I've been increasingly irritated by most fantasy literature of the last decades - especially that produced by younger authors, who seem to fall into two categories:
- The desperate-to-be-hip type, who either try to turn everything into a commentary on modern day politics (usually from a leftish angle) or else introduce silly anachronisms like characters who say 'fuck' every other word;
- The stuck-in-the-past conservative type, who are trapped in an endless repeating cycle of yetanotherfantasybildungsromanwhichseemstogoon foreverandoffersnothingnew.
I find it worrying that all of the fantasy writers who I consider myself to be a big fan of are either dead or getting old. Who is going to take up the mantle of people like Gene Wolfe, M. John Harrison, Michael Moorcock, Guy Gavriel Kay, or George R. R. Martin when they're gone? China Mieville is a talented writer, no doubt about it, but he can never seem to make his characters really sing. Other than him, though, who really is there? Naomi Novik? It's a sad state of affairs that the genre is in such a trough.
Anyway, I'm going to the big Kinokuniya in Shinjuku today to see what I can find in the way of interesting English fantasy books, and maybe it's just the thought of staring at the shelves and seeing nothing that catches my eye which is getting me down. If you have something you can recommend, let me know.