ashnistrike: (lightning)
What Bear said.

And while it's a bit less impressive coming from me, I'll make the same pledge: I have not in the past and I will not in the future participate in any popular award voting slate, public or private. I will not vote for any story or person or institution that is nominated for a popular award after agreeing to be on such a slate. Actually, I won't vote for any story or person or institution that is nominated from a slate, whether or not they wanted to be there--I believe that slates are more toxic than one person failing to get an award they deserve, even though the latter sucks quite a bit.

I believe without reservation that fandom is better off without any party system other than the one that results in late-night snacks and drinks and good conversation. There's no law that can prevent one from developing if people are determined to game the system; there are, however, customs that can make them useless.

Also, to repeat what I said earlier on Twitter:

You don't need to read anything that likely includes abuse towards you in order ot have the "right" to vote. You don't need to read anything that insults you or hits your triggers--you get to dislike that stuff without "giving it a chance." Hell, if you've never liked urban fantasy and one's on the ballot, you don't have to read it to vote. You're allowed to know your own tastes.

What I didn't say on Twitter: I've got a friend who's just getting out of an abusive relationship. Insignificant Other keeps whining about how if my friend were being fair, they'd let him prove himself without taking his earlier actions into consideration. Because trust. Because rules. Because if they aren't "fair" according to his exact definition, he knows he can't win.

People who don't play fair don't get to define fairness, and don't get to demand anyone's time or headspace. If you want to take the time to give VD a full read, feel free, but don't let anyone tell you it's your duty.

Personally, I'm currently filling my must-read pile than I can actually read it.  My entire "reading bigots" quota is given over to Lovecraft blogging. Lovecraft has many advantages in this domain: 1) his work is entertaining more often than it's upsetting, 2) he's dead, 3) for all his unchained adjectives, he writes better or at least more amusingly than most modern bigots, 4) by all accounts he was actually pretty polite to the people he was prejudiced against when actually talking to them, 5) he never tried to game any damn awards, 6) he never claimed that he had a right to reader's time and attention, 7) he's in the public domain and I can get awesome story ideas out of reading him.

In a hundred years, I hope the puppies are a nearly-forgotten footnote, the Hugos are strong and healthy, and whoever's doing the Hugo Reread braincast gets some really entertaining snark out of this whole business.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
In early January, Amal El-Mohtar reposted an excellent rant about eligibility lists, why they're important, and why authors shouldn't be embarrassed to post them.  And I thought, "Well, that makes sense.  I should do that thing."  But I had a 2-week-old baby and a new writing deadline, and so "eligibility post, no really," has been on my to-do list for nearly a month.

And, but, so.  I'm going to do some of the dithering El-Mohtar talks about, because most of the reasons in her rant don't so much actually apply to me.  My stories this year have gotten plenty of attention (some of which I'll mention below, because this is my living room and I get to boast here occasionally).  I'm also not ashamed to admit that I think they're pretty good, not that my opinion is particularly the one that matters.

I also don't think eligibility posts get anyone to change their minds about how good works were--I think they 1) remind people what came out in a given year, and by process of elimination what didn't, and 2) remind people what category works fall into.  As someone with a lousy memory and an iffy feel for word count, I appreciate this, and consider it a useful service when other people provide it.

What I published:

Read more... )

What I liked:

Read more... )
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"Litany of Earth" was my SFWA-qualifying story.  This means that I'm now able to nominate for the Nebulas, a slightly daunting duty.

I feel comfortable with the novels, and the Reading List suggests that my own preferences line up pretty squarely with everyone else's.  And at my current reading rate (and likely post-baby reading rate) I am not likely to fit in all that many more before mid-February.  But I feel a bit behindhand on shorter works, and more confident in my ability to fit them in around editing and nesting and changing diapers.  What should I be looking at in novellas, novelettes, and short stories that I might not have seen yet?
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Sarah and I were talking in the car today, on our way to the "visit a place that's too expensive" step of furniture-buying.  (This was not an intentional step, just a necessary one.) We started by arguing about the appropriate box for Charlie Stross's Laundry books, and moved on to the more interesting question of why it's worth putting them in boxes at all.  We came up with two ways of looking at genre that are useful for something other than organizing a book store. I hasten to add that these are not the definitions in common use, and I'm not claiming they are.

