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Victor LaValle

Författare till The Ballad of Black Tom

49+ verk 5,491 medlemmar 311 recensioner 9 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Victor D. LaValle is an assistant professor in the graduate writing program at Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Foto taget av: Victor LaValle


Verk av Victor LaValle

The Ballad of Black Tom (2016) 1,455 exemplar
The Changeling (2017) 1,236 exemplar
Big Machine: A Novel (2009) 647 exemplar
The Devil in Silver (2012) 599 exemplar
Lone Women (2023) 477 exemplar
The Ecstatic (2002) 187 exemplar
Victor LaValle's Destroyer (2018) — Författare — 139 exemplar
Slapboxing with Jesus (1999) 92 exemplar
Lucretia and the Kroons (2012) 59 exemplar
We Travel the Spaceways (2021) 51 exemplar
Eve (2022) — Writer, co-creator — 24 exemplar
Destroyer #1 (2017) 12 exemplar
Sabretooth: The Adversary (2022) — Författare — 11 exemplar
EVE #1 (2021) 7 exemplar
Destroyer #3 (2017) 5 exemplar
Destroyer #4 (2017) 4 exemplar
Favola di New York (2019) 4 exemplar
Sabretooth (2022) #3 (of 5) (2022) 3 exemplar
Eve: Children of the Moon (2022) 3 exemplar
Sabretooth (2022) #4 (of 5) (2022) 2 exemplar
Sabretooth (2022) #2 (of 5) (2022) 2 exemplar
Sabretooth (2022) #5 (of 5) (2022) 2 exemplar
SABRETOOTH & THE EXILES (2024) 2 exemplar
Sabretooth (2022) #1 (of 5) (2022) 2 exemplar
The Sundial 2 exemplar
Eve #3 (2021) 1 exemplar
Eve #4 (2021) 1 exemplar
Eve #5 (2021) 1 exemplar
Eve #2 (2021) 1 exemplar
Monster (2004) 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

Soluret : roman (1958) — Förord, vissa utgåvor717 exemplar
xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths (2013) — Bidragsgivare — 265 exemplar
The Best American Essays 2011 (2011) — Bidragsgivare — 221 exemplar
Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History (2014) — Bidragsgivare — 214 exemplar
Lit Riffs (2004) — Bidragsgivare — 164 exemplar
Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (2013) — Bidragsgivare — 143 exemplar
Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writing (2002) — Bidragsgivare — 124 exemplar
Granta 110: Sex (2010) — Bidragsgivare — 120 exemplar
The Decameron Project: 29 New Stories from the Pandemic (2020) — Bidragsgivare — 105 exemplar
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 (2020) — Bidragsgivare — 102 exemplar
The Big Book of Modern Fantasy (2020) — Bidragsgivare — 102 exemplar
Full Frontal Fiction: The Best of (2000) — Bidragsgivare — 69 exemplar
The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books (2011) — Bidragsgivare — 62 exemplar
The Darker Mask : Heroes from the Shadows [Anthology] (2008) — Bidragsgivare — 57 exemplar
Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors (2020) — Bidragsgivare — 55 exemplar
Do Me: Sex Tales from Tin House (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 38 exemplar
Lovecraft Mythos New & Classic Collection (Gothic Fantasy) (2020) — Bidragsgivare — 32 exemplar
Weird Tales: 100 Years of Weird (2023) — Bidragsgivare — 27 exemplar
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2017 Edition (2017) — Bidragsgivare — 26 exemplar
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: Volume Two (2021) — Bidragsgivare — 15 exemplar
The Sampler (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 11 exemplar
Wonder & glory forever : awe-inspiring Lovecraftian fiction (2020) — Bidragsgivare — 8 exemplar
Come Join Us by the Fire: A Nightfire Anthology (2019) — Bidragsgivare — 8 exemplar
Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 117 • February 2020 (2020) — Författare — 5 exemplar Publishing's 2017 Hugo Finalist Bundle (2017) — Bidragsgivare — 4 exemplar
Chiral Mad 5 — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar


Allmänna fakta



Big Machine by Victor LaValle i African/African American Literature (februari 2013)


