August 2015

So. August. A mostly uneventful month.

My parents spent a week or two of it vacationing in Scotland, leaving me on my lonesome, and I decided to live it up by catching a cold. I’m feeling a lot better, even if I still haven’t completely shaken the cough, but I spent the Saturday night before their return huddled under a blanket watching the live-stream of the Hugo Awards.

You can read more about that — the Awards, not the blanket — well, pretty much anywhere. This year got a mite contentious, so it was really nice to see fandom step up for diversity, good writing, and for generally not behaving like an asshole.

Anyway, when I haven’t been sick, I’ve still be writing. The issue of Andromeda Spaceways with my story “When Jane Was Nine” ame in the mail in August, and I’ve just this week seen the cover art for the issue of Mythic Delirium that will include my story “Directions.” I’ll post more about those when the issues are available online for sale, both of which will hopefully be before the year’s out. I have a number of other flash pieces I’m in the process of either writing or submitting, and a longer story I need to go back to at some point and revise, but the short-lived streak I had at the beginning of the year of selling stories (three of them!) seems to have slowed into a steady pattern of rejection. But we’ll see.

In August, I read two books, which sadly doubled my recent average. They were Counting Heads by David Marusek, which had long been on my to-read list but moved up after Kelly Link recommended it on Twitter, and Fearful Symmetries, a horror anthology I picked up at Readercon in July. I enjoyed them both.

In August, I saw eight movies:

  • Silver Streak
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • Tig
  • The Guest
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
  • Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  • Grabbers

Mission Impossible was probably the best of these, though I’m not sure there was a true stinker in the mix. Silver Streak is kind of dated, weirdly paced, and actually less funny than I expected for the iconic first pairing of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. But it’s okay. The Guest is violent and stylized — it feels like a pastiche of ’80s movies without actually being one — but also a lot of fun. I didn’t love A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, but I’ve never really seen anything like it — it bills itself as “the first Iranian vampire Western” — and I can see why so many people have loved it. U.N.C.L.E. was a surprising amount of fun. There’s no reason for it to exist, but its leads are good, it’s funny, and there are some really decent action set-pieces. Seeking a Friend is a weird mix of comedy and drama that doesn’t always work — it gets very dark, then very broad — but it’s remarkably sweet and touching thanks to its own two leads. And Grabbers…well, that was suggested by Heather, who watched it with me over Twitter, and it was also good fun. A smartly goofy horror comedy.

In July, I read thirty-five short stories, a whole bunch from the aforementioned Fearful Symmetries. Favorites included:

  • “Life on the Sun” by C.S.E. Cooney (Bone Swans)
  • “Her Pound of Flesh” by Cassandra Khaw (Mythic Delirium)
  • “And We Were Left Darkling” by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed)
  • “A Wish from a Bone” by Gemma Files (Fearful Symmetries)
  • “It is Healing, It is Never Whole” by Sunny Morraine (Apex)
  • “Given the Advantage of the Blade” by Genevieve Valentine (Lightspeed)
  • “Mount Chary Galore” by Jeffrey Ford (Fearful Symmetries)
  • “The Atlas of Hell” by Nathan Ballingrud (Fearful Symmetries)
  • “Suffer Little Children” by Robert Shearman (Fearful Symmetries)

And in August I listened to some music:

That, and work, was basically my month. How about you?