Book Report: The Hammer

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So, there’s this trend sort of thing over the last decade or so, where publishers are putting out novella-length stories between hardcovers, right? And I am Against It, not really in the sense that I think they oughtn’t to be doing it, but in the sense that we seem to be making it economically feasible for writers to write stories to the lengths they prefer rather than to the length I prefer. Which can’t be good.

Anyway, I didn’t mean to write about that today, but I bring it up because I have twice now picked up a novella from the library by K.J. Parker, a name that was only vaguely familiar to me. I enjoyed the first one (Mightier than the Sword) a lot, and I enjoyed the other one (Downfall of the Gds) somewhat as well. So I figured that I would grab one of the novels, since I like novels, and see if I liked it. One of my favorite things is to discover that I like a writer that has a nice big back catalogue for me to work my way through.

And I read The Hammer, and I enjoyed it a fair amount, though there are certainly some Sources of Reader Irritation as well, and it was a slowish day at work, and I decided to look up this K.J. Parker person on the internet.

And it turns out that K.J. Parker is a pseudonym for Tom Holt. At one point I described Tom Holt as funnier, on average, than Terry Pratchett, and slightly less annoying. I think I eventually changed my mind and decided he was slightly more annoying than Terry Pratchett, and as a result haven’t read anything by him in ages. Except, it turns out, that I have, because those novellas are by him, as is this novel that I’m in the middle of. I haven’t found a new writer at all. I just wasn’t paying attention to a writer I knew about.

But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that I had actually read a book by Tom Holt as K.J. Parker more than ten years ago. I had enjoyed that one a lot (it was Devices and Desires) despite a major plot irritation that I had guessed in advance. I think I enjoyed that one more than this one, although it’s difficult to compare after all this time.

Anyway, the advantage of having blogged all the books I read for five or six years is that I have a record of them outside my own memory. Maybe I should go back to that.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

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