forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
"That Lingering Sweetness"
by Tony Pi
I knew this story was off to a good start when it opened with a tea house. I enjoyed this take on Chinese Zodiac animals. Apparently this story is just the most recent in a series so I'm going to have to go back an read the rest.

"Waiting on a Bright Moon' by JY Yang (content note: queer characters with queer tragedy in their pasts)This such an interesting world! There is magic and space travel. The main character is an ansible who uses magic to connect her planet with the home planet. I like how this story addresses the complex and messy nature of revolution. Yang has two novellas due out latter this year which I believe are also set in this same world. I'm looking forward to them.

"Packing" by T. Kingfisher This story begins "Today is not the day I wanted to do this, but we aren’t always given choices. It’s time to pack for the new seasons." It made me cry. If you are an environmentalist it might make you cry too.

I'm about to go on a trip so I've loaded my ereader up with a fair number of novellas including Bujold's latest, and Rose Lemberg's most recent Birdverse offering. So I will hopefully have some novella recs to share when I return.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin blowing up a large blue ballon (ballon)
So the World Science Fiction convention is currently going on in Helsinki. I couldn't be there but am following events from afar.

You may remember that I was part of the YA award committee to help create a YA award voted on and given out with the Hugos. Well I'm pleased to the report that the award was ratified and tentatively named The Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book. The award will be given for the 1st time next year at San Jose. I plan to be there in the audience to see it.

In other great news my friends at Lady Business where awarded the Hugo for best fanzine! They've put together an excellent blog that frequently makes me think as well as helping keep my to-read list nice and long. I'm so pleased and proud. Keep up the great work!
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin and Pooh floating in a upturned  umbrella , with the word Ahoy in the corner (The Brain of Pooh)
I was invited to write a Quarterly short fiction column for Lady Business. The first one is now up on the blog!
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
So I've read bunch of short fiction recently including some things I would like to recommend.

"Beauty, Glory, Thrift" by Alison Tam The 1st of Book Smugglers new short fiction season "Gods and Monsters" Don't want to say too much about this because I enjoyed to slow reveal.

"Children of Thorns, Children of Water"by Aliette de Bodard Short story set in the Dominion of the Fallen world. Kind of dark but also features baking.

"Whatever Knight Comes" by Ryan Row Interesting take on fairy tale tropes.
forestofglory: Glasses and books (books)
2017 is halfway done. So I thought I'd check in with my reading goals and see how that was going. I don’t set a yearly goal for how many books to read in a year because I don’t enjoy that. But this year I did set two other goals, so I thought I’d do a midyear check in.

Scholarly books
Goal for 2017:12
Books Read:
1. Queer: A Graphic History
2.The Most Defiant Devil: William Temple Hornaday and His Controversial Crusade to Save American Wildlife by Gregory J. Dehler
3.Camembert: A National Myth by Pierre Boisard
4.S.P.Q.R: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
5.Larding the Lean Earth: Soil and Society in Nineteenth-Century America by Steven Stoll
6.Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
7.Seeking Refuge: Birds and Landscapes of the Pacific Flyway by Robert M. Wilson
8. Ten Restaurants That Changed America by Paul Freedman
Thoughts: Originally this goal was to read 10 academic monographs but I had some books that I wanted to read that didn’t qualify so I modified the goal. Anyway this goal is going great! I’m ahead. I think I’ll take a break from reading scholarly books for a bit and read some memoirs.

Books by new to me non-white authors
Goal: 24
Books read:
1. Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris by Ann Mah
2.Runtime by S.B. Divya
3. Everfair by Nisi Shawl
4.The Accidental Alchemistby Gigi Pandian
5. Honey and Clover, Vol. 1 by Chica Umino
6. Little White Duck : A Childhood in China by Na Liu
7. Balm by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
8. Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening
9. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
10. Black Panther #1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates
11.Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older
12. The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
Thoughts:
I’m on target with this goal too! Though I feel guilty that such high percentage of these are comics or novellas. The idea behind this goal was that I’d find new to me authors and want to read all their books. So far that hasn’t worked out – I’ve either not wanted to read more or the authors haven’t had much back list. Also I read a lot of these for Hugo consideration either things I was considering nominating, or finalist I read to decide where to rank.

