ashnistrike: (lightning)
I'm delighted to announce that I'll have an original story in The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu: New Lovecraftian Fiction, which will be coming out in June 2016 in the US and April 2016 in the UK.

No Deep Ones in this story, but it does consider carefully the proper Library of Congress heading for forbidden tomes.

I'll be in excellent company:

Paula Guran, Editor


      • Laird Barron - “A Clutch”
      • Nadia Bulkin - “I Believe That We Will Win”
      • Amanda Downum - “The Sea Inside”
      • Ruthanna Emrys - “Those Who Watch”
      • Richard Gavin  - “Deep Eden”
      • Lois H. Gresh - “In the Sacred Cave”
      • Lisa L. Hannett - “In Syllables of Elder Seas”
      • Brian Hodge - “It’s All the Same Road In the End”
      • Caitlín R. Kiernan - “The Peddler’s Tale, or, Isobel’s Revenge”
      • John Langan – “Outside the House, Watching for the Crows
      • Yoon Ha Lee - “Falcon-and-Sparrows”
      • Usman T. Malik - “In the Ruins of Mohenjo-Daro”
      • Sandra McDonald - “The Cthulhu Navy Wife”
      • Helen Marshall - “Caro in Carno”
      • Silvia Moreno - Garcia - “Legacy of Salt”
      • Norman Partridge - “Backbite”
      • W. H. Pugmire - “A Shadow of Thine Own Design”
      • Veronica Schanoes - “Variations on Lovecraftian Themes”
      • Michael Shea - “An Open Letter to Mr. Edgar Allan Poe, from a Fervent Admirer”
      • John Shirley - “Just Beyond the Trailer Park”
      • Simon Strantzas - “Alexandra Lost”
      • Damien Angelica Walters - “Umbilicus”
      • Don Webb - “The Future Eats Everything”
      • Michael Wehunt - “I Do Not Count the Hours”
      • A.C. Wise - “I Dress My Lover in Yellow”
ashnistrike: (lightning)
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.

([ 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.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
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 [ 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.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
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: [ 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?
ashnistrike: (lightning)
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 [ 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.
ashnistrike: (Default)

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.
ashnistrike: (writing)
Disclaimer: I'm not necessarily in a position to write the post I want to write about Debt.  I read it as a 20-hour audiobook while driving from Louisiana to DC, and there were several points where I wanted to hit pause and stare off into space thinking about it for a while, but was driving and didn't try to negotiate my visually-based MP3 player interface, and then he said something else really interesting that I would have liked 10 minutes to process... Not to mention that I'm not in a position to double-check any of what he wrote.  I'm planning to reread in hard copy as soon as possible.  Which is not something I normally say about 20-hour audiobooks.  Onward.

This is one of those centrally interesting books that not only deliberately intends to entirely reshape your worldview, but is worthy of doing so.  1491, and to a lesser extent 1493, both fall into this category.  Unlike those, Debt is written from a foundation of a recognizable modern political perspective, one related to Occupy and the related anti-globalization protests (though as it points out the "anti-globalization" movement is entirely mislabeled).  Having some sympathy with those movements myself, I spent the whole book on the edge of hair-trigger skepticism whenever David Graeber came near them.  For the most part, though, the book is nuanced, thoughtful, and deeply embedded in real economic history.  [ profile] papersky's lovely review, much more thorough than this one, gives several examples--places where he tears apart economic myths through reference to anthropology. 

Read more... )
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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 [ profile] rushthatspeaks--thank you!  Vinge recommended by [ 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 [ 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. 

ashnistrike: (Default)
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 [ profile] papersky and [ 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. [ profile] papersky reviewed Brokedown Palace some time ago. [ 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
ashnistrike: (Default)
I was not going to read Twilight.  I really wasn't.  But [ profile] robling_t asked really nicely.  ("I will read this if you write it," is a pretty nice way of asking for something.)

I do wish to point out that Stephenie Meyer gets really excellent covers.  Unfortunately, they are instantly recognizable from across a room.  Or a subway car.  I wanted to carry a sign saying, "Only reading this to make fun of it," but I would have worried about being accosted by the many actual fans doubtless present.  Maybe "My other book is an in-depth exploration of the psychology of human error."  Actually, I'm not sure how much a distinction that is.

Overall Impressions

I had previously read summaries and deconstructions of the book, and had not expected to like it.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is reasonably well-written.  There's even some genuinely beautiful writing, mostly when Meyer gets into landscapes.  I would happily read a whole book, character-free, in which she contrasts the pacific northwest and the Arizona desert.  This is, of course, not that book. 

This one, however, does start with a rather cool literary conceit, which is that Bella, in the midst of her whining, describes moving to Forks in terms normally used for, well, becoming a vampire.  She is "saying goodbye to the sun forever."  It makes her skin look sallow and unhealthy.  Forks is "literally my personal hell on earth."  There is, in fact, a whole parallel with (better) stories about people with one angelic and one demonic parent, or similar.  Charlie is bound to Forks, and Renee actually left him over it.  I mean, this town is actually the reason for their divorce, and Bella refused to do visitations there, and Charlie wouldn't leave to keep his family together.  There's a whole different urban fantasy romance failing in the back story.

Several people have described Twilight as dreamlike or surreal.  It doesn't feel that way to me.  Poorly thought out, at times, but not deliberately dreamlike.  I am therefore judging it as an actual story in which details and plot elements are meant to be taken as stated.

My biases, let me show you them

I read Luminosity first.  In my head, these are the canonical versions of Bella and Edward and the rules for sparkly vampires.  I can't help making the comparison, and am not particularly going to try.  Luminosity, for those who haven't read it, is part of the relatively small subgenre of rationalist fanfic, along with Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.  Additional recommendations would be very welcome, since Luminosity is complete and MoR has been stalled for months, and there are some moods where I just want to read about characters nitpicking their own worldbuilding details.  In accordance with rationalist fanfic commenting standards, characters from different versions are referred to as rational!Bella and irrational!Bella, etc.

Cut for spoilers, like you haven't heard everything that happens in these books ten times already through cultural osmosis )

I think that my live-blogging notes from the read will go in a separate post.
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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 [ 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 recommended All Men of Genius.  My boss recommended Cradle to Cradle.  Both [ profile] papersky and [ profile] rushthatspeaks recommended A Shadow in Summer; sorry, guys. [ 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.  [ 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. [ 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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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 [ 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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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: [ profile] mrissa recommended Raised by Wolves. [ profile] rushthatspeaks recommended the Norse kid's book. promoted the Felix Gilman.  [ 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?
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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.


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January 2019

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