So this post at tor.com caught my eye: M.L. Brennan Talks Kitsune Science and Folklore
This post isn’t *really* about kitsune folklore — if you are interested, this post is better for that — but it’s still fun to read.
Author and AMA champ Django Wexler asked for three reasons why kitsune are better than werewolves, so of course Brennan complied:
Kitsune are travel-sized, and can easily be carried onto a plane in a cat carrier. Werewolves have to travel in the baggage hold.
Foxes have a reflective lens behind their eye, just like cats, which gives them superior nightvision than wolves. They are extremely smug about this.
Foxes are fluffier and therefore cuter than wolves. That’s just basic science.
Well, yeah, fluffier!
Anyway, I’m significantly more likely to look up Brennan’s UF series now that I know there’s a kitsune in it. Where else do we see kitsune?
There was that spooky kitsune in Guy Gavriel Kay’s RIVER OF STARS, remember that?
There’s THE FOX WOMAN by Kij Johnson, which I haven’t read, but would like to. Pub Weekly said of it, “A meditation on poetry, ritual and humanity, Johnson’s fairy tale is a literate, magical and occasionally grotesque love story. Yoshifuji and Shikujo often communicate with each other through poetry; beautiful haikus and wakas provide intense glimpses into their characters.” Doesn’t that sound beautiful?
I remember a kitsune appeared in one of Gaiman’s “Sandman” graphic novels. Not an important character, but I noticed.
If I were going to write a book and include a kitsune . . . not impossible; it’s crossed my mind . . . then I’d be tempted to add in a lot of folklore bits. Like white kitsune who serve the Shinto deity Inari, or kitsune working together to draw lines of fire — I’d make up my own reason why — but I’m not sure about the nine tails thing. That looks really strange when I try to visualize it. Maybe nine tails in a metaphorical way?
You know, it’s not impossible that there’re something like kitsune in Japan in the Black Dog world. I’ve never mentioned it, but after all, there’s lots of stuff in the background of that world.
Have any of you tried ML Brennan’s “Generation V” series? In general, without a strong recommendation from somebody I know, I’m not likely these days to try a new-to-me vampire series.
And, anybody have a specific kitsune-containing novel to recommend?
Update: I just noticed an interview with ML Brennan at Fantasy Book Cafe, so check it out if you are now feeling intrigued about the Generation V series. Which, incidentally, Kristen at Fantasy Book Cafe really likes, so that’s a thumb’s up from a book blogger I follow.