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Glory
21 February 2017 @ 11:24 am
I've finally started reading some 2017 short fiction (it only took an month an a half). I quite enjoyed "Microbiota and the Masses: A Love Story" by S.B. Divya Its a sweet story that features microbiology and ecological remediation. Anyways its nice to feel a bit less rushed about my short fiction reading.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/200542.html
 
 
Glory
I'm experimenting with shorter but hopefully more frequent rec posts instead of the monthly round ups. We'll see how it goes.

Anyways I got a copy of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales ed. Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe out for the library and thought I should mention it here. Now I have been picking a choosing what to read in this, but everything has been really good. I especially liked "seasons of glass and Iron" by Amal El-Mohtar in which princess form two fairy tales rescue each other. But I also like the mix of things familiar fairy tales and unfamiliar, western and non-western, all kind of settings. Plus the stories have pretty capital letters and interesting author notes. Definitely check it out if you like fairy tales at all.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/200218.html
 
 
Glory
So Hugo nomination season is open. I've been ordering holds from the library and even bought a couple of books so I can read lots of 2016 work before nominations close in March. Anyways during this process I've also decided to not read a couple of things that are probably really good and well done, but aren't what I want to be reading.

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (Novella) This a retelling of a Lovecraft story that a bunch of my friends loved. I'm not reading it because I don't like Lovecraft, and I find retelling generally lose a lot if you are not familiar with the original.

Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw (Novella) I've really enjoyed a bunch of Khaw's short fiction, but this one is described as dark, lovecraftan and noir and none of those things are for me.

The Obelisk Gate by by N.K. Jemisin (Novel) This the second book in Jemisin's new trilogy, and I've had a copy of the 1st book since it came out. However I've been told that there is some really awful child injury in that book, and I can't bring myself to read it, so I won't be reading the second either.

Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction by André M. Carrington (best related work) This sounds awesome! It's academic history/criticism about race and science fiction. But I want to finish watching DS9 before I read this and I've been watching it pretty slowly and doubt I will finish before March.

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley (best related work)I really admire Kameron Hurley, but every time I read one of her pep talks I feel bad about myself for not working hard enough. I'm really good at beating myself up without any extra help so I'm going to skip this book, and try to work on self compassion instead.

Anyways if you are not me these might be great books that you will love. Consider checking them out.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/199894.html
 
 
Glory
09 January 2017 @ 09:53 am
So this morning when I checked my email I found my Hugo login (they aren't using PINs this year). It is exciting! But also there is still a lot I want to read. Who else is nominating this year? If you get a supporting membership to Worldcon 75 in Helsinki by the end of the month you can join the nomination fun too. (Nomination is totally my favorite part of the Hugos.)

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/199572.html
 
 
Glory
05 January 2017 @ 11:41 am
Goodreads tells me I read 105 books in 2016. This imperfect especially as I was a bit inconstant about how I counted manga a graphic novels. I also seem to have counted one book I abandoned in disgust. Anyways this many fewer books than I've read in any other year where I have full goodreads count. I'm going to blame this on baby N as this was my 1st full year being a parent. I also think that as N has gotten older I've been finding more time to read so I expect this number to be higher next year.

Fiction: 85
Non fiction: 18

Of the non-fiction 11 where academic monographs, in keeping with my goal of reading 10 of those (Though one I skimmed.) I feel pretty good about having achieved that goal though I still miss my grad history seminars and having discussions about the history I've been reading.

13 Novellas
22 comics/graphic novels/manga

I still count these even if they are shorter to read then full novels.

I'm not currently keeping track of the gender of authors because I'm happy with the stasis quo here. (Ie I read lots and lots of books by women.) I'm think thinking of keeping track of books by queer/trans authors going forward though. I could use some more data on this to see if it something I should address.

I read 14 books by non-white authors or 16% which is below my goal of 20%

Oldest book: Anne of Green Gables
Youngest book: Hurricane Heels by Isabel Yap

Highlights:
The Citadel of Weeping Pearls by Aliette de Bodard
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1
In the Labyrinth of Drakes by by Marie Brennan
Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott
The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century by D. Graham Burnett

Next year I want to read 10 more academic books and also read 24 books by new to me not white authors. These need to be novella or longer, but I'll also count graphic novels and manga. I'm going to count authors I've read one or two short fiction pieces by as new, but not authors where I've read a lot of their short fiction.

