Thursday, October 08, 2015

Three Moments of an Explosion

Three Moments of an Explosion is a collection of short stories by China Miéville. I had read one of his novels - "Perdido Street Station" I think - a few years ago and liked it OK, but not enough to try any of his other novels. It was a very noir, slipstream fantasy. I'm surprised I didn't try more of his work. He consistently gets very positive reviews, so I thought I'd try this book of short stories.

This was very fun reading. A wide variety of topics, concepts, and approaches. A few with overly odd approaches don't really work, but the bulk of the stories more than make up for the weak ones.

One story I really loved: the 4th story, titled "The Dowager of Bees". It was about professional card players who sometimes get cards from Somewhere Else - and you look in the card rule book and it tells you what they mean, but only until the hand is over. Here are the cards he mentions:

Dowager of Bees; 8 of Chains; 2 of Scissors; 9 of Teeth; Detective of Scissors; 9 of Chains; Ace of Ivy; 4 of Chimneys.
I clearly am fascinated with cards. I've loved Tarot since college years. As astrology can be viewed as an early attempt to classify personalities, tarot can viewed as an early attempt to classify life experience. I still pull cards on the Tarot app on my iPad. It uses the Rider deck; I've always loved the imagery of the non-trump cards in that deck. I also helped fund an IndieGogo project to create a Rider Waite deck with photographs taken in Haiti. I loved "Last Call", by Tim Powers, which was more a fisher king story but had some creative uses of cards in it. And of course, the trumps used in Zelazny's "Nine Princes in Amber"series were very Tarot-like. I blogged about my reread of that series here.

I need to find a card game somewhere. Euchre, pinochle, or hearts. No poker for me.

1 comment:

Chris Heinz said...

I just received in the mail "The Family Arcana" by Jebediah Berry. It is "a gothic fable in fifty-two cards. Shuffle, Cut, Play, Read".

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1220332911/the-family-arcana-a-story-in-cards-by-jedediah-ber