Archive for the ‘Friday Fragments’ Category

FF: Memory and Dream

February 24, 2017

Yes.  That’s Charles deLint title, but also something much in my thoughts right now…

This Books Is For the Birds!

This Books Is For the Birds!

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:

Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich.  I enjoyed this even more than his Ravens in Winter, and I loved that.

The Woman Who Can’t Forget: A Memoir by Jill Price with Bart Davis.  Audiobook.  The title rather overstates the case, but still an interesting look Ms. Price’s experience with hyperthymestic  syndrome.   Glad I read it.

The Hundred Days by Patrick O’Brian.  Audiobook.  One of the ones where action is as much on land as on sea.  Stephen does have a propensity for acquiring other people’s children.

In Progress:

Blue at the Mizzen by Patrick O’Brian.  Audiobook.  Last in the series…

Memory and Dream by Charles deLint.  A conversation with a friend about “dream” and the book above about “memory” gave me a great desire to re-read this favorite.  Turns out it’s also a very good book about what artists of any sort choose to bring into the world.  This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

Also:

Trying to figure out what to do with a craft project that’s gone sideways, so looking at art books, too.

FF: History, Memory, and More

February 17, 2017

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.

Kel Contemplates Cordwainer Smith

Kel Contemplates Cordwainer Smith

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:

And Carry a Big Stick by S.M. Stirling.  Manuscript of the first book in a new series.  I’ll let you all know when it comes out!

The Bees by Laline Paull.  Audiobook.  Fiction.  Although I had my quibbles with some of the author’s language choices, I found this an ambitious and interesting read.

The Yellow Admiral by Patrick O’Brian.  Audiobook.  Jack may be losing both his wife and his command.  Worse – for a career naval officer – the war is winding down.   Will Jack have a chance to be even an admiral of the “yellow”?

Quest of the Three Worlds by Cordwainer Smith.   The only thing that can be “expected” in a Cordwainer Smith novel is the unexpected.  Some very out of date attitudes may jar on modern readers, though.

In Progress:

Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich.  Still reading in small bites so I have a chance to digest the material.  Very interesting.

The Woman Who Can’t Forget: A Memoir by Jill Price with Bart Davis.  Audiobook.  The title rather overstates the case, but still an interesting look Ms. Price’s experience with hyperthymestic  syndrome.  Very anecdotal to this point.

Also:

More archeology.  Particularly taken with an article on how WWI battlefield graves show how archeology is the complement to historical research, and that – even when there is ample written documentation, that documentation does not come close to providing a complete or even accurate depiction.

FF: Reading Aloud and Silently

February 10, 2017

First…  If you’re free, I’m going to be reading an unpublished short story tonight at the monthly meeting of the Albuquerque Science Fiction SocietyThe meeting starts at 7:30.  First time visitors are requested to make a $1.00 donation.  (Others must pay their club dues.)

Persephone and Naruto

Persephone and Naruto

The meeting is held in the Activity Room of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church at the west end of building – please enter through North Door (backside of building).  Contact Jessica C./Craig C. at 266-8905  or  cwcraig@nmia.com with any questions.

So… 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:

Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones.  Audiobook.  Sometimes when an artist becomes iconic, it’s easy to forget the ups and downs along the way.  If this biography has a sub-text, it’s “If you believe in your work, then persist.”  Bonus.  Reader Kirby Heyborne works very hard to capture the voices of various key people in Henson’s life, including Henson’s own gentle “Kermit-the-Frog” voice.  A performance that adds to the pleasure of the work.

A Choice of Gods by Clifford Simak.  A novel wrapped around a theological/philosophical meditation.

Naruto by Masashi Kihimoto.  Finished my re-read of this long manga series and found it very satisfying.

In Progress:

Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich.  I loved his Ravens in Winter and have meant to read this for a long time.  While Ravens in Winter focused on the question of why ravens would call to share food, this is a more general look at this complex bird.  Oh, this is non-fiction!

And Carry a Big Stick by S.M. Stirling.  Manuscript of the first book in a new series.  Over halfway and the situation is dire.

The Bees by Laline Paull.  Audiobook.  Fiction.  Flora 717 is not a typical bee.  Story is told mostly from her point of view as she moves through many different roles – including, possibly, that of traitor to all she thinks she holds dear.

Also:

Some short stuff, especially catching  up on archeological magazines.

Ravens and Muppets and More

February 3, 2017

I’ve continued reading more non-fiction than fiction.  I’ve also read a great deal of shorter material that’s not listed here.

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.

Ziggy: Apprentice Muppet

Ziggy: Apprentice Muppet

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:

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guin.  Audiobook.  Well done, with a balanced perspective.  However, I’m not a convert to the “narrative non-fiction” approach of reporting what people are thinking at a given moment.  Mr. Guin did not overindulge, so when he included this, it startled me and made me doubt the veracity of other statements.

In Progress:

Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones.  Audiobook.  Sometimes when an artist becomes iconic, it’s easy to forget the ups and downs along the way.  If this biography has a sub-text, it’s “If you believe in your work, then persist.”  Bonus.  Reader Kirby Heyborne works very hard to capture the voices of various key people in Henson’s life, including Henson’s own gentle “Kermit-the-Frog” voice.  A performance that adds to the pleasure of the work.

Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich.  I loved his Ravens in Winter and have meant to read this for a long time.  While Ravens in Winter focused on the question of why ravens would call to share food, this is a more general look at this complex bird.  Oh, non-fiction!

