rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
So, it has been nearly 5 months since I last did one of these.  This is necessarily incomplete because I didn't keep notes, and also because where I did keep notes (e.g. Daily Science Fiction stories), I have way too many to post all at once, so I'll dribble them out over the next weeks.

What I've read: poetry
I Speed Toward The Moon by Constance Hanstedt
At The Forestry Institute, Hanoi by Pepper Trail
Father Son Haiku by Kelvin River
Fallers by Alex Harper

What I've read: short stories
The Family Ghost by Jamie Lackey
Vervain, Grasshopper, Sun by Marissa Lingen
The Thing About Heisenball by Stewart C. Baker
Last Long Night by Lina Rather

While we were in Helsinki I noticed that Lois McMaster Bujold had another Penric novella out - and that it was in the middle of the existing novellas so she'd renumbered the series.  I enjoyed it very much, both for the plot in itself and for the additional worldbuilding about the shamanic and sorcerous magic systems. Then I reread my way through the entire series:
Penric's Demon
Penric and the Shaman
Penric's Fox
Penric's Mission
Mira's Last Dance


What I've read: long fiction
Bookburners: Season 1 by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty and Brian Francis Slattery.  If I'd read this as it was published weekly at Serial Box, I'd probably have listed each episode up in the short-fiction section.  Instead I read one collected ebook with all 16 episodes. A New York police officer ends up getting drawn into a secret society of magical book collectors operating out of the Vatican, and joins the team in hopes of helping her brother.  The overall arc plot gets resolved satisfyingly while leaving an opening for more, and I note that Series 3 is currently unfolding on Serial Box.

I finally read A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers and found it pleasant enough but less amazing than some of the hype had led me to believe. It's a good found-family series of minor adventures (in fact, in that sense it reminds me quite a bit of Bookburners) and I'm glad I've read it and will happily read more by Becky Chambers.  But it didn't grab me in the way that e.g. Ancillary Justice or All Systems Red did.

Bewitching Benedict by C.E. Murphy came out last week. It's a historical-romance comedy of manners, which I really enjoyed, especially the grand farcical climax. I am hoping it does well so that the author feels like writing the books to pair off the rest of the eligible bachelors she's introduced here.

Listen to the Moon by Rose Lerner is another in her Lively St Lemeston series, this time focusing on a valet and a housemaid who have lost their jobs due to events in the previous books.  There's a good job for both of them in the local rectory, but the vicar insists he only wants a married couple in post. Luckily they fancy each other like mad; it takes them a bit longer to figure out how to solve some trickier conflicts.

What I'm reading next
Well, now my degree is done, anything I like!  Ahahaha. 

A Taste of Honey by Rose Lerner just came out and is waiting on my kindle, which is what prompted me to read Listen to the Moon first. From my long-neglected physical to-read pile, I've pulled out The Scientist in the Crib by Alison Gopnik and The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. 
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
What I've read: poetry
Threading North and South by Matthew Murrey
Bids for Border Wall Now Being Taken by Ellen Steinbaum


What I've read: short fiction
The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike by Andrea Phillips.
I loved this story so much.  Marketing and brands as a force for good.  As a current business-school student, the branding-and-strategy stuff was absolutely spot on.

Three short stories by Laura Clay, collected in Hooves Above The Waves. I liked them very much, flippantly labelling them the kelpie one, the superhero one and the selkie one:
Loch na Beiste
Accounts Payable
Safe Harbour

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor.  A reread, I still love it

Binti: Home
by Nnedi Okorafor: sequel to the previous, I loved it, even more development of Binti and her world, but argh, cliffhanger! Until JANUARY 2018 for the next novella.  YES I pre-ordered it.


What I've read: long fiction
Humanity for Beginners by Faith Mudge: 40-something lesbian werewolf, thoroughly enjoyed, going to be lazy and point you at [personal profile] calissa 's review which convinced me to get it, rather than try to write my own.

Digger by Ursula Vernon: Wow. I raced through this in a few days, I can imagine it was a very different experience reading it as-published over three years, but overall my reaction is Wow. I can see why it won a Hugo.

Roses in Amber by C.E. Murphy: a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, gripping and enjoyable.  (Different in both feel and plot from Bryony and Roses by Ursula Vernon; I am so glad that both of these exist.)


Acquisitions:
Humanity for Beginners by Faith Mudge
Hooves Above The Waves by Laura Clay
Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2016
No Secrets: A Visual History of Show of Hands


Currently reading:
The Course of Honour by Avoliot (original fiction about space princes in an arranged marriage discovering dastardly deeds; updated twice-weekly at AO3; currently about 2/3 of the way through and entirely Argh, Cliffhangers!)

I got about halfway through the Long List Anthology 2, but as it's all stuff that missed out on being finalists last year's Hugo's, I think I've shelving it in favour of trying to read this year's finalists.  Also I have stalled on Hidden Figures as reading the text annoys me, and remembering to listen to the audiobook apparently eludes me.

