Archive for March, 2018

FF: Racing to the Finish

March 30, 2018

Persephone and Tey

I finished my re-through of Wolf’s Blood this week.  Then I realized with a shock that Nebula Award voting closes in just a few days and I hadn’t finished my homework.  So I’ve been racing along.  No.  I won’t tell you what I vote for, because my reasons for voting for something can vary widely.  Sometimes it’s voting for the least “meh” in a category.  Other times, I’m torn between a couple options that each have value.

This is one reason I really, really miss the old system of “ranked” votes.

Why you’re not seeing Nebula nominees on my list this week is because I don’t want to admit what I read and what bored me to tears.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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 magazines.

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.

I’d love to hear what you’re reading!

Recently Completed:

The Sackett Brand by Louis L’Amour.  I have an old fondness for this one.  Reread.

Knight-Napped (Dragonbreath 10) by Ursula Vernon.

Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey. (Re-read.)  Breaks every rule of mystery writing and creates a brilliant novel.  I pulled this out to read it because a friend mentioned he was reading Tey and I wanted her peculiar, individualistic prose.

In Progress:

Tempest and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce.  Audiobook.

Also:

Not much “also” because, as noted above,  I’m racing to catch up on the Nebula ballot so I can vote before voting closes!

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TT: Goodbye For Now…

March 29, 2018

Hands Around the World

ALAN: I just checked, and our first Thursday Tangent was published on 1st June 2011. So we’ve been writing them for almost seven years. And in all that time, we haven’t missed a single week. I think we deserve to be very proud of how chatty we’ve been. If my arm was long enough, I’d reach across the world and give you a congratulatory pat on the back. And if your arm was as long as mine, I’m sure you’d do the same for me.

JANE: You are a properly restrained Yorkshireman, no matter how long you’ve been in New Zealand, and never mind how long you’ve been with your exuberant Australian wife.  If you think I’d settle for a pat on the back, you’d be wrong.  I’d give you a hug so tight you might need to worry about your ribs.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve often been asked how we got started writing the Tangents.  It’s pretty simple.  I’d write one of my Wednesday Wanderings posts, then Alan would say something in the Comments.  I’d answer, and sometimes we’d go back and forth right there.  Other times, the discussion went sideways, and we’d continue it via e-mail.  I had so much fun that eventually I asked Alan if he wanted to take them public and so we did.

ALAN: When you suggested that we start writing the Tangents on a formal basis, I found the thought very scary. But it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done. Even when the discussion veered off into areas that I knew little or nothing about, the research I had to do to bring myself up to speed was fascinating and it taught me a lot.

JANE: I agree that the Tangents have been a heck of a lot of fun.  I’ve learned a lot, too.  The time we compared healthcare systems was incredibly enlightening.  I also really enjoyed our long journey through every British king named Henry – with quite a few who weren’t sandwiched between.

Do you have any particular favorites?

ALAN: Yes. The ones where you explained the jargon and the vagaries of the American educational system that had puzzled me so much when I came across references to it in novels were really quite enlightening.

JANE: I’ll always be happy to translate American language and customs for you!

A reminder to our readers…  Alan has done a free e-book that contains all of the Thursday Tangents.  You can download it here It makes great short reading for when you’re stuck waiting on line or in a waiting room or whatever.

ALAN: Actually, the e-book contains only a sample of the Thursday Tangents. We’ve written more than 350 of them and, even in these digital days, that’s an awful lot of information to put in a single book.

But there’s an index and links to all of the Tangents here.

JANE: Thanks for the correction!  350?  Wow!  I had no idea we’d been so noisy.

As I said above, Alan and I enjoy chatting.  If we come up with another topic or so, I’ll post them as a special feature to my blogsite.  I’ll let you know in advance when one is coming, but you can always check the blogsites Tangent category from time to time to see if new posts have shown up on the site.

ALAN: Let me conclude this chat with something else that is probably new to you.

There’s a British satirical magazine called Private Eye which has a poet in residence whose “name” is E. J. Thrib (17½). Whenever a famous person dies, E. J. Thrib (17½) writes a poem which is always titled In Memoriam and whose first line is always:

So. Farewell then…

Thrib usually mentions something appropriate about the deceased and often compares some notable characteristic of the deceased with his friend Keith (or sometimes with Keith’s mum). Thrib’s poems generally have no rhyme, no rhythm, little reason and often they make very little sense. Nevertheless, E. J. Thrib (17½)’s opening line has become world famous in the UK and is very much a part of Britain’s culture.

