Friday, December 05, 2008

More light-hearted reads...with a dash of the serious

You are buying books for Christmas, right?
For the kids, the aunts, the partner, the friends, the cat?

So now I am going to talk about one of my favourite book-writing people.

K.E. Mills, aka Karen Miller. She's a Sydneysider, but I have decided to forgive her that solecism.
She dedicated a book to me, the daft woman, so I will forgive her anything. She is one of the most versatile writers under the sun - dodging between media tie-ins for Stargate and Star Wars, to standard fantasy (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker duology), to gruesome no-holds-barred swords and sorcery (try Empress of Mijak, called Empress in the UK, the first book of the Godspeaker trilogy), to humour with a streak of the deadly serious about it.

Karen's greatest strength is characterisation, particularly dialogue and speech rhythms. You can hear her characters speak as you read the page.

Her semi-comedic stuff is a series, Rogue Agent, not a trilogy, so each book has a beginning, middle and end, but the characters pop up again in the next book, which is just as well because you won't want to say goodbye to them. The snappy, witty dialogue and repartee forms the basis of the comedy, funny because it reflects the characters - from the articulate bird Reg, to the bumbling, well-intentioned Gerald Dunwoodie, to his friends - and some pretty nasty enemies. Reg is as memorable as, say, Nanny Ogg or Granny Weatherwax.

The first book is called The Accidental Sorcerer; the second is Witches Inc. The world reminds me a little of that of Wodehouse's Jeeves and Bertie Wooster, with Reg being a sort of acerbic avian Jeeves ... no medieval fantasy this!

I love these books. Need cheering up, but like excitement too? Then try the Rogue Agent series.
The Accidental Sorcerer

The Accidental Sorcerer

Rogue Agent - Book 1

(UK Release)

PUBLISHER: Orbit
FORMAT: Paperback
RELEASED: 01-Jan-2009 (which means it will be available before Christmas)
ISBN-10: 0316035424
ISBN-13: 9780316035422

6 comments:

Jo said...

As yet I can't get hold of the Rogue Agent books, but I love the other books she has written.

Sadly I have no-one to buy books for except me and I buy books all year long.

Satima Flavell said...

A paean of praise well sung, Glenda. The two authors you've mentioned, Simon Haynes and Karen Miller (K.E. Mills)are among my faves as well, along with Juliet Marillier and one Glenda Larke:-)I would venture that Australia has produced more good fantasy writers per head of population than any other country.

Looking at Sharon's blog I can see that Malaysia also has its share of home grown talent. Are there any fantasy writers among your writerly aquaintance there?

karenmiller said...

You should be able to see me blushing from here.

Guys, without Glenda's keen input these books would be ... far less. I owe her heaps.

Satima Flavell said...

It's great that writers help each other so much. Not many professionals will go out of their way to help colleagues, but despite all the nasty stories, I don't think the arts in general and writing in particular are any more bitchy than you average office or academic enclave and writers do seem, generally speaking, to be kind to each other. Of course, it might be a case of "us against the world"!

Glenda Larke said...

I must say, I've never had a bad experience (at least as far as I know *g*). In particular, I have found Australian authors never less than supportive of other Ozzies...

Mind you, I might have a problem praising a book I didn't like simply because it was written by a friend.

Satima Flavell said...

Yes, I absolutely hate it when someone I like asks me critique something I hate. I think it's a bit like being asked to comment on a new dress that's the wrong colour, the wrong style and possibly the wrong size. I usually start with the literary equivalent of "You know, I really like that blue dress you bought last year. I think blue is your best colour".:-)