I've been saying for few years that I want to read more books by POC but I haven't been doing that. So to push myself I'm going to try reading a bunch of new authors. I went with 24 because that is 2 a month an seemed doable.

On a vaguely related note I'm working on finishing up my 2015 short fiction reading. Is there anything I should be sure not to miss?

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/199270.html
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Glory
24 December 2016 @ 07:16 am
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah everyone!

I have a big family gathering planned for this evening with with my family and Rs family. We are going to light a menorah, eat latkes, and exchange Christmas presents. It should be nice.

Yesterday I went gorcery shopping to get some things for tonight and it was a zoo. The store was so full of people standing in line that it was hard to shop.

Wendsday night I had a small solistice gathering with my family and got to exchange gifts with my sister and niece.

Hope the holidays are treating all of you well.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/199064.html
 
 
Glory
06 December 2016 @ 09:48 am
There is quite a bit of talk going around about a potential new federal infrastructure bill. I want to talk about what infrastructure actually is, and how federal infrastructure spending shapes the US landscape. Infrastructure is complex and we need to not to treat it all as one thing and also to understand the secondary effect of building certain types of infrastructure.

Infrastructure includes lots of things some of these are have positive impacts on society and others negative. For example oil pipelines, high speed rail, highways, and solar energy plants are all infrastructure, but investing in each one of these would clearly have different impacts on society and the built environment. Politicians and the media have a tenancy to lump all of these things together and treat them like one thing, but this is really not helpful and can obfuscate the effects of government actions.

And government actions in infrastructure really do matter. Infrastructure funding is a major way the federal government plans the US built environment. The federal government leaves a lot lower levels to government – they don’t tell cities how to zone for example, or make it illegal to build on flood plains. But they do invest in big projects that make things possible. The Central Valley Project brings water from northern California to Southern California and means that more people can live there and there can be more irrigated agriculture in the south. The interstate highway system made it easier for people to drive and contributed to urban sprawl (it didn’t help that they knocked down a bunch of intercity neighborhoods to build freeways). As these examples show the federal government doesn’t have to do central planning to have a huge impact on the landscape.

So if you are thinking about contacting your reps please tell them you want to invest in mass transit and clean energy not new highways and pipelines. Tell them about the already existing infrastructure that you use and could use more money. Ask them not treat infrastructure like it is all one thing that always good, but to think carefully about what the federal government builds and how it will shape our future. Because infrastructure might seem boring but it shapes the world we live in.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/198807.html
 
 
Glory
29 November 2016 @ 02:36 pm
A couple of tie in stories this month but I think they all stand alone quite well.

"Clover" by Charlie Jane Anders This happy queer story featuring cats is set in the same world a All the Birds in the Sky and does contain minor spoilers

"To Rise No More" By Marie Brennan Ada Lovelace story set in her Onyx Court world (the secret history with fae). No spoilers.

"The most important thing" by Marissa Lingen A very short story about how people experience history.

A.C. Wise has posted her annual meta awards eligibility post featuring all the author eligibility post and 2016 short fiction rec's she can find (so the post will keep growing). This great place to look for more awesome short fiction, and check and make sure you haven't missed anything form your favorite authors.

Have you read any good short fiction recently?

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/198534.html
 
 
Glory
10 November 2016 @ 02:29 pm
I am distraught over the results of the presidential election. As part of increasing my activism I'm going to be writing a post here once a month about the environment, urban planning and or sustainable agriculture. I want to get more of the knowledge in my head out into the world where I hope it can do some good. So let me know if there are any topics you want covered.

Today we are going to start simple with a list of environmental organizations that I like that you can donate to. Our president elect doesn't believe in anthropocentric climate change. And it is part of the Republican Party platform to sell off our national parks. So these issues are critical right now.

The Nature Conservancy This group works to buy environmentally sensitive lands and preserve them. They also have many programs that work with fishers, farmers and ranchers to make those practices more sustainable.

The Wilderness Society Advocacy group for wild lands.

