Saturday, February 6, 2010

Stories from a Lost Anthology

When I first started reading Philip José Farmer, in high school and college, a lot of it went over my head. For example I'd never heard of Doc Savage before I read A Feast Unknown and it's simultaneous sequels, Lord of the Trees and The Mad Goblin. Often I knew I was missing references, but, as I learned in subsequent readings years later, some things were so far over my head I didn't even know they were there.

I sometimes get the feeling the same thing is happening when I read Rhys Hughes. Either he's riffing on people I've never heard of, let alone read, or he's just that original.

There are a small handful of authors that, to me anyway, are on different plane than 99% of the writers in the world. These wordsmiths can simply do things with the English language that go beyond telling a story: Mark Twain, P.G. Wodehouse, Vladimir Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut and (believe it or not) Kinky Friedman, all have a certain artistry to their work. These are all writers who've made me think, excitedly, "I didn't know you could do anything like that," and at the same time, sadly, "just one more example of why I'll never be a writer."

While in my estimation Rhys Hughes has not yet reached those lofty heights, his writing does have a similar effect on me. He constantly amazes me.

Now that I've gotten all that out, as for actually writing a review of his collection, Stories from a Lost Anthology, I think I'll direct you to this excellent review by William P Simmons instead.

Next up on my reading list, The God Engines, by John Scalzi.

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