JANE: I’ve never heard of that.  Are you going write us a verse?  Please do!

ALAN: Not me – but perhaps E. J. Thrib (17½) can oblige. I’ll ask him.

E.J. THRIB (17½):

So. Farewell then Thursday Tangents.
Sines and portents fill the page and each writer
Cosines their name on the dotted line at the end.
But only when the angle is right.
What will Keith’s mum read now
On bleak Friday mornings when
The coffee is cold and the breakfast toast
Lacks marmalade to spread?

JANE: Damnit!  You’ve made me tear up, which is ridiculous.  Therefore, I refuse to say “farewell” instead I’ll say, “until next time”…

Collaborating With Myself

March 28, 2018

Worlds I’ve Made My Own

As those of you who read my Friday Fragments know, over the last few months, I’ve been re-reading the entire Firekeeper saga.  One reason is because I’m grooming the books for a new release as high quality e-books, each of which will include an original, never before published essay about some aspect of the series.

The other reason I’m doing this re-read is that I’m re-familiarizing myself with Firekeeper and her world.  The first book in the series, Through Wolf’s Eyes, was published in 2001.  It was written about two years before.  The sixth (and at that point final) novel in the series, Wolf’s Blood, was published in 2007 and, again, was completed close to a year before.

Now that I’m writing Wolf’s Search, I want to make certain I have all the little details of the series fresh in my mind.  Of course I remember the major elements, but these books take place in a rich and multi-faceted world, full of complex cultures and even more complicated people.  I have a good memory, but it’s not perfect.  Then, too, I’ve thought a lot about those characters and what might have happened to them in the years since I turned in Wolf’s Blood.  I needed to separate out my speculations from what actually made it onto the page.

As I was working my way through Wolf’s Blood last week, scribbling down small notes here and there whenever I came upon an interesting tidbit, I realized that the process was very similar to what I do before writing a story set in another writer’s universe.

I’ve done several of these.  Probably the best known of my collaborations are those I’ve done with my buddy David Weber, set in his Honorverse.  I’ve written two novels with him (Fire Season and Treecat Wars), as well as contributing  three novellas and a yet unpublished short story to Honorverse anthologies.  I’ve written a Berserker short story with Fred Saberhagen.  Stories set in another author’s universe include a couple of stories for S.M. Stirling (one “Draka”; one “Emberverse”), a story for the Golden Reflections anthology (set in the universe of Fred Saberhagens’s Mask of the Sun), a short story “Child of the Night” in a Jack Williamson tribute anthology, and  a story set in Larry Niven’s “Man-Kzin War” series.

And, of course, there are Donnerjack and Lord Demon, the two novels I completed posthumously for my much beloved Roger Zelazny.

For each of these pieces, no matter how long or how short, I immersed myself in the original writer’s prose and, if appropriate, specific universe.  When I do this, I’m not just looking for information, I’m looking for elements of style, tone, and pacing.  I want the reader to feel they’re stepping into that particular universe, not a pale imitation.  Sure, my take will be a bit different from the original author’s, but I want this to be the difference between where in the room you’re standing, not a completely different house.

This week I realized that, as I am writing Wolf’s Search, I’m collaborating with my past self – the Jane Lindskold who lived between 1999 and 2007, a woman who during that time spent at least part of that year immersed in the world of Firekeeper and her associates.  Collaborating with myself is sort of neat.  It’s also more than a little weird.

My modern self definitely wants to bring what I’ve learned in the years since 2007 to Wolf’s Search.  After all, I’ve written eight or nine other novels, as well as many short stories.  If I didn’t learn anything in doing that, then I’ve just been spinning my wheels, and I’m not that sort of person.  At the same time, the Firekeeper Saga has its own voice, and I want that voice to be present and familiar, even though this is going to be a new story.

Now that I’ve finished my re-read, I’ll be writing more quickly.  Wolf’s Search is already becoming a deeper, more complex story than I had originally anticipated.  But that is something to talk about later…

FF: Reading the Wild West

March 23, 2018

Kel: A Cat of the Wild West

I’m glad to hear that folks enjoy this list of what I’ve been reading.  This week’s reading took an unusual turn when I felt a sudden craving for Westerns.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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 magazines.

