Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wylding Hall and Other Hugo Notes

Plus, while I was clicking around in a forest of tabs, I found a story called

Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Bear

This is an eerie tale about a folkie band recording an album in the early seventies, in a spooky old manor house.  As somebody mildly obsessed with the British music scene between Twiggy and Sid Vicious, I grabbed it right away on the strength of the setting, and I was rewarded with references to the Redlands bust, and Brian Jones’ Moroccan album, and Granny Takes a Trip. Not a trace of that jarring sense of millenials writing about things I recall wishing I was old enough to enjoy. 

A bad thing happens to this band, but it’s more of a subtle Shirley Jackson thing than a big loud technicolor wave of zombies thing, and the path that leads there is compulsively readable, told by an  ensemble of eyewitnesses in a style that reminded me of Carrie.  In fact, this story is sort of like an assortment of my favorite things, whirled in a blender and served with decorative foam on top. I loved it. Since I found this on a list of Hugo-eligible works, I will be nominating it. 

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