1) Genre as conversation.  A genre or subgenre consists of a set of stories in conversation with each other, or with the same set of tropes.  The Laundry books are in conversation with Lovecraftian horror, but also with a particular set of spy novels, and also with Dilbert et al.  They are mostly not in conversation with, say, urban fantasy, even though they involve supernatural/extradimensional beings living in modern London.  Anita Blake sees the Laundry and crosses quietly to the other side of the street.  Marla Mason, in conversation with both urban fantasy and Lovecraftian horror, gets along with it splendidly.  (Crap.  I just thought about one particular Laundry character getting ahold of that cloak, and I'm going to cross the street and keep right on going as fast as I can.)

2) Genre as shared reading protocols.  This gets a lot more discussion, and actually is a useful way of thinking about genre--it explains why people who normally read SF are more likely to enjoy, say, Gillian Bradshaw's historical fiction than The Road.  Or at least it explains why I am--Bradshaw's worldbuilding rewards exploration and investigation much as a good SF novel does, while McCarthy frustrates it.  The people who enjoy McCarthy are reading for the language and the mood and the allegorical familial relationships, and don't care what caused the apocalypse and why the characters can breathe with no plants.  I love a story that plays with language and mood, but my reading protocols won't leave those questions alone.

([livejournal.com profile] papersky does something amazing with this--she goes ahead and reads books with protocols that the author never intended, and then writes books of her own with the results.  Among Others is about someone doing this--about someone with science fiction protocols trying to deal with living in a fantasy.)

This is also relevant to a particular reflex of mine that I'm trying to make more nuanced.  When I read that a new book or story "breaks down the walls of genre," "is groundbreaking and genre-bending," or similar, I tend to put it as far from my reading list as possible.  And I think it's because many books described in this way are not in conversation with other books and not amenable to any existing set of reading protocols.  But there's another kind of genre-breaking that's really interesting--books like the Laundry books that are in conversation with more than one genre and amenable to more than one reading protocol.  Instead of a guy sitting in a room talking about how awesome this party would be if anyone else was cool enough to come, it's a gorgeous shindig where you invite your knitting friends and your writing friends and your filk-singing friends and your work-snark friends and at 2 AM everyone is sitting around the living room arguing about medieval Spanish convents while playing Cards Against Humanity.

I want to read more books that are like that party--books that combine protocols and conversations to give you new and wonderful perspective on everyone in the room.
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1. I've started a more public, and more regularly updated, blog on the psychology of sustainability--also on portable sensors, games for change, local foods, and my various other sustainability-related obsessions.

2. Speaking of local foods, our CSA for the past 2 weeks has been full of mushrooms.  This on top of the entirely non-local dried porcini and preserved truffles that showed up for the holidays. There has been mushroom quiche, and mushroom pasta, and cow-share steak with porcini butter.  And I still have to find something to do with the last truffle and a bag of shitakes.  This is not a hardship.

3. I just read Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel.  Fairies in Dust-Bowl-era Kansas, magic based on folk and blues and swing and jazz music, and honest explorations of racial politics.  Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mrissa for the recommendation.

4. I am now reading Ascension: A Tangled Axon Novel by Jacqueline Koyanagi. This appears to be Firefly fanfic with the serial numbers heavily filed off and replaced by better world-building.  And set in a universe where the unmarked state is dark-skinned lesbian.  If you wanted a novel like that--and don't pretend you didn't--this is totally the novel that you wanted.