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.

I’d love to hear what you’re reading!

Recently Completed:

Mustang Man by Louis L’amour.  Audiobook.  I have a sneaking fondness for Nolan, a would-be bad boy Sackett.  Reread.

The Case of the Toxic Mutants (Dragonbreath 9) by Ursula Vernon.  Mutants have never been so cute.

The Man From The Broken Hills by Louis L’amour.  More red herrings in this one than in a fish market. Reread.

In Progress:

The Sackett Brand by Louis L’Amour.  I have an old fondness for this one.  Reread.

Knight-Napped (Dragonbreath 10) by Ursula Vernon.

Tempest and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce.  Audiobook.  Just started.

Also:

Wolf’s Blood by Jane Lindskold.  About three-quarters done.

And some back issues of magazines, because I’m so far behind!

TT: The Magazine of Your Dreams

March 22, 2018

The Magic Box

JANE: Over the last several weeks, Alan, we’ve been discussing your encounters with various magazines.  Even though you met these through the “magic box,” you rapidly found those you preferred.

These days, as people feel they have less and less time to read,  seems like a perfect time for magazines to once again achieve dominance with the reading public.

So, I’d like to ask you – and our readers – to tell me what you’d be looking for in a magazine.

ALAN: That’s a hard question for me to answer directly. My encounters with SF magazines were so intermittent and so haphazard that I never really developed the habit of reading them. I was always pleased when I stumbled across one, of course, and I quickly learned which ones I liked. It did become clear to me that each magazine reflected the interests of its editor and, of course, the ones I liked had editors whose tastes matched my own.

When I started taking books out of the library, and buying books of my own, I found a lot of short story collections and anthologies on the shelves. It seemed to me then (and it still seems to me now) that an anthology and a magazine are really very similar things – each has an editor and each reflects the personal tastes of the editor. So it wasn’t long before I consciously started looking for anthologies that had been put together by people whose tastes I trusted.

JANE: That makes sense!  So, who were the first editors you sought out?

ALAN: Back in the day, I would deliberately seek out anthologies edited by Judith Merril, and by Terry Carr. There was an excellent anthology series called Full Spectrum that was edited by Lou Aronica and Shawna McCarthy. And of course there was Harlan Ellison’s ground-breaking Dangerous Visions.

These days I look for anthologies edited by Gardner Dozois.  (I’ll buy anything edited by him sight unseen.) I’m also rather fond of Ellen Datlow and Paula Guran as well. And Jonathan Strahan has recently attracted my attention…

JANE: Whoa!  Back up a moment there…  At least three of those editors were also associated with magazines.  Gardner Dozois edited Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine from 1984-2004.  Ellen Datlow edited Omni from 1981-1998.

Did you ever feel tempted to subscribe to either of these magazines because of your respect for their editors?  After all, magazines would come out more frequently than anthologies.

ALAN: I’ve never subscribed to a magazine – in the days of often unreliable snail mail and vast distances across the world, it always seemed a bit too financially risky.

I vaguely knew that Gardner Dozois had been an editor of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a copy of it. Maybe I have, but if I did, it made no impression on me.

JANE: That’s fascinating.  During Dozois’s decades at the helm of Asimov’s, I’d guess that most American SF/F fans knew him for that first, for his anthology editing second.  Of course, I’m a writer, so my point of view may be skewed.

How about Omni?

ALAN: I did read a few copies of Omni but I never liked it much – the fiction was generally first class of course (as witness the large number of award-winning stories the magazine published) but the stories were spread far too thinly and were quite overwhelmed by far too many dumbed-down articles about science and cranky parapsychological nonsense. I found the mixture quite unpalatable.

JANE: What about Jonathan Strahan?  He co-founded and co-edited Eidolon: The Journal of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy between 1990 and 1999.  That’s closer to home.

ALAN: Much closer to home – Robin has known Johnathan forever. (Quote: “He’s a lovely person”). They both belonged to the same SF crowd in Perth, Western Australia. I’m pretty sure that she has many copies of Eidolon in a box somewhere.  Jonathan and Eidolon also spawned a small publishing company called Eidolon Press. One of the books it published was Howard Waldrop’s Going Home Again (1997), and an autographed copy of that sits very proudly on our bookshelves.

