FF: Sinking Back Into

Persephone Is Sourcerous

This week I’ve managed to sink back into my writing, but still finding time to read.

For those of you unfamiliar with this column, 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.  And it’s also a great place to tell me what you’re reading. 

Recently Completed:

Midwinter Murders by Agatha Christie.  Audiobook.  Winter-themed short story collection.  Material includes a bit where Agatha Christie talks about the Christmas banquets she remembers from her childhood (and which were the setting for her novel, The Affair of the Christmas Pudding).

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett.

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett.  Set relatively early in the Discworld, all the wizards except for the Librarian and Rincewind have very little individuality, which weakens the impact of a story in which the wizards are offered power beyond their wildest dreams. 

In Progress:

Hummingbird Wizard by Meredith Blevins.  Despite the title, a mystery with light brushstrokes of magical realism rather than a fantasy.

Poirot Abroad by Agatha Christie.  Audiobook.  A new combination of short stories in which the setting is supposed to be “abroad,” but they really stretched the justification, since most stories are still set in England.


Finishing up various magazines.

8 Responses to “FF: Sinking Back Into”

  1. Beverly Martin Says:

    This week I read The Scam (Fox and O’Hare #4) by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. The straight laced female FBI agent again teams up with dapper master thief, Nick. This time they go after a money laundering operation. It was a fast read with lots of action and some clever dialog. Doesn’t measure up to Stephanie Plum, but ’twill serve.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Scam books are problematic for me, which is why I interested in Mask of Mirrors. It dealt with some of the ethical considerations. Still, scamming the baddies… I guess that fits in the Robin Hood mode, right?

  2. James Mendur Says:

    The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs (sequel to The House with a Clock in Its Walls)

    Currently reading:
    Terminal Alliance by Jim C Hines – a human janitor on an alien spaceship must take command. It’s not funny like Douglas Adams but more of a light, Eric Frank Russell space opera kind of novel, which I enjoy. So far, it’s pretty good.
    Interesting take on names: Due to a story plot point, most of the humans (and some of the aliens) have famous names from history and the arts … and they have no gender assignment sense so, for example, Lt. Marilyn Monroe is a man and Crewmember Wolfgang Mozart is a woman. I’ve actually stopped worrying about whether characters are male or female at this point because it kept yanking me out of the story to try to keep remembering who was who. In a short story, this would be a great idea. In a novel, it’s long-term cognitive dissonance and just distracting.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Was there a purpose to the name thing, or meant for humor?

      • James Mendur Says:

        In context: the entire human race is feral due to some sort of disease. Aliens reclaim some humans as adults, fix them, and when they gain enough sentience and knowledge, they can choose their own names, usually famous people from art or history, and are given jobs in the alien civilization, usually military or janitorial. (One human in a throwaway scene wasn’t sure whether he wanted to be called Nelson Mandela or Beyonce.) Old human gender norms apparently aren’t part of the training. Not sure if the aliens even understand them.

        Having seen Hines at a convention, I think he probably did it for both humor (Lt. Marilyn Monroe is a scarred male ex-infantry grunt with a faulty prosthetic arm) and to tweak the anti-trans “there are only two genders and you can’t change them” crowd.

        Like I said, for me, it’s interesting but too distracting to keep track of, so I’m short-cutting the info in my reading to ignore gender entirely and just keep track of the names.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Thanks! I appreciate your taking the time to fill me in.

  3. Harried Harry Says:

    I’m busy reading a series by Daniel Arenson called the “Kingdoms of Sand”. I’ve finished books one thru three and just started book 4 “Temples of Dust”. Interesting series with decent character development and an extended plot line. I’ve enjoyed it for the most part but the foul language is off-putting to me as is the extreme violence. However the violence is very similar to what the Roman Empire exhibited during its conquests so it does play a role. I think the series only has another two or three books or so.

    The local library is finally opening up for customers. It has been over 14 months since I’ve been in so I’m wondering what new books they have in stock now.

    If anyone likes mystery stories, a very good writer was Dick Francis who wrote many stories about the horse race industry in England and other lands. Very enjoyable reads with almost always a good twist to the end of the story. His son has also written a number of books along the same line of mystery stories.

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