FF: Transformation of Expectations

Reminder!  I’m doing a signing for my new short story collection Curiosities (and other works, depending on what the store has in stock) this Saturday, November 21st, 4:00 p.m., at Page One Books here in Albuquerque.  I think I’m going to bring homemade chocolate chip cookies…  Hope to see you there!

Usagi Contemplates a Future Without Carrots!

Usagi Contemplates a Future Without Carrots!

For those of you just discovering this feature, 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 bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

Recently Completed:

Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones.  Audiobook.  Darynda has made the choice to morph her lighter “paranormal romance interwoven with detective story” into something darker and more complex.  While some of her readers are probably disappointed, I’m very pleased.

Alchemy by Margaret Mahy.  YA.  Almost surreal at times, as befits the title.  I enjoyed and will be seeking out more of her books.  (For those of you who missed it, Margaret Mahy and her works is the subject of this week’s Thursday Tangent.)

In Progress:

Kitty and the Deadman’s Hand by Carrie Vaughn.  Audiobook.  Werewolf Kitty’s plan to dodge all the wedding-related chaos by eloping to Las Vegas rapidly goes out of control.  I think Kitty’s about to have some preconceived notions badly shaken up.

The Black Knight by  Kai Tsugui.  Manga.  I’ve actually finished the first two volumes and am on volume three.  Certainly more than the romance title the jacket presents it as.


Usagi is taking a look at Hot Earth Dreams by Frank Landis – better known to regular readers of my blog as “heteromeles.”  This books takes a detailed – but often quirky and even humorous – look at the question of climate change, especially if human society can no longer draw on reserves of carbon-based fuel.   It’s a good read, especially if you’re interested in speculative fiction set in the far future.


8 Responses to “FF: Transformation of Expectations”

  1. Heteromeles Says:

    Thanks Jane!

    A future without carrots or guinea pigs–I certainly hope not!

    Anyway, you can find out more about the book at https://heteromeles.wordpress.com/, including a free pdf sample and places to buy it.

    • chadmerkley Says:

      I just ordered a copy. Amazon claims it will be here on Tuesday.

      I’m disappointed that your real name isn’t “Toyon”.

    • Heteromeles Says:

      Well, my parents didn’t know toyon existed when they named me. In any case, it is one of my favorite plants, so there you have it.

      So far, Amazon has been pretty good about delivering on time. Hope you enjoy it!

  2. David Dunham Says:

    I finished Typee by Herman Melville & The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. Also graphic novels Sojourn Vol 1: From The Ashes by Ron Marz, and Rocket Raccoon Vol 1 & 2 by Skottie Young.

    Whew. Think I’ll take a nap.

    • chadmerkley Says:

      I really liked Typee. His other books set in the South Seas (Omoo and Mardi) aren’t as good. Mardi, in particular, has a Poe-like non-resolving ending.

      • David Dunham Says:

        I found the opening chapters difficult to follow, as the narrator shifts from life on board ship to anecdotes about the French in the Marquesas, but once he reached the island, I was hooked. Interesting that Typee was Melville’s most popular work during his lifetime, while Moby Dick had fallen out of print by his death.

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Typee, Chad.

  3. James Says:

    Recently Completed:

    Coils, by Roger Zelazny and Fred Saberhagen – had an interesting take on hacking as done by a psionic, written in 1982.

    In Progress:

    Mutants!, by Gordon R. Dickson (short story collection, focused on variations of humanity)

    True Stories of Heroic Dogs, by George Watson Little (1951 short story collection, often told from the dogs’ points of view)

    Flare, by Roger Zelazny and Thomas T Thomas

    I’d been putting off reading most of Zelazny’s collaborations with other authors, so I’ve decided to bump them up on my reading list. The two collections are old favorites which I haven’t read in a while.

    • janelindskold Says:

      I liked COILS,which anticipated may of the things the cyberpunks would get into… Neither Roger nor Fred were computer geeks, in the sense of being into the actual machines. (Fred always claimed that he invented the Berserkers because machines hated him.) However, both were fascinated by the potential offered by computers — including and maybe even especially — the personal computer.

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