Consequently it’s a rule – I’m required to like Jonathan Strahan and, by extension, anything he produces. Fortunately I do, so it’s a very easy rule to obey.

JANE: Lucky for you!  Robin might get very upset with you otherwise.

ALAN: So I think what I’m saying is that, whether we are talking about magazines or about anthologies, the thing that I look for every time is that rather nebulous thing called the taste of the editor. I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.

And when I find an editor whose tastes overlap with mine I will deliberately continue to look for and buy their books.

JANE:  That makes perfect sense.

Once again I invite our readers to tell us what they’d like to see in a magazine.   Do you like when stories are serialized between issues?   Repeating characters or settings?  Stories set in a writer’s “known” universe?  Non-fiction?  Review columns?  How important are illustrations?  Would you consider graphic storytelling – such as a one panel comic or an on-going series – to be a bonus?

In the first installment of this discussion, one of how readers talked about how, for him, the magazines gave him a sense of belonging to a community of shared ideals.  To quote his last closing question: “Does anyone think a magazine can also foster a sense of community, hope, and possibilities?”

Do any of the magazines currently publishing have a strong, dynamic identity that makes you want to recommend them?  Absolutely include those that primarily publish in electronic form.  Who knows?  Electrons just may be the new pulp!

Close Up and Personal

March 21, 2018

Sparrow a Glance

I want to thank all of you who took time to comment in response to my Wandering last week.

If you weren’t around, basically, I asked for feedback both as to what you might like to see in the Wednesday Wanderings, and whether I should continue doing the Friday Fragments.  I also asked about how important the photos were to you.

Based on the enthusiastic response to the Friday Fragments, I shall continue doing them.   Although many of you expressed how much you liked when I specifically commented about a book, I don’t plan to increase the frequency of such comments.  Writing a review column is a serious job, one I’m not interested in taking on.  To do a good job writing reviews, one needs to offer more than one’s opinion.  If you’re interested in a good review column, I suggest Alan Robson’s once a month “wot i red on my hols.”

In the Friday Fragments, I’ll make sure to remind you that I’d be happy to hear what you’re reading.  Indeed, I am!  I might not get to a specific book for a while, but I do keep a list of books that seem interesting.

I was happy to learn how many of you look forward to having the Wednesday Wanderings appear in your mail box or on some other aspect of your social media as a regular part of your weekly reading.  Therefore, I’ll keep writing them.

However, I have one request.  A short comment, even a couple of words, would help keep up my morale.  I’m not asking you to comment every week or even every couple of weeks – although I deeply appreciate how people like James, FuturePastSite, Louis, Dawn, and King Ben’s Grandmother find something to say.

It’s hard “talking” into a void.  I mean, I’ve taught college freshman English Composition at 8:00 a.m.  Writing the Wednesday Wanderings is tougher because I can’t even see if people are awake!  That’s what I meant when I said I’d like to have a “conversation.”  My schedule doesn’t permit me to run on-line writers’ prompts or the like.

Moving on our discussion of the photos, Jim and I will probably do some experimenting.  For one, he’s gotten a new lens that, once he gets the hang of it, will allow a greater range of images.  However, I reserve the right to go back to a little picture tucked in the corner.  In the end, text is the way I communicate best.

One thing several comments reminded me of was that I should feel free to return to topics that I talked about years ago.  Ten years is a long time.  While I’ve tried hard to not repeat myself more than is necessary, I think maybe I should loosen up.

In a week or so, Alan and I will chat a bit about the future of the Thursday Tangents.  I appreciate those of you who took the time to express enthusiasm for our public conversations over these last seven years.   We certainly won’t fall silent forever, but it’s time for us to rest our fingers.  I promise to alert you in the Wednesday Wanderings when there will be a Thursday Tangent Special Feature.

On that note…  Our nearly final Thursday Tangent of the regular run goes up tomorrow.  In it, I ask Alan a question that I really hope some of you will also weigh in on.

With that as a teaser, I’m off to run with the wolves!  Tah!

FF: Just a List

March 16, 2018

I haven’t decided whether or not to continue the Friday Fragments in this fashion or not.  I’ll let you know in next week’s WW.  Meantime, opinions are welcome, but I will say one thing: I’m not going to start writing a review column.  That’s just too fraught with all sorts of things.