5. This item is self-referential.
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Retrieved from a conversational tangent, last, night, that went in a different direction.  What art are you willing to travel for--that is, spend longer on the road than you do experiencing the art?  For me, this usually means that something is not only transcendently wonderful, but relatively rare.  The three that I can think of are

  • Live performances of Spem in Alium, Tallis's 40-part Motet. I've managed to stumble into a performance once, looking for free things to do on my birthday one year in Amherst, and haven't managed to come within 500 miles of one since.  Recorded, the motet is a particularly beautiful example of multi-choral singing, and doesn't come remotely close to the experience of sitting in a circle of 40 voices weaving in and out and around each other, creating a complete universe out of song.  I haven't yet tried Janet Cardiff's 40-speaker installation, currently at the Cloisters.

  • Live performances of Sassafrass's Sundown opera.  I've caught parts of it live, most notably at last year's Vericon, which I actually went to instead of a Spem in Alium performance the week before.  Sassafrass comes across more fully in recording than the motet, partly because the lyrics are a larger part of the point, but live still makes a difference.

  • Dale Chihuly installations. Chihuly does things with blown glass that are beautiful and eldritch and possibly batrachian and gibbous.  But in a good way.

I would travel for Cirque du Soleil, but the barrier is more often money than distance.  I would travel for Shakespeare if I had to, or for Hudson River School paintings, trilobite fossils, or new books by my favorite authors.  Fortunately not all beautiful things are rare.  However, there's a particular delight in managing to track and experience something that still is. 
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Bound for Canaan: the Epic Story of the Underground Railroad )

Caleb's Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks )

Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal.  Pride and Prejudice, with illusion magic and gender politics.  Good stuff, even if the ending felt a little too pat.  Recommended.

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel )

Shadow Unit, Volume 1 )

Shoggoths in Bloom, by Elizabeth Bear.  New short story collection.  Some of the older stories have a little too much random unnecessary self-sacrifice, but the newer ones are brilliant and dark and thoughtful.  Highly recommended.

Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire. Reread in preparation for the new one coming out.  Funny, snarky urban fantasy that doesn't take place in Not-the-World-of-Darkness.  Highly recommended.

Talking Man, by Terry Bissom.  There are some brilliant images in this--I will never take a road trip again without thinking about the Mississippi River Canyon--but ultimately, it turns out that I don't like magical realism regardless of whether it takes place in South American or southern Appalachia.  I like things to happen for reasons.

A Planet of Viruses, by Carl Zimmer.  Freebie at the AAAS conference.  Awesome freebie.  This is a bunch of short essays, by a brilliant science writer, about how you probably know a lot less than you think you do about viruses.  They are weird.

Total Books: 9
Recent Publication: 6
Rereads: 1
Recommendations: [livejournal.com profile] papersky recommended the Bissom, and the entire internet recommended the Kowal.
New Music: None.
New Media Created: Some intensive work on the urban infrastructure fantasy, and I actually finished the Jewish Narnia drabble cycle.  Anyone have any idea about markets for a Jewish fantasy drabble cycle?
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Apparently the last time I posted a media consumption review, I got all the way up to July 2012.  It's been a pretty busy few months.  More on that in a later post that will hopefully actually happen.  In the meanwhile, here are the most interesting things that I read in the 2nd half of 2012, made easier by the fact that the Great Big Work Project has eaten enough spoons to send me into rereading mode for much of the winter.

Debt: The First 5000 Years )Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson )
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, by Lois McMaster Bujold )

Permanence, by Karl Schroeder )

Online Fiction: Methods of Rationality and Shadow Unit )

Music: Talis Kimberley's Queen of Spindles )

New Media Created:  Little bits on both novels: My Obsession With the Field Museum Let Me Show You It and Transhuman Starving Artists Raise a Family (note: not real titles).  Also a short story written in one evening on a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] aspenwolf.  As of January 1st, I am back on the Novel in 90 discipline and making some serious progress on My Obsession With the Field Museum.

