Archive for the ‘Friday Fragments’ Category

FF:Trying Harder

November 22, 2019

Kel Sees a Camera and Poses

This has been a week for finishing up.  Next will be one for starting new.  Remember, folks, this is supposed to be fun, so don’t feel you need to report massive reading “progress.”  I like hearing from you, no matter what!

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:

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire.  Audiobook.  A regular reader of the FF asked, “Is this horror?  From what I’ve read, it sounds like it.”  My assessment is “Yes and no.”  Very strong elements of horror (with horror movies repeatedly alluded to by the narrative voice).  However, I think the novel is reaching for more.  Whether or not you think it does so will depend on the individual reader.

The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbojornsen & Moe, translated by Tiina Nunnally.  A very interesting read but the “complete” means a certain amount of repetition of story types.  Recommended as a read in small bites unless you’re a folklorist who wants the “compare and contrast” experience.  Excellent translation, that strives to portray the Norwegian cultural vibe, something that even the original compliers admitted was difficult to do.

In Progress:

Grimjack created by John Ostrander and Tim Truman.  Comic books.  Past the “Trade Wars” storyline and into Kalibos.  Grimjack is definitely an anti-hero, but one who tries to be more “hero” than “anti.”  Ever since “Requiem” he’s been trying harder.

The Age of Faith by Will Durant.  Part Four of “The Story of Civilization.”  Audiobook.  At a massive sixty-one and a half hours, I’ll be back and forth with this one for a while!

Also:

Dipping and delving into the three Star Kingdom novels by Weber, and Weber and Lindskold as I get ready to start writing as of yet untitled Book Four in the series.

FF: Immersion

November 8, 2019

Kel Makes a Reverse Q next to Quillifer

One reason the reading list below is so short is that I’ve been immersed in my second read-through of Wolf’s Soul.  This doesn’t leave much reading attention for anything else!

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.

Do any of you do holiday-specific reading?

Recently Completed:

Quillifer The Knight by Walter Jon Williams.  I know the author, so I scored an ARC!  The writing style is reminiscent Rafael Sabatini or Alexander Dumas, so be prepared for descriptive embroidery, as well as swashbuckling adventure.  This novel is now officially available!

In Progress:

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire.  Audiobook.

The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbojornsen & Moe, translated by Tiina Nunnally.  I’m reading a few of these before bed each night.  They can make for some very odd dreams!

Also:

I haven’t quite figured out what my next “fun” read is going to be.  I’m seriously considering a re-read of something I love. I’ll let you know next week!

FF: Knights, Alchemists, and Trolls

November 1, 2019

Clever Rogue Meets Clever Rogue

After reading well over half of The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbojornsen & Moe, I have found myself wondering just how many family pets were beheaded by children who believed that this would release the prince/princess trapped within by evil trolls…

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.

I’m enjoying hearing what you folks are reading, too!

Recently Completed:

Sourdough by Robin Sloan.  Audiobook.  Enjoyable.

In Progress:

Quillifer The Knight by Walter Jon Williams.  I know the author, so I scored an ARC!  The writing style is reminiscent Rafael Sabatini or Alexander Dumas, so be prepared for descriptive embroidery as well as swashbuckling adventure.  This novel is a November release!

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire.  Audiobook.  Just started.

The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbojornsen & Moe, translated by Tiina Nunnally.  I’m reading a few of these before bed each night.  They can make for some very odd dreams!

Also:

Finished my first read-through of Wolf’s Soul.  Overall, I’m feeling happy with it, but I’m too close to it.  I’ll take a few days away from it to clear my head before going through it again.

FF: Food, Scripture, and Inspiration

October 18, 2019

Persephone Reaches Out

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.

I’m enjoying hearing what you folks are reading, too!

Recently Completed:

Mister Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.  Audiobook.  Slow build based around a puzzle reminds me quite a bit of Ready Player One.  A lot fewer fight scenes, less Eighties trivia, replaced by computer trivia.

Kebra Nagast edited by Gerry Hausman.  Interesting balance of anecdote and Rastafarian scripture.

