Madeline Miller won the Orange Prize for her first novel, The Song of Achilles, a retelling of the story of Achilles and Patroclus. She is a classicist, a teacher and tutor of Latin, Greek, and Shakespeare to high school students.
So of course I like her, because I’ve never met a Latin teacher I didn’t like.
I haven’t read The Song of Achilles, but it’s on my Nook.
Meanwhile, let me recommend another retelling of myth, David Malouf’s beautiful novel, Ransom, the story of King Priam’s ransoming Hector from Achilles.
THE NEW YORKER SCIENCE FICTION ISSUE. I was looking forward to this.
But damn, it’s same old, same old. Perhaps I was the only subscriber disappointed to see science fiction by literary writers Jonathan Lethem (the only one with SF credentials), Jennifer Egan, and Junot Diaz. My husband and I glanced at Egan’s Twitter story, which was much touted on the internet, and agree it’s an old poem she had on her computer.
There are several very short essays by legitimate science fiction writers, such as Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. LeGuin, China Mieville, and William Gibson. But it’s a very, very tony party, if you get my meaning.
Anyway I’m not criticizing it, because I haven’t read much of it yet. I’m only saying…
Ryan Britt at the Tor blog has written an excellent article about it, “Genre in the Mainstream: The New Yorker’s Science Fiction Issue.” He is an avid New Yorker reader, but isn’t sure how much The New Yorker actually respects science fiction.
Ursula K. Le Guin points out in the “Golden Age” essay, people like Michael Chabon have supposedly helped to destroy the gates separating the genre ghettos. But if this were true, why not have China Mieville write a short story for the science fiction issue? Or Charlie Jane Anders? Or winner of this year’s Best Novel Nebula Award Jo Walton? Or Lev Grossman? Or Paul Park?
I very much agree with this. They are all first-rate writers.
“Shall we cancel our subscription?” my husband asked.