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
What I've read: short fiction
Gideon and the Den of Thieves by Joanna Bourne. Last of the five novellas in the historical romance collection Gambled Away.

Other shorts, all from Daily Science Fiction:
The Lion by Mari Ness
Counting Down by Peter M Ball
A Howl In The Night, Unheard by Bridget Norquist
One of a Kind by Maurice Forrester
The View From Here by Darragh Savage

What I'm reading: I'm a chapter or so into Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, the book on which the film I liked so much is based.

Acquisitions:
The Game by Diana Wynne Jones
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Roses in Amber by CE Murphy
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Long List Anthology 2 edited by David Steffen

And from the Samhain closing-down sale, a bunch of authors I've never read but whose books appealed:
Hidden Memories by Robin Allen
The Truth As He Knows It by A.M. Arthur
The World As He Sees It by A.M. Arthur
The Heart As He Hears It by A.M. Arthur
She Whom I Love by Tess Bowery
Give Yourself Away by Barbara Elsborg
From the Ashes by Daisy Harris
Heart of Change by Roxy Harte
Temptation City by Lyric James
Thoroughly Tempted
by Lyric James

And now I really need to do more reading and less buying ...
Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/674139.html with comment count unavailable comments.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I have been too tired and too busy to read much for weeks and weeks, but I did start getting back into the reading habit shortly before going on holiday.

What I've read: short fiction

Lullaby for a Lost World by Aliette de Bodard
A rather dark and potentially depressing story, but beautifully told.

Three stories by Charlotte Ashley who I discovered through the Campbell Award nominees collection organised ahead of Hugo nominations:
Sigrid Under the Mountain
Eleusinian Mysteries
The Will of Parliament

Also, way back when, I got through the rest of the serialised story, The Witch Who Came In From The Cold, and liked it very much but felt the end-of-season was a bit weak. Classic leaving things open for the next season kind of weakness that one gets in TV series.

What I've read: long fiction
  • Dragon’s Luck by Lauren Esker : lovely, charming addition to the Shifter Agents series, not reliant on reading previous books, great review by[personal profile] rachelmanija to which I don't feel I can add
  • The Beta’s Test by Dessa Lux: enjoyable addition to the gay werewolves in California series
  • House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard: I eventually got to the end of this; it was very beautifully written and had a great concept of magic and its sources, but the story and background were utterly depressing
  • Saving the CEO by Jenny Holiday: a fairly standard pleasant straight romance
  • Magic and Manners by C.E. Murphy: a delightful rewrite of Pride and Prejudice with magic; the plot is similar but diverges in appropriate ways given the presence of magic (and fixed up a couple of my biggest annoyances with the source story).  I loved this very much.
  • Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho: very enjoyable Regency magic story with non-white protagonists, matter-of-fact description of the resulting racism and inclusivity issues, plus forceful auntie figures and a lot of humour.  This review by [personal profile] skygiants covers the key points for me.

What I'm reading now
I'm kind of stuck on The Oncoming Storm by Christopher G Nuttall which is an okay-ish MilSF book I picked up for cheap as first in a series. It's very very heteronormative and predictable, but page-turny when I'm actually reading it. I suspect I might be happier leaving it unfinished and rereading something with more lesbians in.


rmc28: Rachel, in running tshirt and leggings, holding phone and smiling into mirror (runner5)
What I've read:
Everybody Loves Charles by Bao Shu
A really plausibly creepy novella taking celebrity culture and life-logging to a logical conclusion

Old Paint by Megan Lindholm
A heartwarming family tale about a self-driving car in the 2030s.

Folding Beijing by Hao Jingfang
The politics is unsubtle but I really loved the imagery of the giant city folding itself up and unfolding a different area for portions of each day.

Find a Way Home by Paul Cornell
Alien first contact with some enterprising twelve-year-olds and a really good teacher.


What I'm reading now: nothing

Books acquired this week:

These Pricy Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan. I've read it before thanks to [personal profile] deepad's Anuja Chauhan reading challenge, but it finally turned up on Abebooks at a price I was willing to pay for a copy of my own. The House That BJ Built, which I definitely read in hospital this summer but seem not to have mentioned even in passing on here, is a story about (different people in) the same family about 30 years later.

V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton. I read it from the library a while ago but wanted my own copy; I have the whole series from A-W in paperback now, and X will be out in paperback in August this year.

Truthseeker by C.E. Murphy. I have fallen behind on my collecting of everything C.E. Murphy writes in the last few years, so I was glad to seize the opportunity to get this.

In addition, Tony bought Uprooted by Naomi Novik which lots of people have been enthusiastic about.


What I'm reading next:
One or more of the new arrivals above. And more short fiction. Uncanny Magazine and Clarkesworld Magazine have both produced helpful lists of the original short fiction each published last year, categorised into length categories as used by the Hugos:
http://uncannymagazine.com/uncanny-magazine-2015-award-eligibility/
http://neil-clarke.com/clarkesworld-magazine-and-award-eligibility/ Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/617380.html with comment count unavailable comments.

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