I read 25 books. That’s better than I thought, to be honest, and a little up from recent years. But I still like to be reading more.
I listened to some music. These were the songs I liked most:
And that was 2017. Nothing of any other consequence happened that year. Nope, no sir.
So yeah, obviously things were kind of a mess globally, politically–and will likely continue to be so for some time–but things were also fairly okay personally. I’ve had better years, maybe, but I’ve had worse. I’m hopeful for 2018. Partly because…well, you’ve gotta be. But I really do think it’s going to be a better year.
I’ve been meaning to get around to this blog post for about half a month now. On the very off chance that anyone else but me has been waiting for it, my apologies.
I went to World Fantasy at the top of November and managed somehow to not meet up with, or even pretty much say hello to, anybody. I did have dinner with my sister one evening, and got to see some of San Antonio–which I really didn’t get to do the last time I was there–so that was nice. And the con itself was pretty good, some good readings and mostly good panels. Otherwise, though, November was a fairly uneventful month, Thanksgiving notwithstanding. I read some books and some stories, saw some movies, and listened to some music. My usual.
I’m not entirely sure how many I read in November. I kept records of twenty-seven, but I’m not always good about keeping those records and forgetful, sometimes, of even the good ones. Anyhow, the good ones that I remember:
“The Stars and the Rain” by Emily McCosh (Flash Fiction Online)
“The Bone Plain” by Karin Tidbeck (Uncanny)
“Making Us Monsters” by Sam J. Miller and Lara Elena Donnelly (Uncanny)
“Elemental Love” by Rachel Swirsky (Uncanny)
A Wound Like an Unplowed Field” by Max Wynne (Lightspeed)
“Cake Baby” by Charlie Jane Anders (Lightspeed)
“Snow, Blood, Fur” by Theodora Goss (Daily Science Fiction)
“Stealing Tales” by Mari Ness (Daily Science Fiction)
“The World Is Full of Monsters” by Jeff VanderMeer (Tor.com)
“The Weight of Sentience” by Naru Dames Sundar (Shimmer)
“The Better Part of Drowning” by Octavia Cade (The Dark)
“A Cure for Ghosts” by Eden Royce (Fireside Fiction)
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 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.
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)
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.
“He went to Paris, looking for answers to questions that bothered him so” – Jimmy Buffett
So yeah, in May, I went to Paris.
It was just for a couple of days, over a weekend, flying in Saturday morning and flying out on Monday. My parents had a hotel reservation that they couldn’t cancel but also couldn’t use, so I wound up using it in their place.
And I really did enjoy myself. I saw the Mona Lisa, went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, caught sight of brand new President Emmanuel Macron’s inauguration, had some good meals, and took a bunch of pictures. I’d been a little worried my extremely limited French wouldn’t be enough to get by, but Paris is an incredibly cosmopolitan–or at least touristy–city, and everyone I spoke to was very courteous and willing to switch to English when my lame attempts at more than merci beaucoup didn’t pass.
Anyway, it’s definitely a city I’d like to return to. I saw the Arch, the Louvre, and the Musée d’Orsay–which might have been my favorite–but there’s a lot I didn’t get to see in two short days. I saw the Eiffel Tower only from a distance.
Other than that…? Well, at work, we’ve had a bunch of changes, with people leaving for new jobs (and/or cities), including my boss. It’s meant some added responsibilities for the rest of us, but it’s also meant just a general sense of oddness. Y’know, things change.
Except this cough. I’ve been trying to get that to change, trying to shake it, for weeks, and so far no real luck.
I read three of them in May. Well, okay, technically I finished the last of them on June 1, but I’m gonna count it — and not just because the other two were maybe closer to novellas.
I really enjoyed The Sorrow Proper by Lindsey Drager, which is a meditation on books and libraries and love, with some very nice writing. I thought The Invisibility Cloak by Ge Fei was interesting. And Pyramids by Terry Pratchett…well, wasn’t my favorite Discworld book so far, but it had its moments.
I watched eleven of them in May, including three I watched on the plane back from Paris. (And am I ever glad we had to taxi for a little so I could watch how Jack Reacher 2 ends. Spoiler: badly.) Anyway, the movies I saw were:
A Boy and His Dog:
I honestly don't know if I _liked_ that movie. But that ending was… And it was nice to see Jason Robards.