December 7th, 2008

betterbug

Charles Vess



The picture above is from The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke.

When I was wondering if Datlow's and WIndling's Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers had Vess illos, I found that Amazon doesn't seem to list illustrators. I have no idea if it would be worth it for them, but it would be handy.

Charles Vess is one of the major fantasy illustrators, and I'm extremely fond of his little pen and ink drawings. Unfortunately, they don't especially seem to be available online, and this may be because the detail doesn't come through well. (I think Miss Mabb is rather larger than the illos for The Faerie Reel and The Green Man.)

At Faeriecon, Vess mentioned that he tried to have an aspect of what isn't seen in his pictures. The example he gave was of having just the shadow of a tree, which doesn't seem very interesting, but I wonder if there's more unseen in his pictures than something quite so simple. Those little illos that I like so much seem better than they deserve to be-- the drawing is good and the subject matter is interesting but I can't put a finger on what's so special about them.

Admittedly, that might not be the right response to magic, but I'm curious and I don't think I'll damage it by having some understanding of it.

Pathologic, source of the best game review I've ever seen

The review is harrowing enough for me.

Pathologic is a game which has been major in Russia, but not elsewhere. It's got more bleak than a normal person can imagine. And atmosphere. And clever ways of cranking up the tension, including that your character's mere maintenance (food and sleep and such) is a constant challenge. It's a game where when you finally get a revolver, your best choice is to trade it for a little food.

Normally, game reviews all blur together for me. I expect to remember this one, but I only recommend it if you have at least some taste for horror.

If you intend to play the game, I recommend skipping the third section of the review. It gives away a major emotional/thematic twist.

Link thanks to andrewducker.