Jerk From Jamaica: Barbecue Caribbean Style by Helen Willinsky.  Food and how it is prepared is a terrific window into a culture.  Helen Willinsky’s introduction alone would make this book a great find, but each section, sometimes each recipe, has a little write up that makes this a gem.  When winter comes, I want to try some of the recipes.

In Progress:

Sourdough by Robin Sloan.  Audiobook.  Another slow story, very introspective, but I’m enjoying the internal journey of Lois.

The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbojornsen & Moe, translated by Tiina Nunnally.  I’ve read many of these stories in the older translation, but Tiina Nunnally’s translation removes the British interpolations and provides a greater sense of the Norwegian roots.  The various introductions include a lively foreword by Neil Gaiman, as well as the original introductions to various editions by Asbojornsen and Moe.  The latter provide a lovely perspective on the evolution of the text.

Also:

I’m not a great fan of post-apocalyptic fiction or film.  One exception is A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.  When we were invited to a post-apocalyptic themed Halloween party, I pulled out this favorite, re-read parts, and have resolved to attend as a booklegger—complete with a chest of books to share.

FF: Rich Selection

October 11, 2019

My reading right now continues to be a rich and varied selection…

Mei-Ling Considers Trying Jamaican Food!

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.

I’m enjoying hearing what you folks are reading, too!

Recently Completed:

The Bends In The Road: A Memoir by Svenn Lindskold.  Svenn is my great-uncle, half-brother of my paternal grandfather, a relative I met only after I was an adult, but whom I’ve come to really like.  This is a thoughtful look at a life of over eighty years, full of rich detail.

In Progress:

Mister Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.  Audiobook.  Slow build based around a puzzle reminds me quite a bit of Ready Player One.  A lot fewer fight scenes, less Eighties trivia, replaced by computer trivia.

Kebra Nagast edited by Gerry Hausman.  Very dense, so reading slowly.

Jerk From Jamaica: Barbecue Caribbean Style by Helen Willinsky.  Food and how it is prepared is a terrific window into a culture.  Helen Willinsky’s introduction alone would make this book a great find, but each section, sometimes each recipe, has a little write up that makes this a gem.

Also:

Wolf’s Soul is done in rough draft, so I’m re-reading, polishing, tinkering.

FF: Weighted Toward Non-Fiction

September 27, 2019

Mei-Ling And Kwahe’e Share Memories

This week is a mix, but weighted toward non-fiction.  I think it’s about time for a fiction binge…

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 I’m always interested in what you have to recommend!  No unreliable narrators, please!

Recently Completed:

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles by Clamp.  Manga.  Issues 23-28.  Complex story, perhaps one of the few I’ve read in any form that tries to deal with the consequences of precognition when there is more than one with the ability, and everyone involved has different goals.  Ambitious, so not completely successful, but I admire the ambition.

Esteban by Dennis Herrick.  This non-fiction text takes a look at one of the most important yet consistently under-represented figures in the history of the Spanish incursion into the American west. Despite occasional forays into “narrative non-fiction,” which is a form I personally dislike, I enjoyed this book.

In Progress:

The Bends In The Road: A Memoir by Svenn Lindskold.  Svenn is my great-uncle, half-brother of my paternal grandfather, a relative I met only after I was an adult, but whom I’ve come to really like.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We’ve finished with Jesus and the early church, and are now back to a rapidly decaying Roman empire.

Also:

A bunch of shorter stuff, including the latest American Archeology that may get a letter from me regarding inconstant terminology in one article.  Where were their editors?

FF: The Distorting Lens of Perspective

September 20, 2019

Persephone Is No One’s Pawn!

Perspective is one of the least discussed elements in writing, whether fiction or non-fiction.  This week I seem immersed in many stories in which who said what about whom, as well as who may have flat-out lied are very important.

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 I’m always interested in what you have to recommend!  No unreliable narrators, please!

Recently Completed:

The Gameshouse by Claire North.  Three novellas interconnected by a developing plot.  Of these, I enjoyed the first (“The Snake”) the most.

