Category Archives: Marion’s Favorite Books

Marion’s favorite books that he has reviewed.

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 8: Fantasy’s Othering Fetish by P. Djeli Clark

Fantasy’s Othering Fetish by P. Djeli Clark came onto my radar recently and after reading the comments in Goodreads about this book made me want to read it.  Actually, it is more of a long-form essay than a full-length book, Clark makes the argument about how the fantasy genre has treated the non-European as an “other.”

Clark provides examples from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time Series, George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Series (AKA Game of Thrones for TV) and the Patron Saint of the Genre, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Series for how the imaginative vision of each of these writers view non-white folk in their fiction. Clark gives credit to Jordan for bringing diversity into his series and less so for Martin and Tolkien.

It would be easy to dismiss this long-form essay as someone who wants to force multiculturalism and diversity down the proverbial throats of fantasy readers.  However, I would suggest fantasy readers and writers examine Clark’s thesis and determine if there is a legitimate merit to his argument about the genre on the whole.  Clark is a fan of the genre and wants to see it progress like the rest of society.

I will admit that as a writer in this genre, Clark’s essay will cause me to look more critically at my work in the world of Kammbia and hope not to fall into easy stereotypes. I highly recommend Fantasy’s Othering Fetish for fantasy readers and writers who want to see the genre progress into a future that embraces imaginative and fantastical works worldwide.

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 6: The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne

There are a lot of writing craft books out there for writers.  I’m sure many of them are useful for fledging writers to get better at their craft of writing fiction.  However, I realize that a certain writing craft book comes into a writer’s life at the right time. The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 5: Little Leaders-Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

My 9 year old daughter, Norah, wanted to read this one.  Again. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison celebrates the contributions of African-American women in American Society. Forty women were featured in the beautifully illustrated book from well-known names like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Ella Fitzgerald, Maya Angelou, and… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 3: Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey

February is Black History Month in the United States and I have always wanting to learn something about our history as Americans that I did not know previously. Well, I found out last month on the Rick Steves’ travel podcast about a travel guide published during the days of Jim Crow. The Negro Motorist Green… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 2: Let Me Be Frank With You by Richard Ford

I’m a reading completist. I did not realize completist was a word until I typed this review.  I felt it’s appropriate for my latest Wisdom From Kammbia review. In 2015, I read and wrote a review for The Sportswriter by Richard Ford, the first Frank Bascombe novel. I wrote that I hated the protagonist and… Continue Reading

Book Review 146: Green Lantern Mosaic #1 by Gerard Jones and Cully Hamner

A reader asked what influenced my fictional world of Kammbia by email a few days ago. I thought about this question since that email and I had always believed my direct influences were Charles de Lint’s novels about Newford, Canada and Jorge Amado’s novels about Bahia, Brazil.  I’ve had read both authors throughout my adult… Continue Reading