I have a half-written post about H.P. Lovecraft, but while my opinions of the book are quite straightforward (and generally positive), and my opinions on the racism in the book are very straightforward (and holy WTF!?! negative), my opinions about how to write about those things together is not clear and I'm not up to it tonight.
But this week I also finished a charming little novella by William Ritter, a sweet little Jackaby story that's worth reading if you're a fan, called The Map. On Miss Rook's birthday, Jackaby takes her on a little adventure. It's slight and sweet and delightful, with all the best parts of the Jackaby stories--strange creatures and esoteric mythology and odd places, but especially Jackaby and Rook.
In this short format, their banter--which is a bit anachronistic when you're trying to build up the historical part of the historical fantasy--works beautifully. And since the story is so small, stepping briskly through all its paces, you don't get bogged down in exposition or in trying to make the adventure bigger than it is. Reading this, I think I would love to read a book of Jackaby stories for Ritter's next one--case files, like Holmes and Watson. I think that would work better for the strengths in this series than a longer novel like Beastly Bones.
So I offer you this, and I'll give you more on Lovecraft (and hey, could there be two books more different in tone?) shortly, when I feel ready to wrap my brain around Real Issues.