I sold two sestinas in 2012.  "Pantheon" is out in the January issue of Starline.  (And for my few readers who will know what this means, this is officially the first published bit from the Changewinds universe.  Apparently no context is necessary to appreciate it, though.)


Stats for the year:

Books Read: 52--busy year in many other ways.  Nine non-fiction, and three fiction that weren't SF or fantasy (assuming you count the Gibson).  Thirteen rereads.  Nine new-to-me authors, of which Tim Pratt is far and away my favorite discovery.  Three books thrown against the wall.  Only one book marked as failing the Bechdel test all year (the intensely disappointing Wicked Gentlemen).  Either I'm getting better at picking out books with girls in, or skilled authors are more likely these days to avoid that particular failure mode. 

Music: 4 new albums. Genres include modern classical, folk rock, whatever the hell Grey Eye Glances are, and activist filk.

Movies: Apparently... zero.

TV: A little bit of Doctor Who and Criminal Minds.

Other:  A reading party for Love's Labours Lost, and a slightly dubious production of Cymbeline, which is a slightly dubious play to begin with.
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The Art of Game Design )



Un Lun Dun by China Mieville )



Trial by Fire, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes )


Getting Green Done )

Virtual Team Building Games )


NOT Tim Powers' Declare. Brief mommy-blogging instead )


NOT Melissa Scott's Trouble and Her Friends. Critique of the entire Cyberpunk genre based on SOPA instead. )



NOT Thomas Sniegoski's A Kiss Before the Apocalypse )


Other Media Consumed:


Podcasts )



Speculation about the lack of proper critical vocabulary for tabletop role-playing games )

Total Books: 5 & 3/2
Recent Publication: 2, or at least I think the Mieville is recent.  We bought it new, anyway.
Rereads: 0
Recommendations: None, I think
New Music: None.
New Media Created:  I believe this was the month I finally finished "The Litany of Earth."  Because what my stories-in-submission list needed was clearly a novella.
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A Star Shall Fall, by Marie Brennan )



More Marla Mason than you can shake an eldritch magical cloak at... )


Range of Ghosts & Ad Eternum, by Elizabeth Bear )



How Much for Just the Planet, by John M Ford )


Other Media Consumed: none.  It was that kind of a month.

Total Books: 8
Recent Publication: 2/8
Rereads: 1/8
Recommendations: Marla Mason books recommended by rushthatspeaks
New Music: None.
New Media Created:  Y'all will forgive me if I now have trouble remembering what I wrote in July.  I should start keeping Thud posts again if I'm going to fall this far behind on book reports.
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A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge )



The Hunger Games )



In the Land of Invented Languages, by Arika Okrent )



Blood Engines, and Poison Sleep, by TA Pratt )


Agent to the Stars, by John Scalzi.  Reread to catch my breath, and restore my faith in humanity, while I waited for Poison Sleep to arrive. 

Grail by Elizabeth Bear )


Other Media Consumed


Music: Oswaldo Golijof and Dar Williams )



Criminal Minds and My Little Pony. Don't think too hard about the crossover. )



Loves Labours Lost )


Total Books: 7
Recent Publication: 2/7
Rereads: 1/7
Recommendations: Marla Mason recommended by [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks--thank you!  Vinge recommended by [livejournal.com profile] paperskyThe Hunger Games recommended by the 7 billion people who read it before me.
New Music: 2 albums
New Media Created: Finished the second Aphra Marsh story!

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Nudge, by Thaler & Sunstein )



Miss Manners' Guide to Domestic Tranquility )



All That Lives Must Die, by Eric Nylund )



Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword, and Alicorn's Luminosity )


Children of the Sky, by Vernor Vinge )



Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire )



Crucible of Gold, by Naomi Novik )


Other Media Consumed:

Shadow Unit (Season 4, episodes 2-4).  Continuing to narrow in on the nature of the anomaly, and continuing to be fascinating. 

