October 2017

It’s almost two weeks into November, so I should probably write about what happened in October, right?

Except, I don’t think anybody but me is really reading this…and not much actually happened in October.

I mean, I went to Charlottesville, Virginia, for work. That’s one of the only photos I have from my trip, unfortunately–the parking lot as seen from my hotel room–even though the grounds of the University of Virginia are pretty enough, and the weather was very pleasant while I was there. I spent a considerable number of hours in the tiny Charlottesville airport–I sneezed, and someone across the terminal said god bless you–but I also got to meet a Twitter friend who lives in town, so that was nice.

But aside from that, and house-sitting at the start of the month–when it was just me and the dog, while my parents were on a trip abroad–October was pretty uneventful.

I didn’t even finish reading any books.

I did read some short stories, though. I watched some movies. And I listened to some music. That’s it, really.

The stories:

I read 31 of them in October. These are the ones I liked best:

  • “Longing for Stars Once Lost” by A. Merc Rustad (Lightspeed)
  • “What I Told My Little Girl About the Aliens Preparing to Grind Us Into Hamburgers” by Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed)
  • “Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny)
  • “Down and Out in R’lyeh” by Cathrynne M. Valente (Uncanny)
  • “The Desert Cure” by Daniel Ausema (Mythic Delirium)
  • “The Water and the World” by Premee Mohamed (Mythic Delirium)
  • “The Wind You Touch When You Run” by James Beamon (Escape Pod)
  • “The Names of the Sky” by Matthew Claxton (PodCastle)
  • “The White Fox” by L.P. Lee (PodCastle)
  • “The Care of House Plants” by Jeremy Minton (F&SF)
  • “We Are Turning on a Spindle” by Joanna Parypinski (Nightmare)
  • “And No Torment Shall Touch Them” by James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s)
  • “The Lies I’ve Told to Keep You Safe” by Matt Dovey (Daily SF)
  • “The Last Boat-Builder in Ballyvoloon” by Finbarr O’Reilly (Clarkesworld)
  • “So Sings the Siren” by Annie Neugebauer (Apex)
  • “While the Black Stars Burn” by Lucy A. Snyder (Apex)
  • “The Man in the Crimson Coat” by Andrea Tang (Apex)

The movies

I watched twelve of them in October:

  • The Age of Innocence:

  • Thelma & Louise:

  • Blade Runner 2049:

  • Gerald’s Game:

  • Serpico:

  • The Incredible Jessica James:

  • Ride in the Whirlwind:

  • Rabid:

  • Blacula:

  • The China Syndrome:

  • The Elephant Man:

  • Casino:

The music

I listened to some in October, but only discovered a couple of new songs:

September 2017

September was a pretty ordinary month. Some big goings-on at the office, but they’ve been going-on for several months. Mostly, I just read some books, read some short stories, saw some movies, and listened to some music.

The books

I read two: Zadie Smith’s NW and John Lanagan’s The Fisherman. I liked them both. I don’t have a whole lot more to say about either.

The stories

I’m not entirely sure how many I read in September. I have a record of twenty-six, but I’m pretty sure I missed a couple in my final tally. (I missed a couple of days too, though, so it wasn’t thirty.) Either way, these were my favorites:

  • “Seven Kinds of Baked Goods” by Maria Haskins (Luna Station Quarterly)
  • “You and Me and Mars” by Sandy Parsons (Luna Station Quarterly)
  • “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand” by Fran Wilde (Uncanny)
  • “Evil Opposite” by Naomi Kritzer (F&SF)
  • “Still Tomorrow’s Going to Be Another Working Day” by Amy Griswold (F&SF)
  • “God-Ray” by Gregory Norman Bossert (Saturday Evening Post)
  • “The Lamentation of Their Women” by Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com)
  • “Angels of the Blockade” by Alex Acks (Tor.com)
  • “Crossing” by A.C. Wise (PodCastle)

The movies

I watched 18 of them in September:

  • Deep Red:

  • Horror of Dracula:

  • Personal Shopper:

  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof:

  • American Graffiti:

  • The Omen:

  • It:

  • Night on Earth:

  • It Comes at Night:

  • Beat the Devil:

  • Camelot:

  • Giant:

  • The Hills Have Eyes:

  • The Big Sick:

  • Klute:

  • Babylon A.D.:

  • The Dark Crystal:

  • The Founder:

The music

August 2017

In August, I went to Finland.

I attended the 75th World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki, and I really had a great time. The Finns were super-friendly, the con itself was a lot of fun, and I even met a few Kaleidotrope writers while I was there. I tweeted about it a whole bunch and even took some photos. I’d definitely recommend a trip to Helsinki if you’re able.

Beyond that, it was a pretty average month. I read some stories–and even one book–and watched some movies. I even listened to a little bit of music while I was at it.

The stories

For the sake of accounting, I am going to say I read (or listened to) 29 short stories in August. I’m almost positive there were one or two others, but I have kind of a lousy memory for these if I don’t write them down–even sometimes when the story’s really good. Anyway, these were my favorites from the month. All but the last one–an audio reprint–is original to 2017.