This is one of only a few books that I had originally given a lower rating of 4 stars but then after sitting with it for a while decided it was actually a 5 star read for me. I think about this book often since reading it and the scenes still sit vividly in my head. The writing was just excellent.
rianainthestacks | 72 andra recensioner | Nov 5, 2023 |
Difficult one - it's doing something interesting and important about racism and engaging with "Lovecraftian" horror but it's too short to really get into it, with the last chapter reeling in any potential moral ambiguity and making a strange contrast with the vivid depiction of racist society. I think a bit of it actually is this is clearly playing so deeply off Lovecraft stories, but I've never actually read one. I'm very familiar with the way the tropes have been used since, of course, and the book relies on you knowing them intimately. But there's things I think I've missed from the original stories - like, what's the reason given for cults wanting to summon these guys who'll just kill them and everyone else? If Lovecraft explains this maybe it would help me understand certain bits here. Actually just as I started writing this review I found there's a Lovecraft story The Horror at Red Hook which this is kind of based on and is racist even for him... again I missed out a bit by not having the Lovecraft knowledge I guess.

Beyond them he saw the police forces at the barricades as they muscled the crowd of Negroes back; he saw the decaying facade of his tenement with new eyes; he saw the patrol cars parked in the middle of the road like three great black hounds waiting to pounce on all these gathered sheep. What was indifference compared to malice?

“Indifference would be such a relief,”

The front half of the book depicts the life of a Black man (Charles Thomas Tester, aka Tommy) in New York City in the 20s - living with his disabled father in Harlem, making a living through... ok I was a little confused about this, but it includes a guitar (it's stated other people would describe him as a con man, and what I understand is he pretends to be a talented blues man on the street even though he can't really play or sing, and richer white people are taken in and pay him for his "authenticity"? I felt like I missed something there). We see the omnipresent racist violence and the threat of it that determines his whole life, his struggle to do a little better than his dad and not bow to being a "respectable" person, working a job for nothing that destroys you. It's vivid and well written, unsubtle and clear without being overbearing, well worked into the story. We encounter one person involved in Lovecraftian magic, Ma Att (she has a very strange role in the story, and I feel like her role was a bit extraneous honestly) and then a more major character, Suydam, who is much more like a typical Lovecraft character. Tommy is introduced to some of the basic concepts of Lovecraftian stuff, is shocked, then comes round to it after a major event. It's well written and the bit where he has his revelation is powerful.

After that things get a bit... confused I guess? I think this is the bit where it ties into the Red Hook Lovecraft story more heavily, and it's an unwelcome shift of focus. Instead of Tommy's feelings we get attached to a police officer called Malone. He does a good bit in the first part, showing the limits of a "sympathetic" cop. In the second part he becomes a quite boring "investigator" - a couple of chapters have him discovering Lovecraftian stuff that we've already seen. There's a reoccurrence of Ma Att, again in a way that feels a bit strange and extraneous, taking away time in a short book. Then magic happens, we get something that again is from the Red Hook story I think, police are involved some more... I admit I felt a bit bewildered by a lot of this. It's clear what's going on, but I don't know why. Suydam's plans make no sense to me. There's a large amount of "non white" immigrants involved, but the author makes basically no attempt to humanise them or look at the racism around them.

So then the finale has good bits, with some real gore, but the context is strange. We've lost Tommy's perspective pretty much, we're outsiders, our perspective character knows as little as us. Then you get police rolling up at tenement blocks with machine guns. Like, incredibly heavy duty machine guns. And so, as Malone enters the tenements with some police, entering a magically hidden cellar, the police outside machine gun the tenements, until everything is collapsing by the end. There's a certain something about the disposability of "Syrians and Spaniards, Africans too" who we're informed are "the local demigods of crime and debauchery." but we're left to infer it, because even Tommy in the first half doesn't like them.

The final showdown has an ending telegraphed as soon as Tommy, now Black Tom, calls Suydam "sir", but it's deliberately written with many details obscured. Clearly a lot has passed between Black Tom and Suydam, but we're not privy to it. It's a confusing scene, even if it's got some delightful gore including eyelid stripping

If it ended there I would have felt a little disappointed at some of the missing stuff but I could see what was being done with the ambiguity - at a certain point, isn't it Tommy's story? We unenlightened people can only see as if through a glass darkly. It's done an interesting perspective shift on Lovecraftian stories. There's then an chapter dealing with the aftermath for Malone, and again it ends in a perfect place - an unsubtle reminder of the message of the book that's a great line I’ll take Cthulhu over you devils any day.

But then there's an extra chapter where we finally get Tommy's point of view again, and it feels like it undermines the message of the book and the ambiguity but without resolving any story questions. It feels like something unwilling to reckon with the difficulties it introduced itself in the first part. Tommy goes back to the club he was in earlier, meets his best friend, says he became a monster because he was told he was so he may as well be one, he should have just stayed with the "good things" he had in Harlem, agrees it was his fault his dad died, says he's doomed the world, that he should have been more like his father, because his father "never lost his soul". Then he JUMPS OUT A WINDOW AND DIES.