Criminal Minds (Season 6, episodes 1-2).  In which the writers handle the network-mandated leaving of a female character about as perfectly and pointedly as one could have hoped for.

Total Books: 8
Recent Publication: 4/8
Rereads: 1/8
Recommendations: The Anderson, and the Vinge series, were both recommended by [livejournal.com profile] papersky.
New Music: none
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Catching up on these...


Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Dan Kahneman )



Tam Lin by Pamela Dean )



Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale )



Merchants of Doubt, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway )


Other Media Consumed:


Doctor Who Season 6 )


Total Books: 4
Recent Publication: 1/4
Rereads: 1/4
Recommendations: I don't think any of these were specifically recommended by anyone--although I certainly did a lot of recommending of the Kahneman afterwards.
New Music: none
New Media Produced:  I don't, at this point, specifically remember what I wrote in January, so I'll just save this for when I catch up. 

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Books Read: 56--fewer than last year; life will do that. Twelve non-fiction, and, er, one fiction that wasn't SF or fantasy. Nineteen rereads, mostly Brust in preparation for Tiassa. Eleven authors that I've never read before, some whom I could probably have done without (Meyer) and some of whom I will take great delight in continuing to follow (Daley, Vinge).  One book thrown against the wall.  Five books failed the Bechdel test: some with good excuses (first person narrative by a gay male couple; focused on Thor and Loki), and some not so much (disappointing William Tenn short story collection, I am looking at you).  Twilight passed, thus proving that the Bechdel test isn't everything, even from a feminist perspective.

Music: 6 new albums (also life will do that). Genres include filk, neoclassical, folk, and scientifically based Gregorian chant.

Movies: Seven.  Which may be the most I've seen in a year since I graduated from college.  One of them was even good.

TV: Seasons from four series.  Doctor Who continues awesome; Being Human I am entirely done with

Other: The Star Wars radio plays, and several podcasts.
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In and around trips to S's family in Michigan, my family on Cape Cod, and [livejournal.com profile] papersky and [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel for New Year's in Montreal.


All the Dan Ariely you can shake a stick at )


I'm now in the middle of Kahneman's recent book on the same topic.  In addition to being deeper and more intelligently written, Kahneman isn't trying to boost his own ego.  It's refreshing, and I'd recommend it over the Ariely easily if you're interested in the topic.


Somewhere Beneath Those Waves, by Sarah Monette )


Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer.  Reviewed elsewhere.


Brokedown Palace, by Steve Brust )



Reality is Broken, by Jane McGonigal )


Other Media Consumed:


Hadestown )


Plus the usual assortment of podcasts.

Total Books: 6
Recent Publication: 3/6
Rereads: 0/6
Recommendations: The Arielys were for work, but recommended only in the sense that we decided to do a book club on them, pre facto, and technically that was my idea.  Going to be an interesting discussion tomorrow; I'm not the only one who found them annoying. [livejournal.com profile] papersky reviewed Brokedown Palace some time ago. [livejournal.com profile] robling_t is, um, responsible, for Twilight. Hadestown was recommended on the SF Squeecast.
New Music: 1 album
New Media Produced:Some Aphra Marsh, some Highways and Labyrinths
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Back up to a normal reading speed--I should start doing these monthly again.

A Dance With Dragons--mild spoilers, and general statements about the series that will come as no surprise to anyone who's actually read Martin ever )

All Men of Genius by Lev Rosen--no spoilers )

I don't normally mention beta-reads here, because it's not like they're available for everyone else to read.  But I feel I can safely predict that [livejournal.com profile] gaudior's as-yet-untitled first novel will be available for the rest of you to read at some point.  At which point, you should read it.

Cradle to Cradle by Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart--nonfiction )

1493 by Charles Mann--nonfiction )

The Tempering of Men by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette--no spoilers )

The Wooden Star by William Tenn--no spoilers )

The Zanzibar Cat by Joanna Russ--mild spoilers for "When It Changed" )

Fostering Sustainable Behavior by Doug McKenzie-Mohr & William Smith )

A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham--slightly vague spoilers )

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman.  Comfort reread.  Gaimans that I have read and loved many times are never going to disappoint me.

