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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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I had to watch the new Star Trek movie for work today--yes, I actually do consider this a "had to," as I'd been deliberately avoiding it.  Mobius is putting together a workshop on science in the movies, using a scene from this one, and I needed some context before critiquing the entirely superfluous giant planet-core-drilling-laser.

For my own amusement, I took notes:

Cut for slightly cryptic spoilers... )
ashnistrike: (Default)
That was an interesting month.

Raised by Wolves, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - mild spoilers )

Lovecraft Unbound, by Ellen Datlow )

The Half-Made World, by Felix Gilman - spoilers in the service of convincing you not to read it )

The Poison Eaters, by Holly Black )

Among Others, by Jo Walton )

The Steerswoman, by Rosemary Kirstein )

Thor's Wedding Day, by Bruce Coville )

The Fate of Mice, by Susan Palwick - mild spoilers for the title story )

NOT Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union.  Oh, right.  Chabon's ideas always sound really interesting, and I always hate his characters almost as much as they hate themselves.

Other Media Consumed:

Music: Seanan McGuire, Tricky Pixie, and Iolet )

Doctor Who Christmas Special: SPOILERS! )

TV: Criminal Minds and Being Human )

Total Books: 8
Recent Publication: 6/8
Rereads: 1/8
Recommendations: [livejournal.com profile] mrissa recommended Raised by Wolves. [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks recommended the Norse kid's book.  Tor.com promoted the Felix Gilman.  [livejournal.com profile] papersky is responsible for my introduction to both Kirstein and Palwick.
New Music: 3 CDs
New Media Produced:  Lots of non-fiction for the sekrit projekt, discussed obliquely elsewhere.  Home renovations; does that count?
ashnistrike: (Default)
Wrapping up a very strange year.

Watership Down )

Donna Andrews mysteries: flamingos and parrots )

Untamed, by P.C. and Kristen Cast ) 

A Practical Guide to Policy Analysis, by Eugene Bardach )

Other Media Consumed:

Noa and Mira Awad, Eli August, Shadow Unit, Criminal Minds )

Total Books: 5
Recent Publication: 0/5
Rereads: 0/5
Recommended by Jo ratio: 1/5
New Music: 2 CDs
New Media Produced: Blog post for This Big City, various other non-fiction, bits of poetry.

Stats for the Year:

Books Read: 67--fewer than last year, but not exactly problematic. Thirteen non-fiction, five fiction that weren't SF or fantasy. Sixteen rereads. Fifteen authors that I've never read before.  Several good discoveries, particularly Geraldine Brooks, Eric Nylund, and Marie Brennan. Two books thrown against the wall.

Music: 12 new albums. Genres include filk, steampunk, folk, and Childe ballads.

Movies: Two.  Don't give me that look, man.

TV: Seasons from 6 series.  I think Alien Nation was the only one I dropped; that was sad.  About half our viewing was Criminal Minds, which was not sad.  Farscape is still variable.

Other: Seven concerts, all over the course of two weekends.
ashnistrike: (Default)
This was a low reading month, a phenomenon explained by several false starts and 114 papers graded.  I'm even more embarrassed when I confess that half the list were audiobooks listened to on the way to and from work.  (ETA: I don't know why the cut tags are doing that, and it's late.  Assume I only read the Winchester once, and we'll all be happy.)

The Meaning of Everything, by Simon Winchester )The Meaning of Everything, by Simon Winchester )

A Primate's Memoir, by Robert Sapolsky )Dinosaur in a Haystack, by Steven J. Gould )
Other Media Consumed:

Being Human, Season 1 )
Farscape, Season 2 )
Cry Cry Cry )

Total Books: 4
Recent Publication: 0
Rereads: 0
Recommended by Jo ratio: 1/4
New Music: 1 album
New Media Produced: I mentioned about the 114 papers?  A little editing here and there on stories in progress, but little else.
ashnistrike: (Default)
Also done this month: a massive culling of our shelves, to the tune of 200 books out of 1500 or so that are now up on PaperbackSwap or otherwise being distributed out of the household.  Surprisingly pleasant, because now when I look at our bookshelves, everything is either something I've enjoyed reading, or something I'm looking forward to trying.  No more feeling guilty because I'm never actually going to get through Mistress of Mistresses.  I still have 165 books left on the shelf marked unread, which is two years' worth if I buy nothing new, and never reread--an unlikely course of events.

