1-6. Prince Caspian; Voyage of the Dawn Treader; A Horse and His Boy; The Silver Chair; The Magician's Nephew; The Last Battle.
Yes, that is the one true ordering.
This was, of course, a re-read. I'm now even more skeptical than I was before about the later books in the series making good films. Some of them, perhaps, but definitely not all. And none of them are quite as filmic as the first book.
But taking the books as themselves rather than as movie treatments--they're as they always were. I don't think I discovered anything new in them since last time. I still disagree with the critics who say Susan was essentially damned for liking boys. She was damned for turning away from Aslan repeatedly. *And* she liked boys. The point wasn't "liking boys is bad", the point was "she doesn't care about anything beyond worldly matters". And yes, I've read Neil Gaiman's story, "The Problem of Susan". I liked it far less than most of Gaiman's short fiction. Was he being polemical, and was that why I didn't like it? Hm.
7. Babylon 5 -- The Scripts of J. Michael Straczynski, Volume 3.
JMS is releasing all his Babylon 5 scripts (not those by other writers, he doesn't have the rights to those), plus production memos, his behind-the-scenes photos, etc. as a series of Cafepress books. They're not cheap, but they're very nifty. They're definitely cheaper than getting the scripts for $10 a pop at writer appearances, even if you *could* hunt them all down that way. Plus, extra material.
If you're interested, get on the mailing list for each new volume announcement, because they're $10 cheaper for the first week each volume is released. And if you buy all 14 volumes and keep your order numbers for proof, you get a 15th for free. And the 15th will not be for regular sale. And it will have goodies like the infamous Londo/G'Kar seduction scene. ;-)
Okay, enough with the commercial. I think the fun of these books is clear to fans, and will never be clear to non-fans.
This volume is approximately the first half of season 2: Points of Departure, Revelations, The Geometry of Shadows, A Race Through Dark Places, The Coming of Shadows, All Alone in the Night, and Acts of Sacrifice. It's some good stuff, but a lot of it is just Sheridan settling in and setting up the excitement to come. I'm very much looking forward to volume 4, which I don't have yet.
8-10. The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, The Darkest Road. Another re-read. I'm not sure I'd actually delved into The Silmarillion last time I read this. Now it really does sing out to me "I just spent several years editing Tolkien's (then-)unpublished works." I'm not clear how much input Kay had into the content of Silmarillion, but the similarities are unmissable.
Still, on its own the Fionavar Tapestry is a rip-roaring fantasy trilogy. Be warned, this is a trilogy in the Lord of the Rings sense; there is no attempt at closure until the end of the third book, just big old To Be Continued signs.
Spoilers for premise rather than plot: I think the premise that this is the first world, on which other universes are based, is only really richly used when Arthurian legend comes to the fore. Other than that it only serves to raise the stakes: "If this doesn't work, we can't go back home--home won't survive either." That said, I'm a real sucker for Arthurian legend and I love how Kay uses it.
More reading, less re-reading. Right now I'm reading Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Middle Ages, Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy (which is now coming out in two pocket-sized books, though Amazon seems confused--I can't find vol. 1 there) and I'm about to dive into The Time Traveler's Wife. I like Aristotle's Children a lot, though I'm finding it dense and reading it in bursts between other things. Also, I've misplaced it at the moment.
Given that Guy Gavriel Kay is going to be at Vericon next year, what's the essential Kay I should read this year? I've read the Fionavar books, and I own A Song For Arbonne. Suggestions?