The Logic of Failure by Dietrich Dorner--nonfiction )

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge--no spoilers except for a description of one awesome alien species )

Other media Consumed:

Shadow Unit and assorted podcasts )

Total Books: 13
Recent Publication: 4/13
Rereads: 1/13
Recommendations: Someone on Tor.com recommended All Men of Genius.  My boss recommended Cradle to Cradle.  Both [livejournal.com profile] papersky and [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks recommended A Shadow in Summer; sorry, guys. [livejournal.com profile] papersky also recommended A Fire Upon the Deep; thank you!  My old boss lent me The Logic of Failure about six years ago, but this is my own copy because I didn't get to it until now.  Which says more about my old job than the book, really.
New Music: none
New Media Produced: More on both the Aphra Marsh story and The Jester's Child.  A couple of papers for work, which actually seem to be having some effect.
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Iorich & Tiassa, by Steven Brust. Spoilers for narrative format, but not plot. )
Feed by Mira Grant. Vague spoilery hints. )
Requiem for a Ruler of Worlds by Brian Daley, no spoilers )
Technology and the Future, Edited by Albert H. Teich )
Other Media Consumed:

Return of the Jedi, radio play and movie. Spoilers. )
Time After Time.  Reviewed elsewhere.

Shadow Unit (Season 4, Episode 0: "Walking Back to Houston"). Ouch.  And interesting.  I had to look up the title, and it's nicely ambiguous, and has all sorts of interesting implications.

Peter Pan (2003), mild spoilers )
Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I give up on George Lucas.  And possibly on watching movies I thought were really awesome when I was 20.

Star Wars Symphony.  But I do not give up on John Williams.  The music is awesome.

Total Books: 5. I know.
Recent Publication: 2/5
Rereads: 1/5
Recommendations: I forget who recommended Feed; the others I got to on my own. 
New Music: 1 album
New Media Produced: A little on the Aphra Marsh story.  A short white paper for work; I've never written one of those before so we'll see how that goes.
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Packing and moving = time for books, but a lot of stress-induced rereads.

The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold. I've lost track of how many times I've read this.  And it was right there, about to go in a box.

The Commitment by Dan Savage. It was right there, about to go in a box.

Tramp Royale by Robert A. Heinlein.  It was right there...  Actually a very good historical piece, particularly the points he feels he needs to argue with his presumed audience.

Radiance by Alicorn. The second of Alicorn's Rational!Twilight series.  It follows Bella's daughter, who is not named Renesmee, and wraps up the tension from the first book in some really nice and unexpected ways.  [livejournal.com profile] robling_t has been reading the originals and telling me bits about them, and I have to say that they sound a lot more like bad fanfiction of Alicorn's stuff.  All the villains appear to have been seriously defanged, for one thing. [livejournal.com profile] robling_t has also been trying to talk me into reading and deconstructing the originals myself.  Um.  I am trepidatious, but not sure I can resist the call.

Intuition by Allegra Goodman. Lablit recommended at Wiscon.  I enjoyed it, because I've been in a lab, and because I've recently gotten out of academia--but at the same time, I found the characters annoyingly whiny and petty in a way all too common in mainstream stories.

The White City by Elizabeth Bear. The latest of the New Amsterdam stories, and as tightly and poetically written as you would expect.  I like how Bear jumps around in the character's lives from story to story--it very much highlights the morality of the human characters.

Feynman by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick. A graphic biography of Richard Feynman.  About half is adapted from his autobiographical writings, but this is nevertheless fun.  It's not like I get tired of hearing the story about stealing the door.

