Archive for the ‘Friday Fragments’ Category

FF: Not Nix “No”: Garth Nix

September 30, 2022
Roary the Mysterious

This week, through a series of weird coincidences, I seem to be reading nothing other than works by Garth Nix.  This is not at all bad.  His works have variety, and almost all have at least some whimsy that doesn’t sacrifice depth.

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. 

Completed:

Monster Punk Horizon by H.P. Holo.  Fiction that should especially appeal to gamers of the less grimdark stamp.  Made me want to game in this world.

Frog Kisser by Garth Nix.  Audiobook.  A re-read, because I felt like something less serious but still with heart.  A quest story featuring a cranky princess, a frog, a very large newt, a transformed otter, and a Royal Dog. 

In Progress:

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix.  I waited to read this for a variety of reasons, and now I’m enjoying. 

Have Sword Will Travel by Garth Nix and Sean Williams.  Audiobook, relisten.  A magic sword, a reluctant knight, who would actually rather be a miller, not a knight.

Also:

Lots of random articles and bits from a variety of books, too numerous to mention.

FF: Less Distracting

September 23, 2022
Mei-Ling Distracts

In addition to reading my own manuscript of House of Rough Diamonds, I’ve switched over to some lighter works or re-reads that won’t distract me from my editorial duties.

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. 

Completed:

Dabare Snake Launcher by Joelle Presby.  ARC.  A near-future novel about the complexities of building a space elevator.  Set in Cameroon, where the author lived for many years, and full of lovely detail about the local cultures, clashes between traditional and modern, and differing expectations.  Very much enjoyed.

In Progress:

Monster Punk Horizon by H.P. Holo.  Just starting.

Frog Kisser by Garth Nix.  Audiobook.  A re-read, because I felt like something less serious but still with heart.  A quest story featuring a cranky princess, a frog, a very large newt, a transformed otter, and a Royal Dog. 

Also:

American Archeology the current issue.  This is not the same magazine as the last couple of weeks.  Also, the new issue of Vogue.

FF: A Little Less

September 15, 2022
Mine!

You may have noticed I seem to be reading less.  That’s not really true.  As I noted below, I don’t always mention if my reading is scattered, and right now it is.  I’ve also printed a copy of my own manuscript, House of Rough Diamonds, and some of my reading time is going to that.

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. 

Completed:

Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.  Audiobook.  I’d forgotten how many plotlines there were to resolve, but Vinge is hitting all the beats with elegant timing.

In Progress:

Dabare Snake Launcher by Joelle Presby.  ARC.  A near-future novel about the complexities of building a space elevator.  Set in Cameroon, where the author lived for many years, and full of lovely detail about the local cultures, clashes between traditional and modern, and differing expectations.  Very much enjoying.

Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien. Audiobook.  A car trip, again, so a few more hours to listen!

Also:

Archeology the current issue.  Almost done.

FF: Closing In

September 9, 2022
Hawk Investigates Birdbath

I had to share this picture of a hawk visiting the bird bath right outside my office window.  No, we don’t live in the country, but open spaces less than half a mile from us do bring in the wildlife.

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. 

Completed:

The Life and Times of Chaucer by John Gardner.  The author of Grendel (which blew me away when I first read it at sixteen) turns his fluid and graceful writing style to examining the man who wrote The Canterbury Tales and other influential words.  I definitely enjoyed.

In Progress:

Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.  Audiobook.  I might even finish this one tonight.  I’d forgotten how many plotlines there were to resolve, but Vinge is hitting all the beats with elegant timing.

The Dabare Snake Launcher by Joelle Presby.  ARC.  A near-future novel about the complexities of building a space elevator.  Set in Cameroon, where the author lived for many years, and full of lovely detail about the local cultures, clashes between traditional and modern, and differing expectations

Also:

Archeology the current issue.  The cover article had little new, for me, but then I’ve done a lot of research into that time period in Egypt.  I still enjoyed the synthesis.

FF: Almost

September 2, 2022
Where’s the Book?

My reading time was serious impinged upon this week by Bubonicon, then all manner of unexpected distractions.   So “almost done” is the best I can do.

If you’re wondering where the book is in this lovely portrait of our shy girl, Mei-Ling, she’s sitting on it.  It turned out to be a great way to get her to sit still!

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. 

Completed:

Sorry.  Nothing.

In Progress:

Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.  Audiobook.  It’s good, but I’m not making much progress at about 20 minutes a night.

The Life and Times of Chaucer by John Gardner.  The author of Grendel, which blew me away when I first read it at sixteen, turns his fluid and graceful writing style to examining the man who wrote The Canterbury Tales and other influential words.  On the final chapter.

