Archive for the ‘Friday Fragments’ Category

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.

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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.

FF: I’ll Be Reading From Wolf’s Search!

August 23, 2019

Persephone Traps The Kindle!

Today begins Bubonicon!  Programming for me starts at 5:00.  You all voted, so I’ll be reading from Wolf’s Search!  I’ll also be taking questions and telling you about some future projects.  If you don’t get there in time, I hope you’ll drop by and say “hi” during the Mass Signing on Saturday.  As long as I’m not actively putting graffiti on people’s books, I enjoy chatting.

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:

Theater of Spies by S.M. Stirling.  Book Two in his series set in an Alternate World War I.  The first, in case you’re interested, is The Black Chamber.

In Progress:

Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher (which is a secret identity of one of Bubonicon’s Guests of Honor, Ursula Vernon).  After reading several novels focusing on the Big Picture of war and destruction, the adventure of a twelve year-old mage with only three spells (none of which are terribly devastating) is proof that the microcosm works as well as the macro for creating an absorbing story.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We’re now to the Philosopher Emperors.  I admire how Durant has used the first portion of the book, which is focused on Rome in her various incarnations from the founding now into empire to show why, when Christianity began to spread, Rome was such a fertile field for it the new religion’s spread.

Also:

Wolf’s Soul is now moving along.  After re-reading what I’d written before I took my hiatus to get Wolf’s Search through production, I realized there was a lot in my head that hadn’t gotten into the text.  Now I’m actually writing it, rather than just imagining it!

FF: Kitten Reveal!

August 16, 2019

Meet Mei-Ling!

Meet Mei-Ling, the newest member of our household.  She’s somewhere between two and three months old.  (She’s actually smaller than she looks in this photo.)  We adopted her from the Albuquerque Animal Shelter on Tuesday.  She’s a little shy yet, but very cuddly.  We hope she’ll eventually be a good playmate for Persephone, who has been missing Ogapoge, who we lost in late April.

Mei-Ling wants me to remind you about the other baby in our household.  This week marks one month from the official release of Wolf’s Search!  I am now sliding deeper and deeper into Wolf’s Soul.  I’ve also been spending some of my evenings working in the garden, and that’s cut into my reading time.

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:

Best Plants for New Mexico Gardens and Landscapes by Baker H. Morrow.   Microclimates are fascinating.  I started reading this for my garden and continued with my writing in mind.

In Progress:

Theater of Spies by S.M. Stirling.  Book Two in his series set in an Alternate World War I.  The first, in case you’re interested, is The Black Chamber.  About half-way in.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We’re done with the “big name” emperors and taking a look at art, science, etc.  Just finishing art and architecture.

Also:

Re-reading and tinkering with bits of Wolf’s Soul as I move toward writing the final chapters.

FF: Mixed and Mingled

August 9, 2019

Dandy Goes To The Theater

This week my reading has been all over the place, which isn’t bad at all.  I’m enjoying hearing what you’re reading…

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:

Octavia Gone by Jack McDevitt.   A good mystery because the resolution doesn’t solve everything neatly, but instead offers some interesting moral ramifications.

All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartolomew.  Sometimes it’s frustrating that writers about gardening automatically assume that anyone reading the book is in the same climate zone as them.  Still, I gleaned a few helpful bits from this, while feeling rather smug that the wheel the author seemed to think he’d invented has been in use here for centuries.

In Progress:

Theater of Spies by S.M. Stirling.  Book Two in his series set in an Alternate World War I.  The first, in case you’re interested, is The Black Chamber.  Just started.

Best Plants for New Mexico Gardens and Landscapes by Baker H. Morrow.   Microclimates are fascinating.  I started reading this for my garden and continued with my writing in mind.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We’re done with the “big name” emperors and taking a look at art, science, etc.  It’s fascinating that, with so much to build on, the Romans didn’t make all that many advances.

Also:

I’ve been immersed in a lot of work toward future projects.  Stay tuned for official announcements…