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Showing posts by: Sarah Monette click to see Sarah Monette's profile
Tue
Aug 16 2011 4:04pm

The Red Herring to Rule Them All: Carter Dickson’s The Skeleton in the Clock

Skeleton in the Clock by Carter DicksonI need to start this essay with two apologies, one for the embarrassingly long hiatus since my last essay, and one for the fact that this essay is not about Ellery Queen.

1. I have been struggling with a variety of health problems since I broke my ankle last year. (I plan to celebrate the one-year anniversary by NOT BREAKING ANYTHING.) I don’t want to go into boring detail, but it’s been a year since I had an ordinary, restful night’s sleep without the use of prescription drugs. Ergo, it has gotten harder and harder to write (or to do much of anything else); these posts are one of the things that have suffered, and I apologize for that.

2. And I need to apologize for the fact that this essay is not about Ellery Queen. I’m not done writing about EQ by any means, but the mystery that’s been exercising my mind recently is The Skeleton in the Clock (1948) by a different Golden Age pseudonymous writer, Carter Dickson.

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Tue
Jan 25 2011 8:36am

Definitions of Dystopia: Brave New Worlds Review

Brave New Worlds edited by John Joseph AdamsIt’s hard to find a word to describe my relationship with dystopias. I don’t enjoy them, exactly. Or like them. Mesmerized is closer—and is certainly the exact truth for some moments in some dystopias, such as A Clockwork Orange or Lord of the Flies—but neglects the element of intellectual engagement without which I wouldn’t keep reading, see above re: enjoy. I’m going to go with fascinated.

Brave New Worlds, edited by John Joseph Adams and out today, January 25th, features a mix of classics in the genre of dystopian SF (“The Lottery,” “’Repent, Harlequin,’ said the Ticktockman,” “Harrison Bergeron”) and more recent stories (the newest, “Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn, was originally published earlier last year), and proves pretty conclusively that I’m not the only one fascinated by dystopias.

[We’re all mad here]

Wed
Jan 19 2011 4:01pm

The First Three Ellery Queen Novels: The Roman Hat Mystery, Part 1

Ellery Queen novels

The next series of posts in the Ellery Queen series will discuss the first three Ellery Queen novels: The Roman Hat Mystery (1929), The French Powder Mystery (1930), and The Dutch Shoe Mystery (1931) principally in terms of how they negotiate the genre conventions of detective fiction.

[Spoilers for The Roman Hat Mystery]

Tue
Jan 4 2011 4:22pm

Packaging the Detective, Part 2

The Roman Hat Mystery by Ellery Queen signet editionThis is the third in a series of posts by Sarah Monette on Ellery Queen. You can read the first two here.

My edition of The Roman Hat Mystery is the 1967 Signet-New American Library paperback edition, badly stained with something I hope is water and beginning to fall apart.

The cover shows that we have not yet hit Signet’s soft porn era, although I admit it makes me yearn for an Ellery Queen/Addams Family crossover starring Thing.

[The Roman Hat Mystery is a novel with a lot of apparatus]

Mon
Dec 13 2010 1:54pm

Packaging the Detective, Part 1

The Four Johns by Ellery Queen Signet Mystery coverThis is the second in a series of posts by Sarah Monette on Ellery Queen. You can read the first one here.

When I was in college (at Case Western Reserve University) I had two outstandingly awesome professors. One of them is the reason I became a Shakespearean; the other very nearly made me into a Victorianist instead. It’s the Victorianist who’s influencing this essay, because of a trick she used in teaching Wuthering Heights.

[Allons-y!]

Mon
Dec 6 2010 3:07pm

Introductions All Around: Ellery Queen and Me

Ellery QueenThe lovely people at Tor.com have agreed to let me play in their sandbox, but I thought before I start building castles, it would be polite to introduce myself, and, in progression, Ellery Queen.

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