Mortal Coils, by Eric Nylund )

Fool Moon, by Jim Butcher )
The Necessary Beggar, by Susan Palwick )Bone and Jewel Creatures, by Elizabeth Bear )
The Norse Myths, by Kevin Crossley-Holland )

Tuck Everwhining, I mean, Everlasting, by Natalie Babbit )
Double Star, by Robert Heinlein )
Shakespeare, by Bill Bryson )

People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks, with a diversion into Molly Gloss's The Dazzle of the Day )

Other Media Consumed:

Shadow Unit, Doctor Who, and Farscape )

Total Books: 9
Recent Publication: 2/9
Rereads: 1/9
Recommended by Jo ratio: 2/9
New Music: none
New Media Produced: More work on "Detours," and finally broke the wall I was stuck on in "The Jester's Child."
ashnistrike: (Default)
This is the best Aliens fanfic ever.  Not that I read a lot of Aliens fanfic, but I feel entirely confident  in my judgment. It's an epistolary story about scientists at a bio lab trying to figure out how to kill and mount a xenomorph.  The taunting is my favorite part, although the cow comes close.

Neil Gaiman reports that that the House on the Rock is planning an anniversary party for American Gods.  At which, they say, "We are working on a way to allow a limited number of guests to ride the carousel."  I strongly suspect that "way" will involve more money than I have to spend, but want.

And on a different note, I have sold a short story to Timelines: Stories Inspired by H. G. Wells' The Time Machine.  ([livejournal.com profile] page_of_swords , this is the story in which I used your expert advice before you gave it to me.  It could only be more appropriate to the topic if I'd managed to publish it before writing it.)
ashnistrike: (Default)
More reasonable this month...

No Spoilers, but some very strong opinions... )

Total Books: 6
Recent Publication: 2/6
Rereads: 1/6
Bear Ratio: .2/6
Recommended by Jo ratio: 2/6
New Music: None
New Media Produced: The semester is almost over. And the picture at the top of this post keeps making me think of Aphra Marsh, and all those poor innocent people in Innsmouth.
ashnistrike: (Default)
Not many; I guess it was an even crazier month than it felt like.



Total Books: 3, plus 50 pages of the snotty mystery.
Recent Publication: 1/3
Rereads: 1/3
Bear Ratio: 0/3
New Music: None
New Media Produced: Don't even ask.
ashnistrike: (Default)
Mostly rereads.  Apparently I'm feeling stressed.

No Spoilers )

Total Books: 7
Recent Publication: none
Rereads: 5/7
Bear Ratio: 0/7, because the first Metatropolis story is slow going.
New Music: 2 albums.
New Media Produced: Some on The Jester's Child, before my laptop starting having personal problems.  It is getting a new screen tonight.  I hope.

ashnistrike: (Default)
No spoilers, some snarking.

Read more... )

Total Books: 5
Recent Publication: 1/5
Rereads: 2/5
Bear Ratio: 0/5, because Metatropolis hasn't arrived yet.
New Music: 2 albums.
New Media Produced:  The plot to the Jester novel.

Does anyone have anything to say that might persuade me to continue reading the Justina Robson book that I started last night?

ashnistrike: (Default)
Apparently I read more at stressful end of semesters, rather than less...

Read more... )

Total Books: 8
Recent Publication: 2/8
Rereads: 3/8
Bear Ratio: 1/8.  I'm not sure how long I can keep up taking in a previously unread Bear book each month--I've only got two more prior publications that I haven't read, and I don't think she's got 6 new books coming out this year. 
New Music: 2 albums
New Media Produced: The reality judgment paper is done and submitted to a journal.  The write-up of the credibility study set is next.  Aphra Marsh is bugging me about her next story and I really need to do some research on Japanese-American culture after the WWII internment camps.  I strongly suspect this will not happen in May, as I'm only really home one week of the month.

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