FF: Short List!

Remember!  Bubonicon starts this evening.  I’m seriously considering reading some of my earliest short stories as a way of celebrating the impending release of Curiosities, my forthcoming short story collection.  Getting the book ready has taken a lot of my reading time this week, but I did still manage.

Sirenity Contemplates the Blind Detective

Sirenity Contemplates the Blind Detective

For those of you new to this post…  The Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book length collection) or magazine articles.

The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a few opinions tossed in.

Recently Completed:

Max Carrados mysteries by Ernest Bramah.  Max is blind, although almost supernatural in his “sightedness.”  Some of the stories are a bit contrived but I found Max an appealing character.  Don’t read unless you like “old-fashioned” mysteries where most of the action occurs off-stage.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger.  Tommy, a sixth grader, tries to figure out the secret of Origami Yoda.  Written journal style, which I am a sucker for when it’s done well…  I decided to try this because I may meet Mr. Angleberger next week since we’re both guests of the National Book Festival.

In Progress:

Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane.  Audiobook.  Having liked some of her YA/middle grade fantasies, I decided to try this.


Lots of shorter stuff and work-related stuff and, as mentioned above, going over (and over) proofs of Curiosities as we tinkering with flourishes.


8 Responses to “FF: Short List!”

  1. Peter Says:

    Omnitopia is a solid read, but it’s obviously intended as the first volume of a series, the rest of which has never seen the light of day (the sequel was originally announced for 2011, but no sign of it). Caveat Lector.

  2. chadmerkley Says:

    I’d like to comment on a couple of recent releases I read this week:
    First, The End of All Things by John Scalzi. It’s a compilation of several novellas/short stories set in the “Old Man’s War” universe. Fun stories, fun ideas, but using the shorter forms (rather than a traditional novel) to resolve the major conflicts of this setting was less than satisfying to me. Scalzi also included an earlier partial draft of one of the novellas at the end of the book. It was interesting to see some of the changes and decisions he made.

    I also read The Sword of the South by David Weber. I enjoyed it. It’s a little different than a lot of his recent books in that the timeline is almost continuous, rather than jumping over long stretches of time. The focus stayed much tighter on single character, as well. I thought it made for a stronger book. There are elements from previous books in the series that aren’t addressed, and lots of new elements are introduced. However, since the author is in the middle of writing at least three major series simultaneously and publishing a couple good books a year, I can’t complain about a few loose threads. 🙂

    On my list to read next are The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu and Deathless by Catherynne Valente.

    • Louis Robinson Says:

      From what I’ve heard, not all those threads are loose. Himself hasn’t shown us the other ends yet, but they are there.

      • chadmerkley Says:

        I wanted to know more about Brandark, and why he didn’t swear to Himself. I was hoping for something big and exciting about that.

  3. janelindskold Says:

    Thanks for both the warning and the comments on books. I haven’t yet read The Sword of the South. Appreciate the comment.

    I’ll be interested in what Chad thinks of his up-coming reads, as they are on my “maybe” list.

    • chadmerkley Says:

      I got about halfway through Deathless and realized I wasn’t enjoying myself. I was struggling to relate to the characters and the setting. So I didn’t finish it.

      The Three-Body Problem was enjoyable. The basic plot is not particularly original, but the way events and attitudes from recent Chinese history are incorporated is very interesting. It’s worth reading just to see what’s going on in the non-English speaking SFF world. I have the sequel on hold at the library. It was translated by a different person, so it will be interesting to see what kind of stylistic differences there are. I have huge respect for anyone who manages to translate a complex text and still come up with something engaging and readable, especially in light of my recent efforts to teach myself Spanish.

  4. Paul Dellinger Says:

    Currently reading “The Western: From the Silents to the Seventies” (quite inclusive and packed with information), “Insatiable Appetites” (a potboiler but readibly fun), “Ike’s Bluff” (fascinating Cold War history), “PIlgrim at Tinker Creek” (on Kindle), and “Sackett” (on cassette when I’m working in the basement on various projects). Wonder when I’ll finish any of them?

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