Monthly Archives: June 2014

Reading Now (or Soon), and Psyched For It

On the one hand, telling people what I’m reading or about to be reading is a sure way to start a conversation.  On the other hand, telling the internet what I’m reading when I converse with so many authors is a little worrisome.  If you read this list, and if you’re an author, and if you’re not on this list, please assume it’s because I didn’t remember to list that amazing book you’ve written?  (Always attribute to stupidity before attributing to intention …)

That said, here’s what I’m reading or about to read:

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson.  Someone I’ve met through Readercon, Alaya’s always seemed very nice in person.  Her book is what I’m actively reading *right this second*.  It’s really, really good so far.  This book is nominated for the new YA Award at Detcon, and I’m a sucker for YA.  Aside from that, though, it’s a novel about future Brazil and technology and a society ruled by centuries-old women.  What’s not to love?

The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson.  Tove Jansson is a famous Finn for her Moomin Family characters, and I love those adventures too, but Jansson apparently wrote several adult novels.  This one was only translated into English this past year, so I decided to grab a copy (and bought several extras to give away at events for Helsinki in 2017).

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor.  This book is officially not yet available in the US, but it’s already out in the UK, so I was determined to get my copy.  Nigeria and alien encounters — how could I miss this?  I *loved* Who Fears Death (despite the book alternatively scaring the shit out of me and making me cry).  I had the privilege to listen to Nnedi read from that novel when she won the Carl Brandon Award for it in 2010 or 2011.  Basically, after that, I had to read everything obtainable written by Nnedi.

Systems Fail by Hiromi Goto and N.K. Jemisin.  These two amazing women were the guests of honor at Wiscon 38 this spring, and they both had amazing guest of honor speeches.  If you haven’t read them yet, do so now:  Nora Jemisin’s speech here and Hiromi Goto’s speech here.  You can now understand why a book of fiction, essays, and interviews by these two women is high on my list of things to be read.

My Real Children by Jo Walton.  I love imagining the road not taken.  A book about two roads possible, colliding into one reality?  I love this concept.  Can’t wait to read this book.

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine.  I am embarrassed to admit that the only words of Valentine’s that I’ve read are her blog and twitter posts.  I am very much looking forward to this book, a story of twelve sisters, dancing, and fairy tales.

Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal.  I’ve been tearing through this series like there’s no tomorrow.  And perhaps there isn’t a tomorrow!  What will happen next to the “glamorous” Vincents?  What new scientific/magical discovery will save the day?  These books are addictive.  Fourth book in the series.  I think I read the first three over the course of four days.

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord.  Karen was the Guest of Honor at Acon 7  this spring, and I spent several amazing hours conversing with her about Worldcon, science fiction, the universe, and everything.  I am psyched to read her book, and hope it’ll be even half as great as talking with her in person was.  The reading she did at Acon was amazing.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.  I know Scott through Readercon and Worldcon, but I’ve been hearing about his books forever.  It’s time to take the plunge!  I look forward to this adventure, and hope Scott isn’t reading this, because then he’ll know that I haven’t yet read his books.  I look forward to having an informed opinion by the time I see him next!

Indexing by Seanan McGuire.  I *think* I’ve read everything else that Seanan has written.  Maybe.  She’s so damn prolific!  It’s hard to be sure if I’ve caught it all.  This book is a new urban fantasy which turns fairy tales into reality.  Totally my cup of tea.  🙂

Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond, edited by Bill Campbell and Edward Austin Hall.  I met Bill Campbell while at Wiscon 38, and we got to talking about Afrofuturism.  I actually don’t know the second thing about Afrofuturism, it turns out, and since my friend Pablo is running the Afrofuturism track at Detcon, it behooves me to read this book very quickly.  So I can hopefully not be an idiot in the future.

The Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke.  I met Glenda while at Worldcon in Australia (I know! I got to go! It was awesome!).  She’s an Aussie author whose Watergiver series definitely hooked me that summer.  I’m psyched she has a book out in 2014, and had to obtain it as soon as I heard.

Ghost Train to New Orleans by Mur Lafferty.  Travel guides for the undead, and New Orleans.  I’m totally there.

Salsa Nocturna Stories by Daniel Jose Older.  I’ve had the privilege of listening to Daniel read stories at Readercon and at a party for Helsinki at Wiscon.  They are creepy, and honest, and completely engrossing.  I’m really looking forward to reading the printed work, although I may have to read it aloud to myself, now.  😉

Three Parts Dead and Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone.  He writes interesting things online (his blog is a good read).  He attended Vericon this year and seemed cool.  Plus I offered to have tea with him on Twitter.  That deal probably only works after I’ve read his books.  Luckily for me, his books are about killing gods.  Sounds awesome to me!

Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard.  Here’s another person whose words I love online (and I talk with her on Twitter; she’s cool!).  I just have somehow not yet read her work in print.  This is going to change, and soon.  I obtained this book last week, and I am psyched to read about Aliette’s Aztec murder mysteries and gods walking the streets.  I just hope she’ll forgive me for not reading it before now!

New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear.  This book is from 2008, so I’m almost certainly the last person to be reading it, but I confess my sins and my intention to repent.  Well, inasmuch as reading this book could be considered at all the opposite of sin.  😉

Great People Decisions by Claudio Fernandez Araoz.  I bought this book for professional reasons, and put it aside for a while, but find that the more I work with volunteer teams, the more I’m thinking about what I read in it.  So I need to actually finish the book.  Nonfiction isn’t usually my cup of tea, but this is important stuff.

 

What else is in my library?  You can always look at my books on Librarything.com, although maybe that’s only accessible if you log in.  Anyway, I have updated the fiction section (tagged “entertainment room” for locating purposes) pretty recently.  The children’s lit section has a few more piles to be added, and the reference and nonfiction books are not really up-to-date at all.  Baby steps, I guess.

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Published in Another Fanzine!

The latest issue of Procrastinations is now available on John Coxon’s website, featuring articles from Claire Brialey, Meg Frank, Hannah Peaden, and ME, with cover artwork by Espana Sheriff.  Get it whilst it’s hot!

Cover to the Procrastinations 13 'Zine

Cover to the Procrastinations 13 ‘Zine

The theme of the ‘zine is burnout, particularly of staff on conventions.  I chose to write my article on avoiding burnout and how working on the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid helps keep me energized on fannish projects.  It’s definitely true that I keep busy, but choosing projects that are fun for my free time helps keep me on track for things that simply need to get done but I’m burnt out on.  So I use Helsinki as a cookie to savor after I’ve gotten some progress on a less invigorating project.

Check out the zine.  It also has fantastic art contributions from Julie Dillon (Hugo-nominated artist), Petri Hiltunen (Finnish artist), and Vesa Lehtimäki (Finnish artist)!  🙂

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