  • “If a Bird Can Be a Ghost” by Allison Mills (Apex)
  • “In the Blind” by Sunny Morraine (Clarkesworld)
  • “Reversion” by Nin Harris (Clarkesworld)
  • “Glasswort, Ice” by Emily B. Cantaneo (Lackington’s)
  • “Promises of Spring” by Caspian Gray (Nightmare)
  • “And With Her Went the Spring” by Caroline Ratajski (Nightmare)
  • “The All of Nothing Days” by Gus Moreno (Pseudopod)
  • “Shades of Infinity” by Heather Morris (Shimmer)
  • “These Constellations Will Be Yours” by Elaine Cuyegkeng (Strange Horizons)
  • “Taking Notes on the Varietals of the Southern Coast” by Gwendolyn Clare (F&SF)
  • “Rocket Surgery” by Effie Seiberg (Escape Pod)

The book

I finished just one book in August, Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero, which I read for my book club. The book was kind of a mess, way too clever for its own good–but it was often clever. I often wasn’t sure if I was really enjoying it or hating it, which is an odd experience when reading a book. It was mostly fun, but forgettable–which is good, considering all the parts of it that weren’t fun.

The movies

I only watched 6 movies in August, and half of those were on the plane back from Finland:

  • Colossal:

  • Life:

  • Live By Night:

  • Power Rangers:

  • Theater of Blood:

  • The Matador:

The music

And there was some of that, too:

July 2017

It’s taken me longer than usual to get this post written, partly because I was in Finland for a week at the start of August. (More on that in my August post.) Anyway, I did the usual books, stories, movies, and music thing in July.

The books

I finished three books in July:

  • The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon
  • Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Starflight by Melissa Landers

I really liked the first two books and really did not like the third one. I spent a few hours talking about why I didn’t like it at my monthly book club, but for here, let’s just say that I definitely won’t be reading the sequel.

The stories

I’m not entirely sure how many I read. I only have record of 25, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t skip that many days. I did skip some days, though, never on purpose, and I hope to get better about that as the year continues. Anyway, of the 25, these were my favorites:

  • “Dipso and the Crow” by Rich Larson (Mythic Delirium)
  • “An Unearned Death” by Marissa Lingen (F&SF)
  • “Texts from the Ghost War” by Alex Yuschik (Escape Pod)
  • “I Built This City for You” by Cassandra Khaw (Uncanny)
  • “When Dooryards First in the Lilac Bloomed” by B. Morris Allen (Lackington’s)
  • “That Game We Played During the War” by Carrie Vaughn (Escape Pod, orig. Tor.com)
  • “The Joy of Baking” by Holly Lyn Walrath (Luna Station Quarterly)
  • “Daddy’s Girl” by Jennifer R. Donohue (Syntax & Salt)
  • “Flowers for the Moon” by Clio Yun-Su Davis (Luna Station Quarterly)
  • “The Bridgegroom” by Bo Balder (Clarkesworld)

The movies

I watched 15 of ’em in July.

  • The Belko Experiment:

  • Heartburn:

  • Okja:

  • Johnny Handsome:

  • The LEGO Batman Movie:

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming:

  • Baby Driver:

  • The Lost City of Z:

  • Kong: Skull Island:

  • Certain Women:

  • Dunkirk:

  • The Spirit:

  • Dreamscape:

  • Free Fire:

  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:

The music

I discovered quite a bit more of it in July than in recent months. A lot of listening through my backlog of All Songs Considered podcasts, among other things.

June 2017

June was considerably less eventful than May, although also for various reasons it was also not my favorite month so far this year. I’m just as happy to put that behind me, moving into the summer proper. But for one last look back at June: I read two books (well, one was a novella), read thirty-one short stories (thirty-two if you count that novella), watched seven movies, and listened to some music.

The books

I read two for my book club: All Systems Red by Martha Wells, the first in a planned series of “Murderbot Chronicles” novellas, and Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, which a member of that book club described not inaccurately as “murder-Hogwarts.” I don’t know, I enjoyed them both. I might have liked Wells’ more because it wasn’t a novel — you can forgive its lack of depth for telling a tight and entertaining story — and Kristoff’s less because it’s a planned trilogy and feels like it. (His world-building is very good, but he’s maybe a little too enthralled with it for his own good. (See footnotes. All ten million of them.)

The stories

Favorites from the month included:

  • “Secret Keeper” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Nightmare)
  • “Water Like Air” by Lora Gray (Flash Fiction Online)
  • “Shape Without Form, Shade Without Color” by Sunny Moraine (Tor.com)
  • “Ad Infinitum” by Kate Heartfield (Daily Science Fiction)
  • “The Three-Tongued Mummy” by E. Catherine Tobler (Apex)
  • “Welcome to Astuna” by Pip Coen (Apex)
  • “eyes I dare not meet in dreams” by Sunny Moraine (Tor.com)
  • “Wendy, Darling” by A.C. Wise (Daily Science Fiction)
  • “Silenced” by Melissa Mead (Daily Science Fiction)
  • “Wave-function collapse” by Filip Wiltgren (Daily Science Fiction)
  • “Nozizwe and Almahdi” by J.R. Dawson (Escape Pod)

The movies

  • Kubo and the Two Strings:

  • 21 Jump Street:

  • Wonder Woman:

  • Charley Varrick:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2:

  • The Void:

  • For Your Consideration:

The music