djonn: Self-portrait (pic#5076703)

As at least some of my readership is aware, I have been a theater junkie -- if a somewhat undernourished one -- ever since junior high school (which is to say, for a scarily long time now).  I have, of course, also been an avid reader of fantasy for even longer than that.  And it's been my experience that there just isn't much modern genre fiction that makes effective use of theatrical settings.  There are a very few exceptions, and mystery has done somewhat better than fantasy in this regard, but even good theatrical mysteries are a trifle thin on the ground.

You may therefore imagine my cautiously optimistic delight some weeks back, when I ran across a new(ish) book at my local library promising just this: a fantasy yarn set against the backdrop of a small musical theatre company in rural Vermont.  The ingredients seemed perfect -- but would they be well blended and skillfully served up?

They would indeed )

djonn: Self-portrait (Default)

A few of the folks in the gallery have known me long enough to recall that my musical preferences are generally describable as . . . obscure, running strongly toward '50s/'60s folk, show tunes, Muppets, and certain old-school corners of country, with a few nods toward the pop end of rock & roll.  [And of course there's filk, out of the SF/F community, but that's largely covered under the folk umbrella.]

Boy, are they about to be surprised....

See, I got a shiny new CD in the mail Friday.  Stars Fall Home is the second album from Seanan McGuire, aka [ profile] cadhla -- and it is very, very cool indeed.  It is also about three orders of magnitude more straight-ahead alternative sound than [ profile] twilight2000 (who probably has the best idea of my usual tastes of anyone here) would have expected me to pre-order in a hundred years.

It's a little tricky to pin down just exactly what Seanan's musical niche is.... )

Those who've followed my book-reviewing career will know that I don't often apply unreserved superlatives.  I am going to apply one now: Seanan McGuire is the single most amazingly skilled songwriter I have ever encountered, and a first-rate singer into the bargain.  If you are even remotely a fan of folk, folk-rock, or good female singers in general, then you want Stars Fall Home, available here while supplies last.  If you know a radio DJ whose playlist isn't corporate-controlled, that DJ needs a copy.  Forget American Idol, ignore America's Got Talent, don't bother with Rock Star: [insert group here].  This is as good as it gets.

Have You Heard This?

"Changing from bad to good's as easy as...taking your first step!"

-- Kris Kringle (to the Winter Warlock)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town

August 2017

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