I decided to go for a change of pace.  My next analysis will look at INDIGARA by Tanith Lee.  I chose INDIGARA for two reasons:

  • Tanith Lee’s bio mentioned that she’s published nearly 80 novels, 13 short story collections, and over 250 short stories.  Holy Cow!  At the pace I write, if I published my fist novel tomorrow, I would probably be around 110 years old before I got out my 80th–literally!  I had to have a look at the finished product of such a prolific writer.
  • The books that I write are not issue books.  I appreciate the sensitivity and craftsmanship it takes to write a book like SPEAK or TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY, but when I write, I like to world-build.  I like fantasy.  I like to pull someone into my imagination.  INDIGARA felt like it had some of those same characteristics and thus had plenty to teach me.
  • And finally–I’ll admit it–I judged a book by its cover. I had two books in my hands at the bookstore and was looking for a third.  I decided to get something I didn’t know anything about.  The cover art (the image above) by Daniel Dos Santos sucked me in.  It promised dragons and castles with a futuristic looking dog.  And, is that a gunslinger I see?  How do you say no to that?

Tanith Lee has a fairly simple but downright interesting website.  It feels like a blog and has lots of pictures, which always makes me happy.  Ms. Lee has gotten a number of awards, including the World Fantasy Award and the British Fantasy award.  However, unlike my usual analysis, she didn’t get any awards for INDIGARA.  In fact the book actually gets mixed reviews from on-line reviewers (WARNING: SPOILERS  The mixed, the bad, and the ugly).  Nonetheless, I liked INDIGARA.  For the next three posts I’ll try to explain why.

INDIGARA is the story of Jet, a 14-year-old girl, and her robot dog Otis.  Jet’s sister, Turquoise, lands a roll in a big budget movie in future movie-making Mecca, Ollywood.  So Jet, Otis, Turquoise, Mom, Dad, and a third sister named Amber move to Olliewood.  Bored with the whole movie-making scene, Jet escapes to the Subway, an underground city that’s a haven for unused sets, unproduced scripts, and washed-up stars.  One night, when fleeing from a group of sinister hobos, Jet gets sucked up into a pipe that delivers her to the world of Indigara.  She becomes quickly aware that the sets and scripts and shadows of the washed-up stars have congealed into a world that is the embodiment of an ongoing B movie.  Jet, with the help of her trusty robot dog, has to figure out if she wants to go back to the real world and, if so, how to pull it off.

So, as a fan of B movies, I thought this book was pretty darn funny.  It has its bumps and rough spots–sure.  If you try to take it seriously, you’re going to be aggravated.  But if you read it with an appreciation for cheese, you might just find yourself giggling like I did.

So, Friday, I’ll take a look at the characters in this story.  They’re designed to be stereotypes, much like you would find in a B movie.  But every once in a while you see a glimmer of depth that makes the story all the more amusing.  Until then.

The cover art image is used with the permission of the artist, Daniel Dos Santos.  Visit his site for more of his fantastic artwork.