Looking Out for Jacklopes

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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 magazines.

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:

Fate of the Red Queen by Mab Morris.  Thoughtful book with a deceptively quiet start that rewards the reader by answering a lot of questions raised early on in usual ways.

Revenge of the Horned Bunnies (Dragonbreath 6) by Ursula Vernon.

The Magic of Recluse by L.E. Modesitt Junior.  (Audiobook).

When Fairies Go Bad (Dragonbreath 7) by Ursula Vernon.

Nightmare of the Iguana (Dragonbreath 8) by Ursula Vernon.

In Progress:

Oddly enough, I just finished two books today and haven’t picked my new ones!

Also:

Wolf’s Blood by Jane Lindskold.  Just starting.

TT: Two Faces of New Worlds

March 15, 2018

JANE: You promised to tell me about New Worlds magazine.

ALAN: New Worlds was a British SF magazine edited by John Carnell. Because it was British, I assume it must have been sold by the big book chain W. H. Smith, but distribution must have been erratic because I don’t recall ever seeing it there. However, copies did turn up in the magic box every so often.

Amazing Magic Box

JANE: Wait!  Why would that have happened?  I thought the magic box was full of magazines taken from the holds of merchant ships where they were used for ballast.  Surely a British magazine would not travel around Britain in a ship?

ALAN: Yes and no…

New Worlds was distributed throughout the Commonwealth. In one sense, that was quite a good idea because it encouraged Commonwealth writers to submit stories, and the magazine did indeed publish stories by Australian, Canadian and South African writers. But I strongly suspect that the copies that turned up in my magic box had originally been sent out to (say) Australia where they didn’t sell, and so they were returned to Britain as unsold copies used for ballast, thus becoming eligible for the magic box. It’s all quite ironic, really.

JANE: That is weird.  So, what did you think of New Worlds?

ALAN: I didn’t like it very much. I thought of it as a poor imitation of Astounding/Analog. John Carnell was cast very much in the mould of John Campbell and he liked the same kind of stories that Campbell did (though, to be fair, Carnell did not share the weird and sometimes distasteful ideas that Campbell promulgated in his eccentric editorials).

The magazine published mainly British and Commonwealth writers and at the time I had a vague feeling that proper SF was American, and that British SF was, almost by definition, inferior in some way that I couldn’t quite pin down.

JANE:  Wait a minute!  What about Arthur C. Clarke, Brian Aldiss, John Brunner, and even Eric Frank Russell?

ALAN: Oh, I agree.  My opinion that proper SF was American didn’t make any sense at all. In my defense though, I must point out that British SF Writers of the time included E. C. Tubb, John Russell Fearn, Volsted Gridban and Vargo Statten. These last two were also the first two (they shared many, many pseudonyms). But no matter what names they attached to their stories, none of them ever set the SF world on fire – and all of them had stories published in New Worlds.

JANE: What time period are we talking about?

ALAN: This would be the late 1950s and early to mid-1960s.

JANE: Above you said: “to be fair, Carnell did not share the weird and sometimes distasteful ideas that Campbell promulgated in his eccentric editorials.”  Do you remember what any of these were?

ALAN: Campbell’s obsession with the perpetual motion machine he referred to as “The Dean Drive” was scientifically embarrassing. He was also extremely racist and sexist in his opinions. After Campbell died, Harry Harrison edited a book that put together a selection of Campbell’s editorials from Astounding. I have a copy, but I’m afraid that I find the political and social opinions expressed in the editorials so annoying that I simply can’t read it.

JANE: That’s interesting.  It’s not what first comes up when I think of Campbell.

Did Commonwealth SF have any qualities that made it distinct from American SF?

ALAN: Not really. It sometimes felt a little “old fashioned” in the sense that many of the stories would happily have fitted into Astounding magazine a decade before it turned into Analog. But I suspect that this was more a reflection of Carnell’s personal taste than it was a description of Commonwealth SF as a whole.

After Carnell left the editorial helm of New Worlds, he went on to edit a series of books generically called New Writings In SF which had the same feel to it. But to be fair, Carnell was responsible for publishing James White’s Hospital Station stories which were very popular in both Britain and America. So he must have been doing something right! I’m sure he had other editorial successes as well.

JANE: What happened to New Worlds when John Carnell stopped editing it?