Athyra, Orca, Dragon, Issola, Dzur, and Jhegala by Steven Brust. The Vlad Taltos series seriously benefits from being read in a lump, especially if like me your plot memory is less than perfect.  In particular, the last three (I've read Iorich since) have a lot more kick and coherence when read in context, and I enjoyed them a lot more than I did the first time through--though Jhegala seems likely to remain my least favorite.  There's a lot of really intricate worldbuilding in here, and a lot to pick up in a rearead.  And my timing was about perfect, since Tiassa was waiting for us when we got to the new house.

Other Media Consumed:

Shadow Unit, Season 3, episode 9 ("The Small Dark Movie of Your Life"). That hurt.  And I did send a contribution to My Sister's Place.

Star Wars radio play and The Empire Strikes Back radio play, along with their respective movies.  Reviewed elsewhere.

Total Books: 13
Recent Publication: 3/13
Rereads: 9/13
Recommendations: Radiance, and the radio plays by S.  Intuition by someone at Wiscon's lablit panel. Feynman by Shelby.
New Music: none
New Media Produced: I figured out the problem with the second Aphra Marsh story, and am moving ahead on it once more
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People are complicated, but sometimes I imagine that I need to give a 1-2 sentence blurb to explain someone as clearly and succinctly as possible.  For my sister, I would quote one of her impressively blase blog posts: "Last week, I climbed Pacaya, an active volcano, and walked right up to the lava. RIP, the sole of my right hiking boot, which started to melt off my shoe."  For S, I would just explain that she listened to the Star Wars radio plays while she was in labor. She heard them for the first time when she was 4, and they are comfort food, perfectly memorized and beloved.  She considers them the canonical version of the story, and has been telling me about them since we got together 14 years ago.  And for most of that time, I have been entirely unable to appreciate them.

On long car trips, S has a habit of putting on the plays while I nap.  I've tried to listen a few times, with no success.  I considered this a defect on my part: clearly, I had missed the critical period for learning how to reconstruct a story from a radio play.  It's a very particular genre, requiring different work from the audience than a novel.  So when we got on the road to go house-hunting, and she put on the first CD, I closed my eyes and settled in.  Only this time, the switch flipped for me and the story made sense.  And now I've got to explain to you that these things are absolutely brilliant.  And they are, no question, the canonical version of the story.

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] houseboatonstyx points out, correctly, that there are spoilers for both movies and radio plays here.  I am the queen of spoiler-shyness and should have remembered to include the warning.

"The Empire is doomed now. You've declared war on life itself!" )
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Admittedly, this is the least I've read in a four-month period since I learned to read.  If you count being read to, possibly the least since I was born.  I don't think my parents did any prenatal reading aloud, anyway.  Having the equivalent of 2-3 full-time jobs will do that.  But I am done professoring, done cramming for job interviews, and winding down my work with Mobius.  I have high hopes for June.

No spoilers for any of these.

Steampunk Reloaded by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer )

Unnatural Creatures by Sarah Monette )

Luminosity by Alicorn )

The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder Kaban )

Temeraire (His Majesty's Dragon) by Naomi Novik )

A great big pile of Vlad Taltos books, but not the newest yet )

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin )

And several chapters of Weimer & Vining's Policy Analysis textbook for the above-mentioned cramming.

Other Media Consumed:

Shadow Unit, Being Human, Star Trek, Doctor Who, and Vanessa-Mae )

Total Books: 11.  Slightly fewer than 3 a month.  I know.
Recent Publication: 2/11
Rereads: 7/11
Recommendations: The steampunk anthology was a gift from [livejournal.com profile] saganth.  S recommended Luminosity, loudly and repeatedly. 
New Music: 1 CD
New Media Produced:  Lots and lots of blogging.  A really intense 1-page essay for the fellowship.  A couple of sonnets and villanelles.  Editing on fiction, and possibly a little actual writing on the Star-Trek-With-the-Serial-Numbers-Smudged not-quite-fanfic.  I have high hopes for June.

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ashnistrike

September 2017

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