It feels like a total rebuke of anything that came out the first half. His dad was killed by a racist private detective, who invaded his apartment and immediately shot to kill. Yes, Tommy hid a piece of paper someone wanted in their apartment, but the private detective would have shot ANYWAY regardless of where he hid it, or maybe even if he didn't! We've already been over how being "like his father" would mean subjecting himself to backbreaking labour for poverty wages. He lived and breathed Harlem and only went elsewhere during the day to make money, and his words seem to recall the violence of white enforcers against him travelling. It feels like, after a story where he took control, at the end he just gives in.

I think I'd be very interested in reading another book by this author, I just felt confused at this one. Too much of a response to Lovecraft maybe.
… (mer)
tombomp | 77 andra recensioner | Oct 31, 2023 |

While I enjoyed this one...especially the art...I will say I believe LaValle may have bitten off more than he'd realized with all the things going on in this story. There's racial tension. There's 3-D printing of living beings. There's nanobots. There's secret gov't agents. Oh, and there's Frankenstein's monster, who's suddenly a couple of hundred years old and superpowered as the Hulk.

I honestly believe LaValle could have left Mary Shelley's most famous creation right out of the mix and made it more about the NanoBoy and had a cleaner story.

I enjoy LaValle's writing, and I enjoy seeing things we see everyday...such as casual racism...dealt with in a strong way.

But overall, as a Frankenstein's monster story? No, I believe it was an abject failure. When you've got a piecemeal human—made solely from human parts—doing Hulk-style jumps and ripping apart huge metal robots with his bare hands? Nope. You've kinda left Mary Shelley's true creation on the cutting room floor.
… (mer)
TobinElliott | 6 andra recensioner | Oct 31, 2023 |
I went into this book expecting to regret my choices. Victor LaValle's Lone Women is marketed as horror and I'm normally a big ole wimp about that, but the book got really strong reviews and it's about a Black woman homesteader in Montana in 1915 who's dealing with the burden of a creeping supernatural burden. I was intrigued despite myself.

Yet what LaValle wrote isn't a horror novel. It's a fantasy book with a smidge more gore to it than your average episode of Buffy. I never once felt uneasy or creeped out or even all that unsettled as I read, and I wanted both the Big Reveal and many other aspects of the story to be, well, weirder. I will say LaValle does have a knack for conjuring up a vivid setting: an Old West opera house, the howl of the wind across the plains, the make-do interior of a settler's shack. This would probably make for a great movie or miniseries if filmed; the fodder for the visual part of an adaptation is all there.

It's also a quick page-turner of a read. But what is lacking in Lone Women a sense of cohesiveness to the story and any real character development. A tighter focus on Adelaide's POV might have been a smart idea here, letting LaValle show us more profoundly how her sense of herself and her relationship to her family's Big Secret changes over time. Equally, while I'm a sucker for a Found Family tale, here it felt as if LaValle just told us that one existed rather than showed it being created.

Not a bad book, but a little bit of a let-down.
… (mer)
siriaeve | 19 andra recensioner | Oct 30, 2023 |



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Associerade författare

Dietrich Smith Illustrator, Artist
Jo Mi-Gyeong Illustrator, co-creator
Kij Johnson Contributor
Cassandra Khaw Contributor
Leonard Kirk Illustrator
Lela Gwenn Author
Ben Meares Author
Seanan McGuire Contributor
Gabby Rivera Contributor
Sam J. Miller Contributor
Daniel José Older Contributor
Malka Older Contributor
Charles Yu Contributor
A. Merc Rustad Contributor
Kai Cheng Thom Contributor
Daniel H. Wilson Contributor
G. Willow Wilson Contributor
NK Jemisin Contributor
Alice Sola Kim Contributor
Jamie Ford Contributor
Justina Ireland Contributor
Tobias Buckell Contributor
Violet Allen Contributor
Lizz Huerta Contributor
Ashok K. Banker Contributor
Tananarive Due Contributor
Omar El Akkad Contributor
Hugh Howey Contributor
Brittany Peer Colorist
Craig Yeung Illustrator
Micaela Dawn Illustrator, Cover artist
Yuko Shimizu Cover artist
Anna Kochman Cover designer
Gene Mollica Cover designer
Ario Anindito Cover artist
Ryan Stegman Cover artist


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