Friday, January 10, 2020

6 Books with Gareth Hanrahan

Gareth Hanrahan’s three-month break from computer programming to concentrate on writing has now lasted fifteen years and counting. He’s written more gaming books than he can readily recall, by virtue of the alchemical transformation of tea and guilt into words. He lives in Ireland with his wife and children. Follow him on Twitter @mytholder.

Today he shares his Six Books with Us...

1. What book are you currently reading?

Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks, a series of essays/vignettes/self-indulgent anecdotes about landscapes and language. I don’t know if I really like or really hate Macfarlane’s books – this is the second of his I’ve read (after Underland, which was about underground spaces). The format seems to be ‘really interesting thoughts about words and environments, conveyed by him talking about his eccentric friends’. (I suspect the answer may be that I like Robert Macfarlane’s books, but am somewhat irritated by Robert Macfarlane’s presence in his books.

2. What upcoming book are you really excited about?

Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi. I know next to nothing about it, but it’s (a) Susanna Clarke and (b) about Piranesi, who’s my to-go artist when I want to be pretentious about D&D dungeons, which is pretty much ALL THE TIME.

3. Is there a book you’re currently itching to re-read?

I’m doing a podcast soon about Poul Anderson’s Three Hearts and Three Lions, and I recall really enjoying it when I read it years ago. I’ll have to reread it over Christmas as research, and I’m hoping it holds up.

4. How about a book you’ve changed your mind about – either positively or negatively?

Jeff Vandermeer’s Shriek: An Afterword. I loved the first Ambergris book, City of Saints and Madmen. I picked up Shriek next, and found it utterly incomprehensible and dull. Years later, I got the third book in the sequence, Finch, and loved it. I then gave Shriek another try, and it felt like a completely different book. I was astounded at myself for hating it the first time, and I’ve no idea why I bounced off it so hard. 

5. What’s one book, which you read as a child or a young adult, that has had a lasting influence on your writing?

The Lord of the Rings, predictably – but that book set the course of much of my life. Tolkien showed me the virtue of serious play and creativity for its own sake.

6. And speaking of that, what’s your latest book, and why is it awesome?

The Shadow Saint, the sequel to last year’s The Gutter Prayer and the second book in the Black Iron Legacy series comes out in January from Orbit. It’s got a fantastical take on electoral politics, lots of espionage action and intrigue, empires clashing in heaven and earth, murderous merfolk, awkward dinners, cannibal gods, militant architecture, and a wonderful cover by Richard Anderson…

Thank you, Gareth!

POSTED BY: Paul Weimer.
Ubiquitous in Shadow, but I’m just this guy, you know? @princejvstin.