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Leslie What

Autor(a) de Olympic Games

31+ Works 109 Membros 4 Críticas

About the Author

Inclui os nomes: L. What, Leslie Joyce

Obras por Leslie What

Associated Works

The Chick is in the Mail (2000) — Contribuidor — 413 exemplares
Happily Ever After (2011) — Contribuidor — 294 exemplares
Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing (2007) — Contribuidor — 228 exemplares
Bending the Landscape: Fantasy (1997) — Contribuidor — 209 exemplares
Twice upon a Time (1999) — Contribuidor — 209 exemplares
Crafty Cat Crimes: 100 Tiny Cat Tale Mysteries (2000) — Contribuidor — 142 exemplares
Serve It Forth: Cooking with Anne McCaffrey (1996) — Contribuidor — 140 exemplares
Horrors! 365 Scary Stories (Anthology) (1998) — Contribuidor — 124 exemplares
Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories (2007) — Contribuidor — 120 exemplares
Witches: Wicked, Wild, and Wonderful (2012) — Contribuidor — 114 exemplares
Bending the landscape : Horror (2001) — Contribuidor — 106 exemplares
Nebula Awards Showcase 2001 (2001) — Contribuidor — 101 exemplares
The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 16 (2005) — Contribuidor — 100 exemplares
Nebula Awards Showcase 2004 (2004) — Contribuidor — 77 exemplares
Witpunk (2003) — Autor — 73 exemplares
Women Writing Science Fiction as Men (2003) — Contribuidor — 57 exemplares
Time Travelers, Ghosts, and Other Visitations (2003) — Introdução, algumas edições57 exemplares
All Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories (2004) — Contribuidor — 57 exemplares
Is Anybody Out There? (2010) — Contribuidor — 53 exemplares
Isaac Asimov's Christmas (1656) — Contribuidor — 48 exemplares
City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Tales (2016) — Contribuidor — 44 exemplares
The Fortune Teller (1997) — Contribuidor — 35 exemplares
Polyphony 1 (2002) — Contribuidor — 32 exemplares
Last Drink Bird Head : A Flash Fiction Anthology for Charity (2009) — Contribuidor — 29 exemplares
Polyphony 5 (2005) — Contribuidor — 20 exemplares
Historical Hauntings (2001) — Contribuidor — 19 exemplares
Imagination Fully Dilated: Science Fiction (2003) — Contribuidor — 12 exemplares
Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 90 • November 2017 (2017) — Contribuidor — 7 exemplares
Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet No. 13 (2003) — Contribuidor — 6 exemplares
Bedtime Stories to Darken Your Dreams (1999) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
Mota 2002 Truth: An Annual Anthology of Fine Fiction (2003) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet No. 9 (1901) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Daily Science Fiction: February 2011 (2011) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum



There seems to be a literary trend of late that involves taking the gods of ancient times and throwing them into a modern world. These once powerful deities have been forgotten and struggle to adjust to the mundane day-to-day existence afforded them in an increasingly secular world with little time for or interest in religion. As an early devotee of Edith Hamilton, one might assume that these have been heady times for me. Unfortunately, this genre has been kind of a mixed bag. There's been the good (Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Piers Anthony's older Incarnations of Immortality) and the meh (Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief and Marie Phillips' Gods Behaving Badly). And now we have the bad--Olympic Games.

This is a book that I wanted to love, but it fell short for me. To begin with, there is one fundamental problem with writing about the gods: in the original myths, they're two dimensional characters who only exist to act and react to events. Because the gods primarily existed to explain the natural forces, they were devoid of personality beyond what was necessary to explain their component in the natural world. That's fine for reading brief myths presented in summary format or stories where the gods appear occasionally to help or hinder a beleaguered hero. It's an entirely different matter when they become the focal point of a full length novel. In fact, Olympic Games began as a short story entitled "The Goddess is Alive and, Well, Living in New York City." I would like to find What's original short story as I have a feeling it would be a more successful read for me. As it stands, the gods in Olympic Games remain two dimensional, which may be traditionally accurate but makes for tedious reading. I did not care about any of the characters--not even the humans, who themselves remain two dimensional.

The story focuses on Zeus and Hera (in my opinion, the two least interesting gods, as Zeus seemed to only exist to screw anything with two--or four--legs and a heartbeat and toss around the occasional lightning bolt, and Hera only existed to bitch about it). So guess what they're doing in present day? Zeus is philandering and Hera is chasing after him. There's little new here. They occasionally encounter difficulty with modern day life, but only to inconsequential and humorless effect. Their powers are used primarily to beguile humans into doing their bidding and, in Hera's case, to constantly change her hair color, her body shape, her sandals, her wardrobe, etc. (a joke that tires very quickly as that ability is possessed by most mortal women and does not a goddess make). There's nary another god in sight as, during the last 1/4 of the novel, it's explained that the others succumbed to ennui (an explanation that should have been provided earlier to give context as to why the other gods are inexplicably MIA). This is a shame as the lackluster narrative involving Zeus and Hera could have been spiced up with the appearance of Athena, Poseidon, Ares, Aphrodite, or just the occasional demigod.

The novel is billed as a screwball absurdist romp, a la Christopher Moore, but there's little in the way of humor here. Sure, there's plenty of absurdity, but it's not particularly funny. There are some clunky and obvious one-liners. If nothing else, the novel made me wish that Christopher Moore would try his hand at this gods-in-the-modern-world genre. If you’re interested in mythology based literature, I would recommend any of the novels previously mentioned in this review or, hey, kick it old school and get a copy of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology or revisit Medea, Antigone, Oedipus Rex, The Illiad, or The Odyssey. I think you would find any of them a more rewarding experience.
… (mais)
snat | 1 outra crítica | Mar 23, 2011 |
This is the second short story collection from the remarkable fantasist Leslie What, and its stories demystify and deconstruct, elevate and examine love in all its forms. The stories are hilarious and wistful, strange and familiar. What is a writer who can make you laugh while, at the same time, you acknowledge the sadness inherent in any intelligent view of human interaction. If they had more stars here, I wouldn't have stopped at five.
gunn | 1 outra crítica | Jul 14, 2008 |
A "slim volume," Kate Wilhelm calls this in the introduction, but you could have fooled me. Its 195 pages are packed with stories that range from touching to unsettling, haunting to quirky; seventeen stories that keep you not only entertained, but thinking. What's narratives drive ahead, make you continue to read and guess. They are disturbing, funny, and very very brave.
eilonwy_anne | 1 outra crítica | Jul 2, 2008 |


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½ 3.6

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