And Carry a Big Stick by S.M. Stirling.  Manuscript of the first book in a new series.

Naruto.  Moving up to the final conflict.  How one chooses to react in the face of loss is showing as a major theme of this story.  Issues 66-69.

Also:

Many, many articles on a wide variety of subjects.  The Muse is hungry and I must feed.

FF: Birds, Fonts, and Mass Murder

January 27, 2017

Shifting the balance for a bit over to more non-fiction than fiction, and feeling stimulated by the change.

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 magazine).

Never Turn Your Back

Never Turn Your Back

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:

Welcome Chaos by Kate Wilhelm.  Part spy thriller, part philosophical meditation.

Extreme Birds by Dominic Couzens.   I really enjoyed these short essays.

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield.  Fascinating mixture of history and art.  Well-written, with a cool use of fonts throughout.

In Progress:

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guin.  Audiobook.

And Carry a Big Stick by S.M. Stirling.  Manuscript of the first book in a new series.

Naruto.  Various revelations show that truth can be more complex than any web of lies.  Issues 62-65.

Also:

Parts of several books on illustration and other elements of book design.  Very colorful reading!

FF: Omens and Chaos

January 20, 2017

Lots and lots of research reading is not reflected in this Fragment.  Let’s leave it said that right now I’m a major contributor to increasing my library’s circulation figures.

Silver Welcomes Chaos

Silver Welcomes Chaos

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 magazine).

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:

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.  Audiobook.  Enjoyed.

In Progress:

Welcome Chaos by Kate Wilhelm.  This was recommended to me back when Alan and I were Tangenting about books wherein Immortality is the governing trope.  Interesting.

Extreme Birds by Dominic Couzens.   This last week, the defense mechanisms of the newly hatched hoopoe won.  They will definitely find their way into a story, somehow!

Naruto.  Keeps getting darker as old lies and older rivalries surface.  Issues 57-61.

Also:

Guns edited by Gerald Hausman.  Anthology that contains my short story “Choice of Weapons.”  Still browsing through various pieces.

FF: Back!

January 13, 2017

With the holidays over and Jim in the field, I have more time to read.

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 magazine).

Look!  Walter's New Book!

Look! Walter’s New Book!

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:

Kim by Rudyard Kipling.  Re-re-re-listen, in part because I had the tape in the house and in part because I love it.

Impersonations by Walter Jon Williams.  A short novel in his Praxis sequence.  Deals with Sula on Earth, meetings with lost “relatives,” intrigue, and assassination attempts.

In Progress:

Extreme Birds by Dominic Couzens.   Great photos and short descriptions, focusing on oddities.  Still very interesting.  I need to restrain myself and only read a half-dozen or so entries a day so I absorb the material.

Naruto.  Keeps getting darker as old lies and older rivalries surface.  Issues 56-57.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.  Audiobook.  I found this on CD at the library, because I’m still having trouble with MP3 downloads.  I haven’t read in a long time, maybe since it was released and Roger gave me a copy.

Also:

Guns edited by Gerald Hausman.  Anthology that contains my short story “Choice of Weapons.”

FF: Coming Together Slowly

January 6, 2017

Returning to routine has given me a little more reading time.

Kwahe'e Dreams of Birds

Kwahe’e Dreams of Birds

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 magazine).

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 Commodore by Patrick O’Brian.  (Audiobook.)  I’ll be moving on to The Yellow Admiral as soon as I work out a downloading glitch with the library.

In Progress:

Extreme Birds by Dominic Couzens.   Great photos and short descriptions, focusing on oddities.  I had no idea there were birds with poisonous feathers, for example.

Continuing Naruto re-read and am up to issue 55.  Half-truths have been filled out in a lot of the recent volumes, creating a much more complex social and political picture.

Also:

Catching up on magazines.  Just finished Smithsonian’s December issue.

FF: Scattered!

December 30, 2016

I received all sorts of cool books for Christmas, including one on cowboy star Audie Murphy, a history of Wonder Woman, one on the gardens of New Spain (that’s where I live), as well as a couple gaming manuals.  (Warning, oh thou Hostages in the Court of the Faceless Tyrant, one’s all on the undead!  Blame Jim.)

Holiday Distractions in Action!

Holiday Distractions in Action!

In my spare time I’ve been dipping into these new books and a scary heap of accumulated magazines.  However, systematic reading has been preempted by visiting and other holiday fun.

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 magazine).

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:

Sorry…  Nothing!  Don’t mark me down…

In Progress:

The Commodore by Patrick O’Brian.  (Audiobook.)  Jack’s back on shore.  I always worry when he’s on land.  I think that’s why I’ve been scared to keep listening.

Also:

Continuing Naruto re-read and am up to issue 49.

FF: Do Recipes Count?

December 23, 2016

Holiday preparations have definitely cut into my reading time – even my audiobook time has been preempted by Christmas music.  But I am still squeezing in a little.

Kel Dreaming of a White Christmas

Kel Dreaming of a White Christmas

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 magazine).

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:

Do recipes count?  If so, I’ve completed a lot of reading here.  And in craft books.

In Progress:

The Commodore by Patrick O’Brian.  (Audiobook.)  Jack’s back on shore.  I always worry when he’s on land.

Also:

Continuing Naruto re-read and am up to issue 47.