Also:

Vogue’s latest.  Also, American Archeology’s latest.  Fashion magazine and anthropology combine to make a great view of human values.  Almost done with both.

FF: Lord of the Road

August 26, 2022
Roary Contemplates the Singularity

During several long drives this year, Jim and I decided to re-listen to The Lord of the Rings.  The version we have is read by Rob Inglis, produced by Recorded Books.  We’ve listened to it before, and enjoy it very much.  This last drive to Dallas and back, was also across Middle Earth.

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. 

Completed:

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Audiobook.  We started The Return of the King, and left off with Pippin seeing Faramir brought in seriously wounded.  Definitely need time to finish, and no road trips planned.

In Progress:

Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.  Audiobook.  Maybe halfway.  Had to stop on this one while we were away, so still around halfway.  Things are definitely getting serious.

The Life and Times of Chaucer by John Gardner.  The author of Grendel, which blew me away when I first read it at sixteen, turns his fluid and graceful writing style to examining the man who wrote The Canterbury Tales and other influential words.  This one is long and dense, but fascinating.  Expect to see it on my list for a while.

Also:

Vogue’s latest.  Also, American Archeology’s latest.  Fashion magazine and anthropology combine to make a great view of human values.

FF: The Nature of Knowledge

August 19, 2022
Persephone Studies Chaucer

A reminder that I’m doing a book even tomorrow (Saturday, August 20) at the flagship store of Half Price Books in Dallas, Texas. 

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. 

Completed:

A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves.  Non-fiction.  Overall liked this book, best when the author stayed closer to his specialization in geology.

In Progress:

Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.  Audiobook.  Maybe halfway.  Getting to the point where I’m nervously “watching” a bunch of misinformation lead basically good people toward disaster.

The Life and Times of Chaucer by John Gardner.  The author of Grendel, which blew me away when I first read it at sixteen, turns his fluid and graceful writing style to examining the man who wrote The Canterbury Tales and other influential words.  This one is long and dense, but fascinating.  Expect to see it on my list for a while.

Also:

A re-listen of an excellent audiobook version of The Two Towers

FF: Impossible, Improbable

August 12, 2022
Persephone and Wolfe

Here and there, I’ve been fitting in time to read, but mostly I’ve been writing or thinking about writing or dealing with a lot of demanding real-life stuff.  How about you?

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. 

Completed:

Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater.  Audiobook.  Book two in her “Dreamer Trilogy.”  The first is Call Down the Hawk.  A lot of whining in this one, and several attacks of the stupids.

Too Many Cooks by Rex Stout.  Nero out of his accustomed haunts always amuses me.

In Progress:

A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves.  Non-fiction.  Jim liked it, so I’m giving it a try.  On the final couple of chapters.  The author seems to think he’s invented “what if” which is a little wearing.  However, I learned some cool things, especially about oceans, so I overall have liked this book.

Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.  Audiobook.  I have read this at least twice, but the rich complexity of plot and characters is grabbing my attention all over again.

Also:

A copy of American Archeology I’d somehow overlooked.

FF: Nothing Quite, But Almost

August 5, 2022
Roary with Garden Backdrop and Book

Another crazy week, so I didn’t manage to finish much.

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. 

Completed:

Nothing!!!  Well, several magazines.

In Progress:

A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves.  Non-fiction.  Jim liked it, so I’m giving it a try.  We’ve gone from the formation of planets all the way to river systems.

Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater.  Audiobook.  Book two in her “Dreamer Trilogy.”  The first is Call Down the Hawk.  A lot of whining in this one.

Too Many Cooks by Rex Stout.  Nero out of his accustomed haunts always amuses me.

Also:

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but that’s okay.

FF: I’m Not Sure

July 29, 2022
Persephone Claims to Know

I’m really not sure where the last week has gone.  Wait…  There were two different sets of visitors from out of town, and a lot of catching up from the trip.  And other Stuff of the necessary, but not writerly, kind. 

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. 

Completed:

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater.  Audiobook.  Fourth of her “Raven Cycle.”  I’ve read the whole series, but this one only once, so a re-listen seemed a good thing.  For those of you who enjoy audiobooks, the reader does an excellent job with this series.

The Wizard’s Way by H.P. and Jacob Holo.  If you like lots of action, people with secrets (especially about wizardry), and a fast-moving story, this is for you.  I quite liked the reason why pugs learn to fence.

In Progress:

A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves.  Non-fiction.  Jim liked it, so I’m giving it a try.  Just started.

Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater.  Audiobook.  Book two in her “Dreamer Trilogy.”  The first is Call Down the Hawk.  Just started.  You can read this without reading the four volumes of the Raven Cycle, but it definitely helps to have read those first.

Also:

Almost done with Smithsonian.  Also, with the most recent Vogue.