Archive for January, 2022

FF: At the Close of January

January 28, 2022
Persephone Gets Her Teeth into a Good Book

A couple of my recent reads have been on the longer side, so fewer new titles this week. 

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.  Two of the series I’m trying right now are due to FF reader mentions.

Completed:

Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch.  Fourth book in his “Rivers of London” series.  This is the first I’ve read as print, rather than audio.  Good story, but confirming my impression of a series that gets darker as it progresses.

In Progress:

The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold, Audiobook.  Set in the World of the Five Gods, but in a completely different area.  Almost done.

Enter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh.  I felt like classic mystery, and haven’t read this one for a long while.

Also:

Finished several magazines, including the Fordham alumni one.  Sometimes seems as if the university I attended and the one that’s currently operating only share a name.

Silver That’s Gold

January 26, 2022
Mei-Ling Laughs

The last thing I expected to receive as a 25th wedding anniversary gift was a new folklorish tidbit.  It happened this way.  Sunday night, I mentioned to my gamers that Tuesday would be Jim and my 25th wedding anniversary.

“Twenty-fifth on the twenty-fifth,” said Melissa cheerfully.  “That makes it gold.”

I was confused.  “Gold is fifty.  I’m not sure we’ll get there, given we’re not exactly young.  That’s why I’m unreasonably excited about this one.”

“That’s not what I meant,” Melissa replied with a slight shake of her head, speaking with a quiet confidence that I’m sure her patients (she’s a dentist) find very reassuring.  “Gold is when the number of years matches the date on the calendar.  So your ‘gold’ only happens once.  I’ve heard of it for birthdays, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t fit for anniversaries, too.”

Jim and I decided we liked that, so yesterday we celebrated our Silver-Gold anniversary.  Good thing, too, since he would have been one for his “gold” birthday, and I would have been fifteen for mine, so we couldn’t have taken advantage of this rather nifty tradition anytime in the future.

Silver and gold.  Not bad.  Not bad at all…

FF: Mythic in Many Forms

January 21, 2022
Mei-Ling Sticks Her Tongue Out at a Good Book

This week I see that all my reading choices deal with the mythic, both the overshadowing power of myth, and the myths that grow out of the stories we believe about ourselves.

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.  Two of the series I’m trying right now are due to FF reader mentions.

Completed:

Penric’s Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Audiobook.  Fourth in this series of novellas.  Combined with five, it would make a decent novel.  Since I read out of order, I had a few spoilers, but that didn’t quench my reading pleasure.

Stolen Skies by Tim Powers.  Third of his Castine and Vickerybooks.  This one takes on UFOs.  Some great visual images, as well as crop circles, cults, and cuisine.

In Progress:

The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold, Audiobook.  Set in the World of the Five Gods, but in a completely different area.

Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch.  Fourth book in his “Rivers of London” series.  This is the first I’ve read as print, rather than audio.  I miss the reader’s sardonic tones, but unlike some series where I’ve both read and listened, this one does not need the reader to compensate for weak writing.

Also:

“Bridges” a short story by Tony Greyfox in the anthology A Swordmaster’s Tale.  I liked the unexpected twists this story took.  It’s certainly not the straight out cyberpunk tale it seems at the start!

Ice Skating Flickers

January 19, 2022
Ice Breaker

Jim and I have a tiny pond in our backyard.   This time of year, it tends to freeze. The other morning, I glanced out in time to see one of our two resident flickers hop down onto the ice, slide and nearly fall over, then flutter up and to the side.  A moment later, it hopped down again, and again nearly tumbled over.

Back at the edge, it tilted its head, thoughtfully studied the ice, then hopped down again, this time gracefully sliding across the ice to its evident delight.  How do I know it was delighted?  It repeated the performance several times, gaining style points with each repetition.

Only then did it go to where there were openings in the ice and get its delayed drink.  Delightful!

