The Treacherous North (Writing Update)

It struck me today that, aside from the Squarespace metrics (whose accuracy I question), I really have no idea how large my readership is.

I suspect it's hovering somewhere around zero.

But hey, if you're actually reading this, and you're not a robot (or even if you are), drop me a line in the comments! What are you reading these days? Are you a writer? A musician? Some other kind of amazing artist? I'd love to know what you're working on!


Writing update for March:

Work on A RAVENING FIRE continues to go well. At the risk of jinxing myself (not that I believe in such things), I think I may have finally found my rhythm for this draft. I owe a huge debt to my alpha readers, who saw this story in its rawest form and were still willing to read it and provide feedback. Their comments are already proving invaluable.

I also did a quick revision of A SMUDGED AND CROOKED LINE. I can't wait until I'm able to share it with all of you.

Finally, after giving THE MARK OF YATAGARASU another once-over, I decided that revising it now would take too much time away from A RAVENING FIRE. Since I'm going to use November to bang out a rough draft of SEASONS OF KAERU AND SAGI anyway, I'll save the revision until then.

Writing goals for April:

Finish revising the first quarter of A RAVENING FIRE. Once I get past this initial hurdle, things should move even more smoothly.


Books read/listened to in March:

  • THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM by Liu Cixin (translated by Ken Liu). The jacket compares it to DUNE, but for me, THREE-BODY felt much closer to Asimov's FOUNDATION, both in scale and scope. At a glance, THREE-BODY is a tale of first contact (with all the fear and wonder that entails). But underneath, it's so much more. I loved hearing Ken Liu discuss his approach to the translation, and how he tried to bridge the culture gap while still remaining faithful to the author's intentions. He did a wonderful job, and it made me realize just how long it's been since I've read a translated work. I need to be more deliberate about reading outside my comfort zone.

  • HALF-RESURRECTION BLUES by Daniel José Older. Thoroughly entertaining. Daniel's prose manages to be relaxed and gripping at the same time. I don't know how he does it.

  • THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine Addison. I loved this book. Goblins, elves, airships, political intrigue...what more could you ask for?

  • SALT, SUGAR, FAT by Michael Moss. An in-depth look at the processed food industry. Both enlightening and terrifying. I'm already re-thinking my eating habits. (I've also decided that PANDORA'S LUNCHBOX by Melanie Warner will be my non-fiction pick for May.)

  • PROMISE OF BLOOD by Brian McClellan (audiobook). I can see what all the fuss is about. The world is vividly realized, with a pretty cool magic system. Like RANGE OF GHOSTS by Elizabeth Bear, I'll probably wait to pick up the sequels, but I'm sure I'll read/listen to them eventually.

  • SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY by Mary Robinette Kowal (audiobook). I've been meaning to read this for a while. Meeting Mary for the first time seemed like the perfect excuse to pick it up. But since I was still finishing THE GOBLIN EMPEROR in print, I decided to grab the audiobook (so that Mary could read it to me herself). It was a delight! Jane Austen with magic...what other description do you need?

Reading/listening list for April:

I'm taking this month (and part of the next) to catch up on some books that I really should have read by now.

  • DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? by Philip K. Dick.
  • NEUROMANCER by William Gibson.
  • THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS by Ursula K. Le Guin.
  • THE FOREVER WAR by Joe Haldeman.
  • TOO LOUD A SOLITUDE by Bohumil Hrabal.
  • THE PANDA'S THUMB by Stephen Jay Gould.
  • SNOW CRASH by Neal Stephenson (audiobook).

In other news, spring is finally making its first furtive advances into the treacherous North. Very soon I might be able to crawl out of this cave and go for a run (provided my skin doesn't slough off the second it comes in contact with sunlight).

That's it for now, folks. Be good to one another, as always.

Peter