On the other hand I’ve read 17 books by non-white authors so for this year which more than in all of 2016. I’m currently at 22% of book read this year are by non-white authors.

Did you set yourself reading goals for 2017? If so how is that going?
forestofglory: picture of califorina poppies (poppies)
Today I found a really cool graphic essay about restoration and wilderness its called Knowing Prairies.

As you might remember I've studied ecology and environmental history and am pretty interested in how people think about wilderness. I thought this comic was a great introduction to the topic. It is not long only about five pages so check it out if that interests you.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
Yesterday a post I co-wrote went up on Lady Business! Its about how to sample the Vorkosigan Saga if you are trying to get feel for the Hugos. Hope you enjoy.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
"Sun, Moon, Dust" by Ursula Vernon I was never going to not love a story who's main character thinks that feeding people is highest possible calling. Anyways this quite story with lots potato growing and a magic sword.

Rain Ship

Apr. 9th, 2017 11:13 am
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I recently read and enjoyed Rain Ship by Chi Hui, translated by Andy Dudak. This is part of Clarkeworlds Chinese SF in translation project. I really liked the way the author used a bunch of different worldbuilding techniques all at once. There is incluing, and also footnotes with info dumps. Which sounds like it wouldn't work, but did for me. I have few quibbles about evolutionary biology but the rest of the story drew me in enough that it wasn't a big deal. (Content note: infanticide, harm to older children.)
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
For those of you who weren't Hugo nominators last year or where too shy to ask the author for a reading copy you can now buy The Citadel of Weeping Pearls by Aliette de Bodard as stand alone novella. More info at the author's website.

This was one of my favorite Novellas of 2015. I wrote: "Set in De Bodard’s Xuya universe this story features a variety of complex characters trying to understand the disappearance of the Citadel of Weeping Pearls 30 years ago. I love de Bodard’s worldbuilding, especially the food details. I also enjoyed seeing the characters through eachother’s eyes. (This is very loosely a sequel to On a Red Station, Drifting but could be read on its own and doesn’t really spoil anything.)"

Also I recently read "FINITY" by Elaine Atwell and enjoyed it. It's bittersweet story set on colony space ship, and musing on the human condition. (The story is published by Giganotosaurus so pretty long.)
forestofglory: Glasses and books (books)
"Extracurricular Activities" by Yoon Ha Lee A fun twisty story with spies and secret missions. It's set in the same world as Ninefox Gambit, but stands alone. I just love how the author sketches characters and societies with a few key details.

"And In Our Daughters, We Find a Voice" by Cassandra Khaw creepy dark little mermaid re-telling (content note: a human character with ambiguous gender traits is referred to as "it")
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I've decide to modify my non-fiction reading goal for 2017. My original goal was to read 10 academic monographs in 2017. However I was struggling to define academic monograph and also had some books I didn't think counted that I wanted to read on my shelf. So after talking it over with some friends I've decided to change the goal to 12 scholarly books, where scholarly is defined as written by a scholar not a journalist.* I upped the number of books to 12 (or one a month) since I'll be including some less dense books.

Having made this decision I've started reading Mary Beard's SPQR, which has been really interesting so far. The introduction promised some discussion of food and trade which I'm really looking forward to.

*Who is a scholar is not clear cut. For example I have book about planning written by practicing planner is he a scholar? I'm going to say yes for proposes of this book challenge. Because he is an expert in the field and not a journalist. Anyways I think "who is a scholar?" is an easier question to answer than "what is an academic monograph"
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
Today I'm over at Earl Grey Editing with an update on YA award process and little bit about my experience with WSFS.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
My post about my favorite shorts of 2016 is up at Lady Business today. Please check it out, especially if you are nominating for awards this year.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I've finally started reading some 2017 short fiction (it only took an month an a half). I quite enjoyed "Microbiota and the Masses: A Love Story" by S.B. Divya Its a sweet story that features microbiology and ecological remediation. Anyways its nice to feel a bit less rushed about my short fiction reading.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I'm experimenting with shorter but hopefully more frequent rec posts instead of the monthly round ups. We'll see how it goes.

