Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Random Musings —

Not mine, though. I mean: Random Musings of a Bibliophile, who is doing a giveaway of all her favorite books so far this year.

I mention this because a) lots of good books being featured, naturally; and b) BLACK DOG is one of those books, so hey.

Also, here, a post on “Gateway Books” — the books that got her hooked on reading particular genres.

For me it was most likely Patricia McKillip for Fantasy, I have no idea who it could have been for SF. I bet it was Rex Stout for mysteries.

My tastes have broadened over the years, though. Let’s see, it was Laura Florand who made me willing to try contemporary romance, THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE made me much more willing to try contemporary YA, Sarah Prineas got me more interested in modern MG fantasy . . . hmm. Not sure what else.

I notice Brandy pins it down to GAUDY NIGHT as her intro to mysteries. Yeah, that would do it. Out of curiosity, can anyone think of ANY other mysteries where no one gets killed?

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4 Comments Random Musings —

  1. Maureen+E

    Out of curiosity, can anyone think of ANY other mysteries where no one gets killed?

    A few Poirot short stories, I think, but those are set up as kidnappings or burglaries from the beginning, as far as I can remember. Not like Gaudy Night, where one expects someone to be murdered.

  2. Craig

    Didn’t Tolkien get practically everyone started on fantasy? I suppose not any more.

    I’m not much of a mystery reader, but are they always murder-focused? No kidnapping, say? You’d think that would create better opportunities for tension. (Capers — from the criminal’s side — tend to focus on thefts, which is only logical.)

    I can still identify my SF gateway drug: a set of short fiction anthologies around fourth grade, specific for schools, I think. They were way, way more sophisticated than anything else being given to readers of that age (and a disturbing number of the stories were horror, in retrospect, though I never did develop a taste for that genre).

  3. Rachel

    I remember those! Some of them vividly! Sophisticated but horrifying, exactly. Let’s see: “Arena”. “A Pail of Air”. “The Father Thing” — That one gave me nightmares. Whoa, yeah, “Kaleidoscope” — there was a vivid, horrifying story. I don’t remember the others right now.

    That wasn’t my gateway, though. That would have been something less good but much friendlier. Andre Norton? Maybe Andre Norton.

  4. Craig

    Heinlein juveniles were probably Andre Norton’s chief competition as gateway, back in the day. But I’m pretty sure it was those anthologies that convinced me that calling SF childish and ‘real literature’ adult is just too silly for words — my subconscious is still half-convinced the reverse is true, because back then it totally was.

    (I actually managed to track down copies of those a couple years ago and was interested to see that about half the stories lodged in memory, and the other half passed through and left nothing behind.)

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