July 2015

July was pretty good.

I attended Readercon near the start of the month, and that was a lot of fun. I met a few people, briefly, some I’d only chatted with on Twitter, some I’d never met before. (I chatted for a few minutes with Ted Chiang, and am deeply embarrassed to admit I didn’t know that’s who I was talking to. I made sure to buy a copy of his short story collection, on sale in the dealer’s room.) I attended a lot of great panels and readings, and had to miss out on a lot of others. It was a good time, and I’m seriously considering going back next year.

I read what I guess is one book last month: Wool by Hugh Howey. I say “guess” because it wasn’t written as a single book originally. It’s an “omnibus” edition of stories he released online. I liked it, and some of it a lot, but it definitely felt too long and pieced together. I mean, I’ve been reading fewer full books this year, and tend to read slowly as is, but it really shouldn’t have taken me quite so long. It was an interesting enough world that I’d consider looking into the follow-up books/collections, Shift and Dust, but for right now I’m just kind of glad it’s done.

I saw five movies once again in July:

  • Interstellar
  • It Follows
  • The Warriors
  • Ant-Man
  • Ex Machina

With the exception of Interstellar, I liked them all, even the dated and fairly silly The Warriors. Interstellar, meanwhile, is sometimes great to look at and has its moments, but it’s not very good as a movie.

Seriously, it’s three hours long and feels every one of them. It’s a very well made, sometimes well acted, bad movie. It made me happy that the Bad Astronomy blog agreed.

In July, I read thirty-two short stories. Favorites included:

  • “Pirate Songs” by Nicolette Barischoff (Accessing the Future)
  • “Courting the Silent Sun” by Rachael K. Jones (Accessing the Future)
  • “Wendigo Nights” by Siobhan Carroll (Fearful Symmetries)
  • “Episode Three: On the Great Plains, In the Snow” by John Langan (Fearful Symmetries)
  • “The Magical Negro” by Nnedi Okorafor (Kabu-Kabu)
  • “Hell Is the Absence of God” by Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
  • “Shay Corsham Worsted” by Garth Nix (Fearful Symmetries)
  • “Catching Flies” by Carole Johnstone (Fearful Symmetries)
  • “The Button Bin” by Mike Allen (Unseaming)
  • “Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear (Shoggoths in Bloom)
  • “The Other Forty-Two” by Sean Williams (Daily Science Fiction)

Most of those were from collections I bought at Readercon. (I came back with a lot of books and could have come back with a lot more.) The Ted Chiang book and Fearful Symmetries, which won the Shirley Jackson Award for best edited anthology while I was at the con, have so far been every penny I spent on them and then some.

Of course, July was also the first time that I managed to miss reading a story one day, the first time that’s happened since January 1. I know it shouldn’t, but it still really bugs me.

I wrote some, never as much as I should have, but I’m plugging away at some things. A few stories out for submission, a few more that will (hopefully) publish before the end of the year. And I’m still meeting with my weekly free-writing group.

And in July I listened to a little, though not a whole lot of actually, music:

I think that’s mostly been the month. How’s been yours?