Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Flavors of fantasy

Reading the Narrows, I thought of Tim Powers, as opposed to one of the other obvious urban fantasist, Neil Gaiman. Today I realized why. In the Narrows and much of Powers, the characters, the action and the storyline is non-fantastical at least until the conclusion. In Gaiman's work the fantasy elements are much more dominant. In American Gods for example, the main characters are almost all gods, going about regular tasks maybe, but gods nonetheless. I don't think either approach is necessarily better, although they both have their challenges. In the all fantastical model, how is it that everyday people don't notice all these goings on? With the Powers style, how do you blend the fantasy elements into everyday existence?

If you haven't picked up American Gods, do so, it's great. I liked it a little less than Neverwhere, but this is like the difference between War and Piece and Anna Karenina, both are excellent, but people generally favor one over the other.

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