Land Trust Alliance Use this group to find a land trust near you, or donate to support land trusts in general. Lands are groups that buy lands and to hold in trust for future generations. They help create trails and parks and can work to reduce urban sprawl.

Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) I learned about this awesome farmer group while I was living in Iowa for grad school. They are a group of farmers who help teach each other about sustainable practices. They have been force for change by doing peer-to-peer education about farm sustainability.

Califorina League of Conservation Voters Politically advocacy group in California that works to educate voters about environmental issues. Also puts out an environmental score card for California legislators.

Xerces Society Invertebrates aren't cute and fuzzy but they are a vital part of every ecosystem. The Xerces Society works to protect them and their habitats.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/198230.html
 
 
Glory
01 November 2016 @ 11:00 am
Not doing an October short fiction rec post because I haven't read enough. However I am going to ramble around This month I've haven't been reading that much short fiction online. But I have been reading some short fiction in other ways.

I have an ebook version of People of Colo(u)r Destory Science Fiction and I am mostly done with the original fiction in it i just have a few flash pieces to good. So far I've liked almost everything. "A Good Home" by Karin Lowachee was especially good and is free online. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the issue.

I also finally finished reading An Alphabet of Embers I'm not sure why I put it down for a while but it was definitely worth picking up again.

I also read Comrade Grandmother and Other Stories by Naomi Kritzer, which was good, but not quite as excellent as her more recent work.

I've realized since the Tor.com novellas are produced in hard copy I can get them form the library and have put holds on several of them. I just got and read The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson which was ok but felt aimed at Lovecraft fans. (I'm not sure about all the Lovecraft inspired things I'm seeing lately but I did love "The Litany of Earth" and am looking forward to read a novella about the main character.)

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/198111.html
 
 
 
Glory
24 October 2016 @ 10:13 am
Today I'm over at Lady Business talking about the worldcon YA award process and our on going servey to help decide the name of the award. Read more here.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/197741.html
 
 
Glory
02 October 2016 @ 01:13 pm
I've been sick and busy with family stuff this month so I haven't read much short fiction. Here are couple of things that I did like though.

"Magnifica Angelica Superable" by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz A very short story about change and freedom.

"Taste the Singularity at the Food Truck Circus" by Jeremiah Tolbert I like stories about food and eating, and this story has tons of strange science fictional food, and also a cute friendship.

Rosh Hashana starts tonight so, L'shana tovah everyone. May your new year be sweet and contain some good short fiction.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/197145.html
 
 
Glory
29 August 2016 @ 01:03 pm
I have few stories to share this month. It’s been a pretty good short fiction reading month. While I haven’t been reading quite a much as I’d like to I have read quite a bit quite a lot of which I enjoyed.

“How To Piss Off A Failed Super-Soldier” by John Chu I had not been paying attention to Booksmugglers’ publishing because the theme for this season is superheroes and I generally don’t like superheroes. (Too much solving systematic problems by punching people.) But apparently they are publishing a lot of the sweet family and romance focused stories I’m looking for. This is one of them.

Superior by Jessica Lack This is another really cute Booksmugglers’ Publishing story. It is an m/m romance between a superhero’s intern and a supervillain’s apprentice.

”The Art of Space Travel” by Nina Allan It’s 2047 and Emily works at hotel near Heathrow were two astronauts will soon be staying before they launch for Mars. I just adored this story about family and memory. I read it and thought “well that is going on my Hugo ballot for sure.” One of the best things I’ve read this year.

What short fiction have you enjoyed this month?

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/196891.html
 
 
Glory
08 August 2016 @ 07:03 pm
So the World Science Fiction Society is the governing body of WorldCons and thus also the Hugo Awards. They have one town hall style legislative session every year, known as the Business Meeting which takes place at worldcon every year. The agenda for this years meeting can be found here (warning long pdf). I'm not going to worldcon this year so I can't attend the business meeting and vote on any changes, but I have lot of thoughts and feelings so you'll have to bare with me.

YA award: Yay! I served on the YA committee this last year and I'm happy to say that we were able to get a proposal for an award together. It is for a Campbell-like "not a Hugo" award. I don't think this solution is prefect but I think it has good chance of being a comprise that everyone can accept. I'd really like to see WSFS honor more YA so I hope that this passes. If you have questions or feedback about this proposal please let me know.

