Some times we take a blow to that squishy entity known as one's ego. Such a blow fell recently just as I was preparing a new post for this blog. I had thought that I was well-read, particularly in fantasy. Then, I picked up a compilation that I thought was about fantasy art (book covers, magazine covers) through the years. Instead, I found myself being introduced to or reminded of authors that I had a passing familiarity with but whom I had never read or even seen to sneak out of the drawer in the laundry room under the dust rags where dad kept his fiction stash.
So why should this present a blow to my ego? It's a little like comparing what I've read in school to what others have read--generally, people who went to school somewhere north of me have read more than I have. And, since I live close to the Texas coast...there's plenty of north. What this has sometimes led to, oddly enough, is vanity. I think that there are only a few variations on a story so I should never stoop to plot recycling. And yet, a wider reading would have let me know that stories are new in so many ways other than plot. It also means that my understanding of fantasy and an enjoyable read is heavily inflected toward a particular literary style. My reading (and writing) is missing some of the excitement and wonder purveyed by authors working in other styles.
I have a treasure hunt before me. Many of the books I'll be looking for will be out of print or uncommon in current bookstores, so I will have an instant excuse to investigate all kinds of used bookstores and antique stores to hunt for classics. Avast, and keep an eye out for the flag of the tattered pages!
But, dear reader, what does this mean for this blog? Why the title change? There never seemed to be much fantastic fiction that took place in or around water, at least in my limited reading. Drowned cities, giant creatures beneath the waves, and mermaids have fascinated me for a long time. An expanded reading list will hopefully allow me to concentrate on those stories and perhaps on some natural history (guest bloggers?) that explore the mysterious marine.
What will come up from these pools?