I haven’t written in awhile – not since the election. Partly I was shocked, ergo silent. Mostly, words just felt cheap. Between politicians bickering, a foolish man tweeting, and overwhelming social justice issues jockeying for attention amidst vapid Facebook babble… I guess I just needed a break.
But writing is fun, and the desire to communicate trumps my fear of contributing to the verbal vomit already in circulation. Today I’m playing it safe with something I know intimately well and love: fiction. Ye seekers of haven for the mind and soul, rest here in alternative realities. My two most recent favorites:
Locke and Key, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
This is a six-volume graphic novel that opens on the scene of a murder, and escalates from there. The titular family, struck by tragedy, relocates to an isolated town and ancient house in Maine. There, the Locke children find mysterious keys that unlock awesome powers… and an ancient evil. The illustrations are visceral and powerfully narrative, while the plot becomes more intricate and fantastic with each installation. This series is grippingly poignant, and explores the finality of death in juxtaposition with the generative power of childlike belief. In this series, the children must protect the grown-ups, while struggling to become adults themselves. Warning, quite violent, illustrated.
Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson
This book was first described to me as a rather technical novel about computer hacking – a woeful understatement. As computers are not my passion, and I reluctantly started reading because it was the only new material in the house, I’m so glad I did! Set in an anonymous “City” in the Middle East, the author gracefully weaves myth with religion, and quantum programming. The story develops credence and beauty through each of its elements; myth, math, and religion, not only cultivated in the same plot but intertwined, in a construct entirely more magical than its parts. Set against the political backdrop of the Arab Spring, it questions the forces – seen and unseen – that inform human action, and whether room exists for magic in the world.