Nomination Rights Grab The motions "B.2.2 Short Title: December is Good Enough" and "B.2.3 Short Title: Two Years are Good Enough" would reduced the number of people who are eligible to nominate work for the Hugo awards. Currently all members of this year's, last year's, and next year's worldcon before Jan 31 can be Hugo nominators. One of these measures would put the deadline to register back to December 31, and the other measure would restrict nomination to members of last year's and this years (or if amended just this year's) con. The reasons stated for this are the administrative burden of dealing with large numbers of nominators and coordinating between cons. I have some sympathy for the administrators here, but really feel that this an unwelcoming move. For years Hugo admins have been trying to get more people to nominate, and WSFS has been making it so more people could, and now that more people have, some admins seem to be saying that having lots nominators is just too much trouble. It feels like going backwards to me.

Best Series Hugo I don't really care whether or not this award passes but I'm very amused by the committee report which features, not one, not two but three minority reports.

Nominating Systems So there are a lot of potential changes to how the finalist are selected which are supposed to reduced the impact of slate voting. I'm kind of skeptical of all them. I fell down the rabbit hole and read a lot about EPH and EPH+ including skimming the academic paper about it, and still don't understand the difference between the two. Three stage voting which allows people to vote yes or no on the long list seems kind of mean spirited, plus it seems like people might reject less traditional work, or works but marginalized authors. Additional Finalist, which would let admins add works to the ballot seems very heavy handed. So I want the slate voters to stop winning but I'm not very convinced that any of the solutions proposed are good ideas. Basically democracy is very hard to protect from trolls.

Non-transferability of Voting Rights I don't understand the point of this one either. It is the only proposal without any commentary, and I think it could really use some. Anyone understand this?

That's all for now. If you are going to WorldCon consider going to the business meeting and having your vote count in these issues.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/196131.html
 
 
Glory
28 July 2016 @ 11:38 am
Hello, I hope all of you have been having a easier July then I have been. I've been dealing with family medical stuff for the last week, and have had to do some extra care taking for my mother in law. She is great and doing very well, but wow is it a lot of work. Anyways I did read some short fiction before all this happened and I even have some cheerful fiction to recommend for once!

Kid Dark Against The Machine by Tansy Rayner Roberts This is a lose sequel to "Cookiecutter Superhero" in that it takes place in the same world and has a few character overlaps. However it stands on its own. This the cheerful short fiction I've been looking for, it is upbeat and warm, and just lovely.

I've started reading An Alphabet of Embers ed Rose Lemberg which is an anthology of very short pieces. So far I really like it. Many of the pieces are optimistic, the writing is consistently lyrical, and the illustrations are amazing. (Seriously I have paper copy so sometimes I just flip one open and stare for a bit.)

A Hundred and Seventy Storms by Aliette de Bodard Ok so this one isn't cheerful, but is is amazing so I wanted to include it too. Another Xuya story about people living around a very unpleasant planet. About family and sacrifice.

Have you read any good short fiction lately?

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/196020.html
 
 
 
Glory
27 June 2016 @ 02:29 pm
Here are a few pieces of short fiction I read recently that I want to rec.

The Sound of Salt and Sea by Kat Howard A pretty and slightly creepy story. I liked the main characters attention to detail.

Whale-Oil By Sylvia V. Linsteadt I enjoyed this ecological themed story set in my home region of the San Fransisco bay area.

Mortal Eyes by Ann Chatham I had to stop reading this story in the middle to tweet about how the author got coppicing right, because I was very impressed. It is also a very good story, with a pregnant protagonist and fairies.

Not a short story or even SFF but I want to rec [personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan, which is the (fictional) memoirs of a Victorian courtesan. It is just lovey. It updates everyday and I always look forward to finding out what the characters are up to. If you need some sex positive domestic cheerfulness if your life The Comfortable Courtesan is for you.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/195115.html
 
 
Glory
31 May 2016 @ 11:51 am
Things have been busy and I haven't read as much short fiction this month as I would have liked to. (Some of you may be sensing a theme with these introductions). Anyways here are few things that I did read and like.

