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More Short Fiction News

For those of you who weren't Hugo nominators last year or where too shy to ask the author for a reading copy you can now buy The Citadel of Weeping Pearls by Aliette de Bodard as stand alone novella. More info at the author's website.

This was one of my favorite Novellas of 2015. I wrote: "Set in De Bodard’s Xuya universe this story features a variety of complex characters trying to understand the disappearance of the Citadel of Weeping Pearls 30 years ago. I love de Bodard’s worldbuilding, especially the food details. I also enjoyed seeing the characters through eachother’s eyes. (This is very loosely a sequel to On a Red Station, Drifting but could be read on its own and doesn’t really spoil anything.)"

Also I recently read "FINITY" by Elaine Atwell and enjoyed it. It's bittersweet story set on colony space ship, and musing on the human condition. (The story is published by Giganotosaurus so pretty long.)

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/202326.html
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Some Short Fiction Recs

"Extracurricular Activities" by Yoon Ha Lee A fun twisty story with spies and secret missions. It's set in the same world as Ninefox Gambit, but stands alone. I just love how the author sketches characters and societies with a few key details.

"And In Our Daughters, We Find a Voice" by Cassandra Khaw creepy dark little mermaid re-telling (content note: a human character with ambiguous gender traits is referred to as "it")

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/201783.html
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Reading Goal Update

I've decide to modify my non-fiction reading goal for 2017. My original goal was to read 10 academic monographs in 2017. However I was struggling to define academic monograph and also had some books I didn't think counted that I wanted to read on my shelf. So after talking it over with some friends I've decided to change the goal to 12 scholarly books, where scholarly is defined as written by a scholar not a journalist.* I upped the number of books to 12 (or one a month) since I'll be including some less dense books.

Having made this decision I've started reading Mary Beard's SPQR, which has been really interesting so far. The introduction promised some discussion of food and trade which I'm really looking forward to.

*Who is a scholar is not clear cut. For example I have book about planning written by practicing planner is he a scholar? I'm going to say yes for proposes of this book challenge. Because he is an expert in the field and not a journalist. Anyways I think "who is a scholar?" is an easier question to answer than "what is an academic monograph"

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/201565.html
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Drive By Short Fiction Rec: The Starlit Wood Anthology

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
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What I'm Not Reading for Hugo Nomination Season

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
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Hugo Award Nomination is Open

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
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2016 reading report and 2017 reading goals

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