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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Quicksilver & Shadow by Charles de Lint

Quicksilver & Shadow by Charles de Lint. Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2005. ISBN: 1-59606-003-4

I've been a fan of Charles de Lint for several years now, and have been gradually working my way through most of his published works. Nevertheless, if I had realized what I was getting into, I might not have bothered to grab this particular volume off my library's new books shelf.

On the title page, this book is subtitled as “Collected Early Stories, Vol. 2: Contemporary, Dark Fantasy, and Science Fiction Stories.” Basically, it's a collection of early stuff that author de Lint probably hasn't had much success with elsewhere. He even admits as much in his preface. But the book did keep my interest enough to read all the way to the end, even though I could tell that most of the stories were not up to his more mature standards.

I have to confess that I don't really understand this predilection on the part of authors to publish their previously unpublishable stuff as soon as they manage to acquire enough of a reputation to allow them to do so. If the stuff wasn't quite up to snuff to begin with, surely it's a form of vanity to publish it once their reputation has been established. Oh well, lots of authors do it.

Anyway, the bottom line is, don't bother to read this book, or the ones that precede or follow it unless you're a died-in-the-wool de Lint fan, and have just GOT to read everything he's ever written. Instead, if you're new to de Lint, go read pretty much anything else that he's published. I've reviewed five of his books here on Tillabooks. Just look him up in my fantasy genre index if you want my take on some of his genuinely good stuff.

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