could have imagined.

The owner of the sword, Professor Yasuo Yamada, says it was crafted by the legendary Master Inazuma, a sword smith whose blades are rumored to have magical qualities. The man trying to steal it already owns another Inazuma—one whose deadly power eventually comes to control all who wield it. Or so says Yamada, and though he has studied swords and swordsmanship all his life, Mariko isn’t convinced.

But Mariko’s skepticism hardly matters. Her investigation has put her on a collision course with a curse centuries old and as bloodthirsty as ever. She is only the latest in a long line of warriors and soldiers to confront this power, and even the sword she learns to wield could turn against her.

Za razliku od prethodnog romana, naslovnica za Daughter of the Sword je prelepa i delo je Krisa Magrata, u njegovom prepoznatljivom stilu. Nažalost, imam utisak da će ovaj roman proći relativno slabo. Pre svega, Tor se ne ubija od marketinga, a potom - roman nema jasno određenu publiku. Ljubiteljke urbane fantastike svakako se neće zaleteti da ga kupe, dok će tvrdokorniji poklonici fantazijskih romana verovatno biti odbijeni činjenicom da su elementi fantastike dati u Daughter of the Sword krajnje suptilni, ako je verovati prikazivačima. Autor je dobio vrsne kritike za stil i izraz, tako da će se ovaj roman naći na mom spisku ovogodišnjeg štiva.

Throne of The Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

Saladin Ahmed izgleda baš kao što mu ime zvuči. To jest, izgledao bi kada bi nosio turban. Međutim, uopšte ne zvuči kako izgleda, niti kako se zove. Čovek je rođen i odrastao u Detroitu, magistrirao je engleski i kreativno pisanje, predavao je kreativno pisanje deset godina i bio je finalista za Nebulu u konkurenciji kratke priče i Kembela za novog pisca. Naravno, najvažnije je to što je D&D gejm master. 

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, land of djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, Khalifs and killers, is at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings:

Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, "The last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat," just wants a quiet cup of tea. Three score and more years old, he has grown weary of hunting monsters and saving lives, and is more than ready to retire from his dangerous and demanding vocation. But when an old flame's family is murdered, Adoulla is drawn back to the hunter's path.

Raseed bas Raseed, Adoulla's young assistant, a hidebound holy warrior whose prowess is matched only by his piety, is eager to deliver God's justice. But even as Raseed's sword is tested by ghuls and manjackals, his soul is tested when he and Adoulla cross paths with the tribeswoman Zamia.

Zamia Badawi, Protector of the Band, has been gifted with the near-mythical angelic power, but shunned by her people for daring to take up a man's title. She lives only to avenge her tribe's death. Until she learns that Adoulla and his allies also hunt the same killer. Until she meets Raseed.

When they learn that the murders and the Falcon Prince's brewing revolution are connected, the companions must race against time--and struggle against their own misgivings--to save the life of a vicious despot. In so doing they discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.

Throne of The Crescent Moon mu dođe nešto kao križanac "1001. noći" i sword & sorcery romana začinjenih sa nekoliko kašika D&D-a. Iako je roman bio hajpovan dosta dugo pre nego što se zvanično pojavio, mene je ta kombinacija odbijala sve dok nisam shvatio da a) Obožavam "1001. noć" - i to integralno izdanje (ponosan sam vlasnik svih čini mi se osam tomova) i b) Poslednja fantastika sa muslimansko-arapskim elementima koju sam čitao (doduše, naučna) potpuno me je oduševila (Bel Dame Apocrypha by Kameron Hurley). I na kraju, čovek drži D&D sesije grupi od DESET igrača, koju listom čine najpopularniji mladi pisci fantazijskog štiva! Bring it on!