ALAN: Michael Moorcock took over the editorial chair and he very quickly turned the magazine into an avant-garde literary publication with science fictional leanings. It was the beginning of the so-called New Wave of science fiction. Moorcock also seemed to do something to the distribution mechanism because I regularly saw the magazine on the shelves of W. H. Smiths.

Then, in 1967, Moorcock published Norman Spinrad’s novel Bug Jack Barron which had (gasp!) dirty words in it. W. H. Smiths decided they no longer wanted to be associated with such filth and they refused to distribute it any more.

JANE: Did the magazine survive the loss of its major distributor?

ALAN: After W. H. Smiths stopped selling it, New Worlds had to make use of alternative distribution channels. It was often to be found on the shelves of sex shops. Presumably the proprietors of these shops were fooled by its reputation for publishing dirty words and felt that it would appeal to a certain class of customer. I often wonder what the New Wave SF fans felt as they browsed among shelves of magazines dedicated to hobbies even more esoteric than their own…

JANE: Indeed!

ALAN: But the writing was on the wall for New Worlds. In 1971 a final “Good Taste” issue was published, and that was the end. Moorcock did resurrect it a couple of times in later years as a series of original anthologies, but the magazine itself never reappeared.

JANE: What I’ve found interesting about this discussion is how the same name may be attached to what are, essentially, very different magazines, and how the interests of an editor shape the  magazine’s identity.

That brings me to a new question, but one I’ll save for next time!

Face the Strange

March 14, 2018

Questions for all of you…

After something like seven years, Alan Robson and I are considering retiring the Thursday Tangents, although we reserve the right to change our minds at any point and do a special feature or more.

Persephohone: Valiant Assistant!

This has me thinking about what other changes I might want to make in how I reach out and talk to you – and you – and you – and you.  Social media is a somewhat one-sided conversation, but I really prefer a conversation to an advertising platform.

I hope you folks do, too.

In the ten years I’ve been doing this blog, a lot has changed.  Some things are minor – for example, Facebook won’t post the smaller pictures I prefer for my blog, so lots of you are missing the photos.  Since I’ve been told by a reliable source that some people tune into the Friday Fragments especially to see which of my cats or guinea pigs are serving as that week’s Super Model, this is a problem.

Maybe I’m just too text oriented, but I don’t like how large photos split the post.  Should I use a larger picture and put it at the top?   Or maybe text first, larger picture at the bottom?  Or am I worrying too much and you really don’t care if you see a picture?

What about content?  When I started the Friday Fragments, people regularly weighed in with what they were reading.   I discovered some books (and sometimes became addicted to a particular author) because of the comments.  Lately, though, folks aren’t sharing.  I’m considering dropping the Friday Fragments entirely, and maybe substituting a short post mentioning one title instead.

What do you think?

Sometimes I have a lot to talk about but when – as now – I’m immersed in creating something, I don’t have a lot to say.  I’m not one of those authors who likes to talk about a work-in-progress.  Until a book is done, it’s between me and the characters.

But I like to touch base at least once a week, if for no other reason than I personally hate when authors I “follow” only seem to appear when they are shouting out about their newest project.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I feel used.

Therefore, I welcome questions or suggestions for topics.  If I don’t have thoughts on a matter or don’t consider myself enough of an expert, I’ll be honest.

So, as David Bowie once put it, this is a time of “Ch-ch-ch-changes.”  I’m facing the strange challenge of finding how to make social media work for me… but equally importantly for you as well.

I hope you’ll let me know what I might do that would be best for you!

FF: Coming of Age

March 9, 2018

Purely by chance, most of the novels I’m reading this week could be grouped as “coming of age.”  Even Danny Dragonbreath has to look out for his younger cousin.  But although these could be grouped under a common theme, they’re very different from each other.

Keladry With Her Namesake

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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 magazines.

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:

Lady Knight (Protector of the Small, Book 4) by Tamora Pierce.  Audiobook.  Here’s a YA novel that takes the protagonist into actually being an adult, not just young.

In Progress:

Fate of the Red Queen by Mab Morris.

Revenge of the Horned Bunnies (Dragonbreath 6) by Ursula Vernon.

The Magic of Recluse by L.E. Modesitt Junior.  (Audiobook).

Also:

Wolf Hunting by Jane Lindskold.  About halfway.