I’m in love with a Gentleman Bastard

Before I go into what is admittedly one of my sillier posts, I just want to mention that I am participating in the 2012 Clarion Write-a-Thon. In the next six weeks, I will be writing 30,000 words to fund-raise money for Clarion; the oldest, most prestigious, and most totally awesome writing workshop for aspiring science fiction and fantasy writers. You can visit my profile on the Write-a-Thon website to donate, and if you want to know more about why I’m doing this and what I plan to work on, I’ve written about it here at Smoldering Ink. Please, help me support new writers in the SFF community. You just can’t get better karma than that. Thank you!

Scott Lynch is awesome.

Ok, I’ve never met the guy.

But. His debut novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora, is one of the most fun books I’ve ever read.

I mean, geez, one look at the title and you know you’re in for a good time. But for some reason, every time I bring it up in bookish conversation, I get these blank stares. No. NO. SCOTT LYNCH, YOU GUYS.

The Lies of Locke Lamora is a fantasy-caper about the convoluted adventures of a swashbuckling con man and his gang, the Gentleman Bastards. Basically, it’s hey, who got this Game of Thrones in my Ocean’s Eleven? Who got this Ocean’s Eleven in my Game of Thrones? If that doesn’t sound like fun to you, then I’m just going to have to give back the other half of this BFF necklace, because you’re breaking my heart here.

unbreak my hot dog, say you love me again

As soon as I finished reading TLoLL, I wanted to read it again. In fact, I may have done. I know I just spent 200 words squealing about the fun-ness of it, but another good reason to read the book, for a writer anyway, is to study the amount of setting Lynch puts in, and how and where he does it. It’s perfect- nothing is superfluous, there are none of those dense, gratuitous blocks of exposition that so often plague fantasies- and yet the world is so strongly realized that you can picture it perfectly.

The sequel, Red Seas Under Red Skies, is also out, but I admit haven’t read it yet, even though I own it, because I am still doing this not at all weird thing I often do with books I’m particularly excited to read, where I whisper sweet nothings to it at night while stroking the uncracked spine. My preciousssssssss. I’ll get over it, probably around the time The Republic of Thieves comes out.

Fun. Funny. Fast paced. Well-plotted. Well-written. In short, freakin’ delightful. If you’re hankering for the book equivalent of a summer popcorn flick (I understand the book has already been optioned and I am not. at. all. surprised), you really can’t go wrong with this. And hey! He’s got free excerpts here.