A bit on Kyell Gold by MLR

Does including that name in the title of a post on a furry website count as clickbait? Ah, well, whatever.

I finished reading Kyell Gold's Green Fairy very recently. Despite its length, it didn't take me particularly long to get through, because Kyell has that same gift as authors like J.K. Rowling or Neil Gaiman, where the language and pacing is easy and flows like the sand in an hourglass. I knew this to a certain extent already, just recalling from quite a long time ago when I read Out of Position, and I was happy to find that my opinion on that hasn't changed since that time, despite me becoming more and more cranky. And I appreciate too how solid the plot to Green Fairy was, and all the little details, like the otter family having a million pools in their house, and the wolf protagonist still smelling his brother's scent in the door frame long after he'd gone off to college. It's all what I would call 'very good writing'. I suspect, in fact, that were Kyell to write subject matter with more mass appeal, he would have a real shot at being a best-seller (not that I would argue he shift his subject matter anywhere than where it is right now: it is something special to be one of the greats or perhaps the great of LGBT furry fiction).

Now, okay, I've got some complaints. I always do. They're mostly the same complaints I have with e.g. Neil Gaiman -- the word choice is often utilitarian, careless, or a bit funky, certain plot threads are very obviously telegraphed -- but in the end both write extremely tight and interesting plots in sentences that get the job done and absorb you quickly and easily into their worlds. This requires tremendous skill, and a lot of work; it's very easy to tilt one way or the other, either into incomprehensible garbage, or into retched infantilizing dreck. I know this because I'm now the kind of author who's constantly half-drowning in a sea of abstractions, trying to keep from going the former way. You don't read Kyell's books closely: you sit in the boat and let the current take you wherever it's going. So what if occasionally I feel a need to roll my eyes. I'm still doing it with a smile. And shit if I've ever read anything so beautifully small-town high school as this book. (Not counting the first part of American Pastoral, something else I read recently, which is not exactly to be compared. Probably to anything.)

I did notice something rather interesting this time, though, and I might just put this out there if anyone knows the answer. After having critically read a few furry anthologies and novels, and then this one, I'm starting to get this inkling that Kyell's influence on the fandom's literature is more pervasive than I initially knew. It's nothing solid, really; just a feeling that the tones, the language, the pacing, all this was stuff I'd seen done elsewhere, by other authors. Am I nuts about that? It would make some sense and explain a lot of things, but I never really thought about it until now. It's an insular community, after all, so someone as influential as Kyell Gold surely would rub off on more than one furry author.

Anyway... that's about all I wanted to say on this. I recommend Green Fairy. I suspect before too long I'll pick up the other two in this trilogy and give them a read too. Particularly the third book interests me, as I'm getting the impression from the description on Amazon that it deals with an asexual character; if anyone doesn't know (maybe no one knows? I can't recall if it's ever come up), I identify as asexual myself, so now I want to see how this is handled by someone who so clearly is not.

Näkemiin, and until next time, all you crazy cats out there.

A bit on Kyell Gold


31 July 2018 at 11:23:45 MDT

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