I have a few treats for you, if less weird than ice skating woodpeckers, then at least more accessible.

As some of you already know, I learned last Wednesday that my short story, “Fire-Bright Rain,” a prequel to my forthcoming novels Library of the Sapphire Wind (February 1) and Aurora Borealis Bridge (April 1) is available now, for free, here.

“Fire-Bright Rain” is set about twenty-five years earlier than the novels, and does provide a minor spoiler to the novel…  Minor in that it will reveal something that you learn within the first chapter or so of Library of the Sapphire Wind.  There is no crossover of characters, or spoilers for major situations, so you can read without fear, and just enjoy a look at a new world.

Also…  sneak peek at the opening section of Library of the Sapphire Wind is available here.  The entire novel is officially due for release on February 1, but is available for pre-order in both trade paperback and e-book at most of the booksellers of your choice.

But just because I have a new book coming out doesn’t mean I’ve stopped working.  Last week, I spent much of my time working on the new e-book edition of Child of a Rainless Year, a standalone novel of mine from 2005.  When working on that got to be too much, I worked on catching up on a mountain of office chores that I hadn’t kept up with because I’ve been doing production work on my three forthcoming books.

Now Child of a Rainless Year is off to production, the mountain is somewhat reduced, and this week I’ll see about alternating more office stuff with sending love letters to my Muse, telling her that I really didn’t mean to ignore her, and might she like to come back and play.

I have a story or two I’d love to write!

FF: A Free Read and More

January 14, 2022
Roary Steals the Skies

I learned on Wednesday that my short story, “Fire-Bright Rain,” a prequel to my forthcoming novels Library of the Sapphire Wind (February 1) and Aurora Borealis Bridge (April 1) is available now, for free, here.

“Fire-Bright Rain” is set about twenty-five years earlier than the novels, and does provide a minor spoiler to the novel…  Minor in that it will reveal something that you learn within the first chapter or so of Library of the Sapphire Wind.  There is no crossover of characters, or spoilers for major situations, so you can read without fear, and just enjoy a look at a new world.

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.  Two of the series I’m trying right now are due to FF reader mentions.

Completed:

The Liar’s Knot by M.A. Carrick.  Sequel to The Mask of Mirrors.  Almost done.  I’m enjoying very much.  The “knot” in the title has at least a double meaning, probably triple.  I approve.

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch.  Audiobook.  Book five in the series.  I skipped right into a major spoiler, but Aaronovitch is a skilled enough writer that I now want to read book four, as well as one and two.  This is not always the case for me, so praise is due.

In Progress:

Penric’s Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Audiobook.  Fourth in this series of novellas.  Combined with five, it would make a decent novel.  Since I read out of order, I had a few spoilers, but that hasn’t quenched my reading pleasure.

Stolen Skies by Tim Powers.  Third of his Castine and Vickerybooks.  This one takes on UFOs.  Some great visual images, as well as crop circles, cults, and cuisine.

Also:

Archeology Magazine with the summary of 2021 discoveries.  Discoveries seemed an odd mix of choices, but the longer articles have, overall, been quite good.

Eleven Years, 364 Days Wandering

January 12, 2022
Dandy Smiles for the Camera

The other day, Jim asked, “How long is it you’ve been doing your Wednesday Wanderings?” 

I checked and discovered that tomorrow, January 13, marks my first, very short post.  January 20, 2010 was my first longer post.  So, we’re coming up on twelve years.

During that time, I haven’t missed a week.

The Wednesday Wanderings are definitely wandery.  I wander on about everything from the birds in our yard to the garden to places we’ve been and, of course, about my work and writing in general.  Some of the columns about writing have been collected in a short book called Wanderings on Writing.

There are also, possibly, too many pictures of cats, guinea pigs, birds, lizards, as well as our garden, almost all taken by my husband, Jim Moore.

