So. Well. Huh.
Apparently my recent post about Ha'penny, by Jo Walton, was read by the author herself. And then blogged. I noticed because of an insane bump in my blog stats on December 26. You don't go from the loyal 5-8 readers I have (hi, Linden! hi, Lynne!) to the 102 who came to visit me without wondering how exactly THAT happens.
So after I stopped screaming and crawled out from under the kitchen table, I started to think about what was in the post and pray that, even if I disappointed Ms. Walton, that at least I hadn't embarrassed myself. I mean, on the off chance that Stephen King finds his way here someday, I stand by my declaration that he needs a more aggressive editor. But I have been known to say things that are rather less thoughtful and more impassioned than is truly necessary.
I'm not going to backpedal, because I said what I think about the book. The ending depressed me--I was invested in the conspiracy, and who wouldn't be invested in killing Hitler? The ending depressed me so much, I woke up the next morning and felt depressed when I thought of the book again. I even felt extra-depressed when reading Exodus later, because I kept forgetting that we won World War II. But I don't think I can claim that writing a depressing book is a failure, even if I am a five-year-old child when it comes to happy endings.
I'd like to reiterate how much I adored Farthing. You should really read it, and I'm not saying this because Jo Walton knows my URL. Tooth and Claw was fabulous, too--a spot-on perfect, excellent, marvelous novel--practically Jane Austen with dragons. And, even more, I am indescribably excited to learn that there is going to be a third book in the Small Change series (her name for it, also called Still Life with Fascists), in which I absolutely insist that Carmichael be redeemed. It is possible that, after reading the third book, I'll be okay with Ha'penny as a second act.
I hope it doesn't sound wishy-washy coming back to this. I throw this blog out into the void (Hi, Kris! Hi, Becky!), and I feel like this situation calls for more precision. And for a big shout-out to Jo Walton, who's going to be the Guest of Honor at the 2009 annual meeting of the New England Science Fiction Association here in Boston. Maybe I'll show up to shake her hand--if she'll have me.