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles by Clamp.  Manga.  Issues 17-22.  I read this a long time ago, recently purchased and watched the anime, including the movies and OVAs.  Remembered there was more to the story, and hunted these out.  I’ve heard this referred to as a “tour of the Clampverse,” but it’s far more than that.

In Progress:

Esteban by Dennis Herrick.  This non-fiction text takes a look at one of the most important yet consistently under-represented figures in the history of the Spanish incursion into the American west. Over half-way done.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  The question of the historical Jesus has finally been reached.

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles by Clamp.  Manga.  Issue 23.

Also:

Back to writing on Wolf’s Soul, which has necessitated a certain amount of re-reading since I was away from the manuscript for a while.

FF: Lucky Reading

September 13, 2019

Coco the Baby Guinea Pig and Esteban

Welcome to Friday the Thirteenth!

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 I’m always interested in what you have to recommend!

Recently Completed:

While Gods Sleep by L.D. Colter.  An alternate take of Greek mythology.  Doesn’t re-tell any old myths, but instead they provide the underlying foundation for an original tale of a mortal caught up in divine machinations.

DreamForge, Issue Three.  Very much enjoyed the new issue.  The theme “Tales of Kindred” souls is played out in some very creative ways.

In Progress:

Esteban by Dennis Herrick.  This non-fiction text takes a look at one of the most important yet consistently under-represented figures in the history of the Spanish incursion into the American west.

The Gameshouse by Claire North.  I had a little trouble with the peculiar narrative voice in which the tale is told, but once I wrapped my brain around it, I found myself caught up in the story.  Maybe twenty-percent in.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  Just finished Herod the Great, and looking at Jewish culture under Roman rule.

Also:

Not much “also” this week…

FF: Alternate Interpretations

September 6, 2019

Kel Looks Smug

The latest issue of DreamForge magazine arrived this week.  It features the first ever Firekeeper short story, “A Question of Truth,” illustrated by Hugo Award-winning artist, Elizabeth Leggett.  If you’re waiting for your copy of DreamForge to arrive, and need a Firekeeper hit, remember that the new Firekeeper novel, Wolf’s Search is now available!

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 I’m always interested in what you have to recommend!

Recently Completed:

End of the Megafauna by Ross. D. E. MacPhee, with glorious illustrations by Peter Schouten.  Although intended for a general audience, the author relies on a glossary, rather than over-simplifying his topic.  So far well-organized and fascinating.

In Progress:

While Gods Sleep by L.D. Coulter.  I met the author (who also wrote “The Weight of Mountain” in DreamForge, issue two, at Bubonicon, and when I learned we shared an interest in mythology decided to try another of her works.  I’m about three-quarters through, and love her alternate take on Greek mythology.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  Taking a look at cultures deeply influenced by Rome, often by being conquered by the Romans or resisting being conquered by the Romans.

Also:

I’ve started the new issue of DreamForge, of course!

FF: Extinction, Distinction, and Cloud Herders

August 30, 2019

Dandy Contemplates Sabertooths With Trepidation

Many thanks to those of you who came to my reading from the newest Firekeeper novel, Wolf’s Search, last Friday at Bubonicon.  I hope you enjoyed as much as I did!  Sorry about where I finished.  I promise, it wasn’t intentional. I really thought I’d finish the scene…

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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:

Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher (which is a pen name for Ursula Vernon).  If we don’t get rain soon, I’m going to follow this young mage’s example and go hunting for the Cloud Shepherds!

In Progress:

End of the Megafauna by Ross. D. E. MacPhee, with glorious illustrations by Peter Schouten.  Although intended for a general audience, the author relies on a glossary, rather than over-simplifying his topic.  So far well-organized and fascinating.

While Gods Sleep by L.D. Coulter.  I met the author (who also wrote “The Weight of Mountain” in DreamForge, issue two, at Bubonicon.  Decided to try a longer work.  So far, quite mythic!

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  Still on the Philosopher Emperors.  I didn’t get a lot of listening time last week.

Also:

The expansion of some scenes in Wolf’s Soul also showed me a need for some new scenes.  I’m feeling pretty good about this so far.