I don't have anything witty for you this month, folks. Too much on my plate, I'm afraid.
Instead, I'll just leave this here.
Writing update for April:
Work on A RAVENING FIRE continues. Despite what I said last month, I'm still trying to find my rhythm on this draft. I'm happy with the progress. Just not the pace. The books I read this month didn't exactly help either. Between the ice plateau journey in THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS and Gould's talk of geological gradualism in THE PANDA'S THUMB, I was constantly reminded of my own glacial pace.
Ah, well. Such is life.
Writing goals for May:
Much of my time this month will be spent working on something I'm not yet ready to talk about. That's all I can say for now...
For the foreseeable future, any extra time will, of course, be devoted to A RAVENING FIRE. But there's a good chance I'll take a break in a month or two, either to crank out a short story idea I've been kicking around for a while, or to begin work on the alpha reader draft of THE DISTANT LIGHT OF DAWN. Or both.
Books read/listened to in April:
- DO ANDROID’S DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? by Philip K. Dick. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It shows its age somewhat, in that it reads like 60’s SF (which is actually a compliment in my book), but it still stands up. Of course, after I finished it, I had to re-watch Blade Runner. No surprise, I preferred the book.
- NEUROMANCER by William Gibson. So, so good. I mean, scary good. The kind of book that almost makes me want to give up writing. I can’t believe it took me this long to read it. Now I need to read COUNT ZERO and MONA LISA OVERDRIVE (and THE PERIPHERAL, and everything Gibson’s ever written).
- THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS by Ursula K. Le Guin. About a quarter of the way through, I discovered that this is part of a larger cycle of books. I’m not sure how I missed it before. Most people recommend reading the original trilogy first (Le Guin even suggests this on her own website, but also admits that the books don’t form a cohesive history). That said, I had no trouble following the story. I would never have guessed it was part of a larger saga.
- THE FOREVER WAR by Joe Haldeman. Another older book that stands up remarkably well (if you ignore the dates). Reading it reminded me just how fun military SF can be when it's written well.
- TOO LOUD A SOLITUDE by Bohumil Hrabal. What a beautiful little novella. I definitely teared up at the end.
- THE PANDA'S THUMB by Stephen Jay Gould. While a couple of the essays were over my head, for the most part I found this an engaging read. There's an accessibility to Gould's writing that I really appreciate. And some of the topics are downright hilarious (like the evolution of Mickey Mouse).
- SNOW CRASH by Neal Stephenson (audiobook). The narrator, Jonathan Davis, sounded like a cross between Wil Wheaton and Rod Serling, which perfectly matched the tone of this book. Much of Stephenson's vision of the future is profoundly prophetic, in an absurd, "This could never happen, could it?" sort of way.
Reading/listening list for May:
- WHO FEARS DEATH by Nnedi Okorafor.
- THE GRACE OF KINGS by Ken Liu.
- A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE by Peter S. Beagle.
- THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood.
- PANDORA'S LUNCHBOX by Melanie Warner.
- THE ART OF RAISING A PUPPY by The Monks of New Skete.
- OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon (audiobook).
That's all I've got. Be good to one another.