Archive for the ‘Friday Fragments’ Category

FF: Sitting and Waiting

October 13, 2017

News Flash: Today at 4:30 p.m. on KURU 89.1, GMCR radio, I’ll be doing a half-hour interview. The show is called Use Your Words: Writers Speak.  If you can’t get that station, the interview should be archived, at some point, at http://gmcr.org/category/use-your-words/.

Ogapoge Approves of Greebo

This week I’ve done a lot sitting in waiting rooms, so I’ve also done a lot of reading.

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 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:

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich.  Audiobook.  We finally finished this driving back and forth from Santa Fe on Tuesday.  Not the strongest plot – in fact, there was a strong sense of “Oops!  I forgot to tie up that loose end!” but good enough as a distraction on the road.

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett.  Fun and thoughtful enough that the next book I chose to read was…

Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett.  New Orleans heavily seasoned with fairytale motifs.

Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers.  Audiobook.  Re-read.

In Progress:

Death of a Doxy by Rex Stout.  Audiobook.

The Compleat Enchanger by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt.  At MiHiCon at the end of October, I’m on a panel on humor in SF/F and this is an interesting way to prepare.

Also:

Still working on the most recent Smithsonian.  Almost done with the article on Russia.

Advertisements

FF: When I’m Writing

October 6, 2017

When I am immersed a difficult or complex part of a project, I still read, but very often I re-read, because this lets me moderate the extra voices in my head.  Think of it as a literary soundtrack meant to be enjoyable and even stimulating, but not distracting.

Kel says: Sink into a Good Book!

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 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:

Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers.  Audiobook.   This book was published in 1934, and still speaks to many issues.  Two that immediately come to mind are writing from the heart, rather than only the brain, and the challenges that face professional women in a way they do not their male peers.

On Bowie by Rob Sheffield.  The author notes at the end that this book was written in a month, and that Bowie’s now-classic album Low was also done in a month.  I must admit, I didn’t see a correlation.

In Progress:

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich.  Audiobook.  Jim and I often listen to Stephanie Plum novels on road trips.  We were so taken by the scenery, that we didn’t quite finish, but doubtless will – maybe while running errands or doing a puzzle.

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett.  I believe this was the first Pratchett I read, a gift from a delighted Roger Zelazny.

Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers.  Audiobook.  Re-read.

Also:

I’ve moved on to the most recent issue of Smithsonian.

FF: Out and About

September 29, 2017

This week I was away from home on Tuesday and writing like someone possessed to make up for being away.  This did cut into my reading time.  Still, I managed.

Ogapoge’s the Coolest Cat

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 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:

The Father Hunt by Rex Stout.  Audiobook.  A Nero Wolfe tale.  Choppier than usual ending but I think even Nero Wolfe would say “satisfactory.”

In Progress:

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers.  Audiobook.

On Bowie by Rob Sheffield.  As is so often the case with books ostensibly about Bowie, this book is more about the author’s reactions to Bowie’s work than about Bowie or Bowie’s work.

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich.  Audiobook.  Jim and I often listen to Stephanie Plum novels on road trips.  They’re light, character-oriented, and seem to go well with being in constant motion.

Also:

Archeology Magazine is keeping up with alternately annoying and impressing me, depending on the article.  Makes me wonder about the editorial staff.  A lot.

FF: Who Might Call?

September 22, 2017

With the possibility of further jury duty looming, I’ve been keeping my fingers on the keyboard, so it’s been audiobooks to the rescue.

Persephone Steals a Bit of Time

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 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:

Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett.  Does anyone know if Pratchett ever followed up on the hints that Susan and Lobsang might become an item?  I wonder what sort of kid Time and Death might have?

Before Midnight by Rex Stout.  Audiobook.  A Nero Wolfe tale.

The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout.  Audiobook.  A Nero Wolfe tale.  The title refers to the very last scene in the book.  Very dry humor.

In Progress:

The Father Hunt by Rex Stout.  Audiobook.  A Nero Wolfe tale.  When I’m stressed, there is nothing like a classic mystery novel.

Also:

A fair amount of short fiction, as well as a quick skim through Wolf’s Head, Wolf’s Heart by a certain Jane Lindskold.  I look forward to having the time to read this one again more slowly.

FF: Preconceptions

September 15, 2017

I think I’m finally “all better.”  Well, except for autumn allergies, and those are simply to be taken in stride.

Kel Loves to Model

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 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:

Clouds of Witnesses by Dorothy L. Sayers.  Audiobook.  Re-read.  A book about how preconceptions are, perhaps, the greatest cloud of all.

Jingo by Terry Pratchett.  Now that I think about it, another book about preconceptions.

Wolf’s Rain, volume 2, by BONES, Keiko Nobumoto.  Art by Toshitsugu Iida.  Manga.  Completes the tale.  I’ve heard the anime also has a less than full ending, but I’ll admit disappointment that the manga (which came later) didn’t fill it in more.  However, some of the best manga wolves I’ve seen.

Fairytale, volumes 6 and 7, by Hiro Mashima.  Manga.

In Progress:

Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett.  Read this soon after it came out in 2001, and maybe once since.  Time (heh-heh) for another read.

Before Midnight by Rex Stout.  Audiobook.  A Nero Wolfe tale.  Oddly enough, time is a major element in this tale.  Synchronicity?

Also:

Finished my review of Through Wolf’s Eyes and will be padding along.

FF: Healing Words

September 8, 2017

As I slowly get over the con crud from hell, ’ve been doing a lot of reading in folklore and mythology.  Short articles are a good fit with a foggy brain.

Kel Says “Cat Reign!”

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 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:

Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon.  Middle-grade,  lightly humorous, fantasy.  I very much enjoyed.  I’ll be reading more of this author’s work.

Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie.  Audiobook.  One of her best non-Poroit, non-Marple tales.

Fairytale, volume 4, by Hiro Mashima.  Manga

Wolf’s Rain, volume 1, by BONES, Keiko Nobumoto; art by Toshisugu Tida.  Manga.  In an twist on the usual story development, this is adapted from an anime, and the artist and writer are not the same person.

In Progress:

Clouds of Witnesses by Dorothy L. Sayers.  Audiobook.

Also:

Have returned to my re-read of Through Wolf’s Eyes.  It’s been so long, I can almost read it as a stranger might.

FF: Reading as Medicine

September 1, 2017

I caught some sort of con-crud this past weekend at Bubonicon (sore throat, fever, aches, congestion) and have turned to stories as part of my treatment.

Ogapoge Wonders He Could Be a Minion

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 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:

A Dangerous Place by Jaqueline Winspear.  Audiobook.  Masie Dobbs and the Spanish Civil War.

Fairytale by Hiro Mashima.  Manga.  Volumes 1-3.  So far this is good enough I’ll try more, but it may not hold me.

They Came to Bagdad by Agatha Christie.  Audiobook.  Spy thriller with an ironical awareness of some of the conventions of the genre.

In Progress:

 Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon.  Middle-grade,  lightly humorous fantasy.  So far, I’m enjoying.

Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie.  Audiobook.  One of her best non-Poroit, non-Marple tales.  Built around Christie’s thesis that catching criminals is not about punishing the wicked, but rather about protecting the innocent.

Also:

Beginning of the month has brought in some new magazines.

FF: Pugs, Princesses, and War

August 25, 2017

Bubonicon starts this weekend, so on top of everything else, I’m preparing for my panels.

Battlecat Meets Battlepug

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 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:

How Much For Just the Planet? by John M. Ford.  A completely insane Star Trek novel about a planet that doesn’t want to join either the Federation or the Klingon Empire.  I’ve laughed out loud so many times that Jim has put dibs on this for when I’m done.

The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale.  Audiobook.  Pretty good, but really didn’t hold up without the illustrations.

Battlepug, volume 1-5, by Mike Norton, Allen Passalaqua, and Chris Crank.  Graphic novel.  I came for the quirky concept of a classic Conanesque hero riding a giant pug and stayed for the story.  Really liked!

In Progress:

A Dangerous Place by Jaqueline Winspear.  Audiobook.  Masie Dobbs and the Spanish Civil War.

Fairytale by Hiro Mashima.  Manga.  Volumes 1-2.  During a recent visit to Texas, my nephews mentioned this.  As it’s the only one of the “big four” (as they called them) that I hadn’t read at least some, I decided to give it a shot.

Also:

I’m writing every spare moment I can find, which isn’t giving much time for “also”!

FF: Laughter and Art

August 18, 2017

During a week where the news has been very stressful, I’ve turned to comedy for relief and balance.

Wow! Horned Toads Aren’t Toads!

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 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:

The Goose Girl by Shannon HaleAudiobook.  Bonus on the audio is a very short interview with Ms. Hale talking about some of her considerations when writing this novel.

Creatures, Critters, and Crawlers of the Southwest by April Kopp.  New Mexico has six of the seven “life zones.”  The only one we don’t have is “tropical.”  Lovely photos a bonus, although I wish the rule I was taught back in high school that you don’t “gutter” a photo in layout was still adhered to!

In Progress:

How Much For Just the Planet? by John M. Ford.  A completely insane Star Trek novel about a planet that doesn’t want to join either the Federation or the Klingon Empire.  I’ve laughed out loud so many times that Jim has put dibs on this for when I’m done.

The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale.  Audiobook.  Just started.  I’ve read the first of the stories included in a charming illustrated children’s book.  I’m curious how the words will hold up without the pictures.

Battlepug, volume 2 by Mike Norton, Allen Passalaqua, and Chris Crank.  Graphic novel.  I saw this one the library shelf and immediately thought of my friend Dominique’s pug Merlin. The story’s so quirky I’ve ordered the other volumes.

Also:

As I gear up to the next stage in self-publishing my very odd original novel Asphodel, I’m spending a lot of time reviewing works on illustration, looking for just the right cover art approach.  I never thought I’d find myself working as an art director, but there it is.

FF: Reading on the Road

August 11, 2017

Last weekend, we went to Texas to visit Jim’s family.  The only thing I like about air travel these days is that I have a lot of time to read!

So That’s What the Cats Are Up To!

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 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:

Monstress: The Blood by Marjorie Liu and Sana TakedaVolume Two of the graphic novel.  Lovely art with some of the best depictions of animal-human hybrids I’ve ever seen.  Story is pretty good, although somewhat predictable.  The most interesting character thus far is Kippa, although I like the protagonist Maika well enough to care about her search.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.  This novella has been getting lots of attention on award ballots this year.  I found it a good read with some lovely prose.  Best of all, there was a reason that so many of the characters were a bit outside of the mainstream.  I’d love to have the backstory on some of the ostensibly “normal” types who went to the “rainbows and unicorns” worlds.

Cat-a-lyst by Alan Dean Foster.  On the light side, but given some heft and a liberal sprinkle of irony by the fact that the reader knows a lot the characters do not.  Excellent descriptions of the Peruvian jungle add to the pleasure.

In Progress:

The Goose Girl by Shannon HaleAudiobook.  I always thought this was a dark tale, and Ms. Hale’s version isn’t making it any prettier!

Creatures, Critters, and Crawlers of the Southwest by April Kopp.  New Mexico has six of the seven “life zones.”  The only one we don’t have is “tropical.”  This means that the range of critters featured in this book is pretty amazing.

Also:

Lots of magazine articles.  I always enjoy the Southwest Airlines magazine because it’s a window into a completely alien world.