"The Cedar Grid" by Sara Saab (content note:violent death) Grief, family and morning are important themes in this beautiful story.

"Foxfire, Foxfire" by Yoon Ha Lee (content note: quite a bit of violent death here too.) I'm quite found of shape changing foxes

I think this may just not be a year for cheerful stories. What short fiction have you been reading recently?

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/195043.html
 
 
Glory
29 April 2016 @ 05:43 pm
So it is almost the end of the month, which means it is time for short fiction recs. However right now I'm feeling a bit discouraged about this project. The Hugo finalist were announced last week, and the bigoted slaters were able to control most of the nominations. This year more than 4000 people nominated, and I had hoped that would make difference. I'm angry for the people who nominated for the 1st time this year, that they had such cruddy experience, and I hope they won't all be discouraged from nominating again.

Really though, I'm so sad for the stories I loved last year. It was such great year for short fiction and I really hoped to see some of my favorites be recognized. Or if my favorites couldn't be on the short list, I wanted the stories that beat them out to have done so because people loved them. And it feels self aggrandizing to admit it but part of the purpose of this project is to help people find fiction they love to nominate for the Hugos, and I was hoping to have some impact on the final ballot. Which is silly because only an handful of people read my recs.

Anyways I do have some recs, because this project is also about sharing things I love with my friends. I wish this set was a bit more cheerful, but I hope you enjoy them.

"Dragon Brides" by Nghi Vo A slightly creepy story about what happens a princess after she is rescued form a dragon.

"This Is a Letter to My Son" by KJ Kabza (content note: cancer death) A sweet domestic story in the near future, featuring a trans girl and her dead mother.

"A Salvaging of Ghosts" by Aliette de Bodard (Content note: death of an adult child) This story is so beautiful and sad, and lovey. You should read it especially if you liked The Citadel of Weeping Pearls.

"From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review" by Marie Brennan I adore The Memoirs of Lady Trent, this story takes place between volumes 3 and 4 and stands on its own though it does contain spoilers. It is in the form of exchange of letters in scientific journal.

Have you read any good short fiction lately? Recs for something cheerful would be especially appreciated just now.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/194630.html
 
 
Glory
29 March 2016 @ 11:30 am
Hugo nominations end this Thursday so a lot of people I know are trying to read a lot 2015 short fiction. If that your goal this post won't help you. I did most of my 2015 story cramming in January and this month I've actuality been reading short fiction at reasonable pace. I've been feeling relaxed about it so as well as reading some current stuff I've been reading some of the slightly older stuff that I was meaning to get around but always drop in favor of new things. So here are a few recs.

Seven Cups of Coffee by A.C. Wise (content note: queer tragedy.) This story made me sit up and say wow! So lovely and sad, with an interesting time travel twist.

Between Dragons and Their Wrath by An Owomoyela and Rachel Swirsky This is another hard to read story about children living in area devastated by war, but it is hauntingly beautiful.

And one the older stories I read: The Nalendar by Ann Leckie This a fantasy story with some really interesting gods, and a great main character. This one isn't depressing.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/193815.html
 
 
Glory
29 February 2016 @ 11:24 am
Leap day means on more day to get my February short fiction rec post up and I need it because I haven't been reading that much short fiction this month. After doing a ton of short fiction reading for my favorates of 2015 post I decided to take a break form short fiction reading which ended up stretching well into February. But I've gotten back into reading things in the last week or so. Here are a few that I liked.

"The Desert Glassmaker and the Jeweler of Berevyar" by Rose Lemberg Another birdverse story, told in letters between craftspeople. I really liked the descriptions of the crafts and of the environments the characters live in.

"The Tomato Thief" by Ursula Vernon This story made me really want a tomato, and there won't be good ones here for months. Also I loved the bits about trains and the logistics of foodstuff. Anyways this story is sequel to "Jackalope Wives" but would read fine on its own. Grandma Harken is a lot of fun to read about.

I've also been reading A.M. Dellamonica's stories set in the same world as Child of a Hidden Sea. There are three so far, all prequels to the novel. I love getting to learn more about the world and the characters. The stories are in chronological order "Among the Silvering Herd", "The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti" and "The Glass Galago"

How has your short fiction reading been going lately?

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/193613.html