Anyways I got a copy of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales ed. Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe out for the library and thought I should mention it here. Now I have been picking a choosing what to read in this, but everything has been really good. I especially liked "seasons of glass and Iron" by Amal El-Mohtar in which princess form two fairy tales rescue each other. But I also like the mix of things familiar fairy tales and unfamiliar, western and non-western, all kind of settings. Plus the stories have pretty capital letters and interesting author notes. Definitely check it out if you like fairy tales at all.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
So Hugo nomination season is open. I've been ordering holds from the library and even bought a couple of books so I can read lots of 2016 work before nominations close in March. Anyways during this process I've also decided to not read a couple of things that are probably really good and well done, but aren't what I want to be reading.

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (Novella) This a retelling of a Lovecraft story that a bunch of my friends loved. I'm not reading it because I don't like Lovecraft, and I find retelling generally lose a lot if you are not familiar with the original.

Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw (Novella) I've really enjoyed a bunch of Khaw's short fiction, but this one is described as dark, lovecraftan and noir and none of those things are for me.

The Obelisk Gate by by N.K. Jemisin (Novel) This the second book in Jemisin's new trilogy, and I've had a copy of the 1st book since it came out. However I've been told that there is some really awful child injury in that book, and I can't bring myself to read it, so I won't be reading the second either.

Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction by André M. Carrington (best related work) This sounds awesome! It's academic history/criticism about race and science fiction. But I want to finish watching DS9 before I read this and I've been watching it pretty slowly and doubt I will finish before March.

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley (best related work)I really admire Kameron Hurley, but every time I read one of her pep talks I feel bad about myself for not working hard enough. I'm really good at beating myself up without any extra help so I'm going to skip this book, and try to work on self compassion instead.

Anyways if you are not me these might be great books that you will love. Consider checking them out.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
So this morning when I checked my email I found my Hugo login (they aren't using PINs this year). It is exciting! But also there is still a lot I want to read. Who else is nominating this year? If you get a supporting membership to Worldcon 75 in Helsinki by the end of the month you can join the nomination fun too. (Nomination is totally my favorite part of the Hugos.)
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
Goodreads tells me I read 105 books in 2016. This imperfect especially as I was a bit inconstant about how I counted manga a graphic novels. I also seem to have counted one book I abandoned in disgust. Anyways this many fewer books than I've read in any other year where I have full goodreads count. I'm going to blame this on baby N as this was my 1st full year being a parent. I also think that as N has gotten older I've been finding more time to read so I expect this number to be higher next year.

Fiction: 85
Non fiction: 18

Of the non-fiction 11 where academic monographs, in keeping with my goal of reading 10 of those (Though one I skimmed.) I feel pretty good about having achieved that goal though I still miss my grad history seminars and having discussions about the history I've been reading.

13 Novellas
22 comics/graphic novels/manga

I still count these even if they are shorter to read then full novels.

I'm not currently keeping track of the gender of authors because I'm happy with the stasis quo here. (Ie I read lots and lots of books by women.) I'm think thinking of keeping track of books by queer/trans authors going forward though. I could use some more data on this to see if it something I should address.

I read 14 books by non-white authors or 16% which is below my goal of 20%

Oldest book: Anne of Green Gables
Youngest book: Hurricane Heels by Isabel Yap

Highlights:
The Citadel of Weeping Pearls by Aliette de Bodard
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1
In the Labyrinth of Drakes by by Marie Brennan
Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott
The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century by D. Graham Burnett

Next year I want to read 10 more academic books and also read 24 books by new to me not white authors. These need to be novella or longer, but I'll also count graphic novels and manga. I'm going to count authors I've read one or two short fiction pieces by as new, but not authors where I've read a lot of their short fiction.

I've been saying for few years that I want to read more books by POC but I haven't been doing that. So to push myself I'm going to try reading a bunch of new authors. I went with 24 because that is 2 a month an seemed doable.

On a vaguely related note I'm working on finishing up my 2015 short fiction reading. Is there anything I should be sure not to miss?
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah everyone!

I have a big family gathering planned for this evening with with my family and Rs family. We are going to light a menorah, eat latkes, and exchange Christmas presents. It should be nice.

Yesterday I went gorcery shopping to get some things for tonight and it was a zoo. The store was so full of people standing in line that it was hard to shop.

Wendsday night I had a small solistice gathering with my family and got to exchange gifts with my sister and niece.

Hope the holidays are treating all of you well.

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