The Dead Of Winter by Lee Collins

Ilizana je maksima da je sve već napisano. To je ne čini ništa manje tačnom. Pasionirani čitaoci fantastike - ili krimića, ili bilo koje druge žanrovske literature - ne mogu a da ne oguglaju na iste potke, slične protagoniste, dosadne nemeze. To je dovelo do toga da nam u većini slučajeva radnja, zaplet, protagonista, šta god - nije ni najmanje bitan činilac. Bitna nam je oblanda u koju je slatkiš zavijen, sve dok je slatkiš makar približnog ukusa koji volimo. Dakle, kupujemo knjige na kojima piše "isto kao Martin" ili "stimpank" ili "vampir i vukodlak u ljubavnom trouglu sa zombijem". Međutim, ponekad i oblanda dosadi. Neki pisci su to uvideli, pa su počeli da mešaju scenografije iz različitih predstava. Tako smo u skorije vreme dobili mešance urbane fantastike i mača & magije, sve je više sajens fantazija (opet), stimpanka ima u 26 ukusa najmanje - a jedan od tih ukusa je i Weird West. 

Definicija ovog... pravca? Podžanra? Šta god Weird West bio, njegova definicija ne traži preveliko pametovanje. Stimpank na vestern način. Kraj priče. 

The book begins in 1883 in Colorado and features Cora and Ben Oglesby. They both are bounty hunters who hunt vampires and have been successfully doing so for more than a decade. As they are passing through the small settlement of Leadville in Colorado, they are beseeched to save the settlement from a mysterious animal that has been killing the poor folk. With their fees being settled, Cora and Ben get down to their job only to find out that the creature they are hunting might not be their usual supernatural quarry. Things get even hairier as they find out what they might be against. The plot then has them dealing with further problems as they make the acquaintance of a British vampire hunting academic who tells them of a problem infesting his lord’s mines. Its up to Cora and Ben to make light amid all the problems and save themselves as well as all the people around them.
 
Nije mi, doduše, najjasnije da li je ovaj roman baš onakav kakvim se na prvi pogled čini. Recenzenti o njemu pričaju kao o melanžu žanrova, sa podosta elemenata horora. U svetu u kojem je reč "vampir" postala sinonim za "bling", pojam "horor" ne upotrebljava se olako. Između ostalog i da ne bi privukao pogrešnu publiku. No, videćemo.
Land of Hope and Glory by Geoffrey Wilson



Ovo sam čak počeo da čitam. Prekinuo sam nakon dve stranice. Nisam prekinuo zbog lošeg pisanja ili nezanimljive radnje. Prekinuo sam zbog premise romana, po kojoj su Indijci porobili Veliku Britaniju. Budući da sam pomalo upoznat sa istorijatom britanske vladavine indijskim potkontinentom, predstava krvoločnih Hindusa koji maltretiraju jadne Engleze odmah me je zgadila. No, jedan od uticajnijih fantasy rivjuera - koji je pri tom i Indijac - veoma je pohvalio ovaj naslov. 

It is 1852. The Indian empire of Rajthana has ruled Europe for more than a hundred years. With their vast armies, steam-and-sorcery technology and mastery of the mysterious power of sattva, the Rajthanans appear invincible. But a bloody rebellion has broken out in a remote corner of the empire, in a poor and backward region known as England.
At first Jack Casey, retired soldier, wants nothing to do with the uprising, but then he learns his daughter, Elizabeth, is due to be hanged for helping the rebels. The Rajthanans will spare her, but only if Jack hunts down and captures his best friend and former army comrade, who is now a rebel leader. Jack is torn between saving his daughter and protecting his friend. And he struggles just to stay alive as the rebellion pushes England into all-out war.
 
The Rajthanan Empire from India has conquered many parts of the world and like the Roman Empire previously, has now colonized England. The Rajthanan Empire is most likely a synonym for the area known as Rajputana or as it’s currently known as Rajasthan. They have discovered the means to a power called Sattva nearly eight hundred years ago and since then have managed to overthrow the Mughal Empire in India. Since then they have also taken over many parts of the known world and now are exploring the new world.
Amidst all their explorations they have also conquered England and Wales nearly a hundred years ago. The rest of the continental Europe previously was under Muslim Caliphate rule and England was the only country to rebuff their advances under the rule of King Edward. It is not clear how much of continental Europe is under the rule of the Rajthanan Empire but its safe to presume that majority of the area would be under their rule. Currently there have been small mutterings against the Rajthanans and their rule over the English people and a person called the Ghost has been leading a group of soldiers all over the countryside looting army posts and generally calling for the overthrow of the Rajthanan rule.
 

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