This coming year, as I mentioned last week, I have three books coming out in six months (Library of the Sapphire Wind, February; Aurora Borealis Bridge, April; A New Clan, with David Weber, June).  So, the WW will definitely have announcements about book releases, if I’ll be attending any cons, doing book events (virtual and otherwise), and the like.

It’s also a great place for you to ask your questions about my books, writing, and the like.

Also on the same site…  For seven years, Alan Robson of New Zealand and I collaborated on the Thursday Tangents.  He and I continue to correspond, and a little kiwi told me that a complete e-book with all the Thursday Tangents is in the works.

Somewhere in there, I added in the Friday Fragments: a more or less inclusive list of what I’m reading.  That’s still on-going.

If you want more, I erratically post to Twitter @JaneLindskold, and on Facebook. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed these twelve years as much as I have, and I look forward to continuing these pieces into 2022.

FF: Re-Reading SK4

January 7, 2022
Roary Dreams of Treecats

Mom left the 27th.  By the 28th, I was immersed in re-reading the fourth of the Star Kingdom books, written by me in collaboration with David Weber.  He’d just addressed the editor’s notes, and my job was to see how smoothly it went.  Since I hadn’t read the book since late 2020, I had a good, fresh point of view.

Oh, when will it be out?  June 2022, now titled A New Clan.

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.  Two of the series I’m trying right now are due to FF reader mentions.

Completed:

Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch. Audiobook.  Book three in the series.  Much enjoyed.

In Progress:

The Liar’s Knot by M.A. Carrick.  Sequel to The Mask of Mirrors.  Almost done.  I’m enjoying very much.  The “knot” in the title has at least a double meaning, probably triple.  I approve.

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch.  Audiobook.  Book five in the series.  I skipped right into a major spoiler, but Aaronovitch is a skilled enough writer that I now want to read book four, as well as one and two.  This is not always the case for me, so praise is due.

Also:

Archeology Magazine with the summary of 2021 discoveries.

The Box Arrived!

January 5, 2022
Library of the Sapphire Wind is Here!

My author’s copies of Library of the Sapphire Wind were dropped off as 2021 was on its way out, a very nice way to end the old year and start anticipating the new.

So, what is Library of the Sapphire Wind about?  Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at an early version of the cover copy.  I am choosing the one below because you can read the other elsewhere, and this is somewhat longer.  I’m also choosing this because a few early reviewers have expressed disappointment when they realized the book isn’t set at the Library.

Instead of Mentors, They Got Monsters…

That’s what Xerak, Vereez, and Grunwold think when three strange creatures shimmer into being within the circle of Hettua Shrine.  Their conclusion is reasonable enough.  After all, they’ve never seen humans before.

As for Margaret Blake, Peg Gallegos, and Tessa Brown—more usually known as Meg, Peg, and Teg—they’re equally astonished but, oddly enough, better prepared.  Age and experience have accustomed them to surprises.  A widely varied course of reading material has intellectually prepared them for the idea that other worlds, even worlds where people with traits more commonly ascribed to “animals,” may exist.

Then there is the mysterious verse that Teg speaks as they arrive, words that seem to indicate that the Shrine must have been at least partially responding to the request made of it.

Despite doubts on all sides, the three unlikely mentors join forces with the three young “inquisitors” and venture out into the world Peg dubs “Over Where.”  First, they must find the Library of the Sapphire Wind, destroyed years before.

Will they find answers there or is this only the first stage in their search?

I hope you’ll try the novel of which Publisher’s Weekly has said: “This vivid, magical tale is sure to please.” 

And I’d be very happy to answer any questions, especially if I can do so without providing spoilers.

It turns out that 2022 will be unique for me as a writer in that I’ll have three books coming out in something like six months: Library of the Sapphire Wind on February 1; the sequel, Aurora Borealis Bridge on April 1; and A New Clan, the long-awaited new Star Kingdom/Stephanie Harrington novel in June.

With that, I need to get back to work!