March wasn’t really a bad month at all.
It was a busy month, one with a lot of things that I needed to get finished at work. But I seem to have finished those things, for the most part. I’ve exchanged them all for new things, new deadlines, but they’re not quite as deadliney as the old ones, if that makes any sense.
I read two books, like I had in February, which may not seem like much but which is double my recent monthly average. In March it was Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Mercy and Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. And both were…okay.
Whereas Leckie’s first novel, Ancillary Justice felt unique and refreshing and vital, the two follow-ups…just didn’t. They’re as well written, and have some very nice touches, but they’re a lot less compelling, particularly when taken on their own. And while Chambers’ book is very readable, with fun aliens and likable characters, it’s also so amazingly devoid of tension. There’s rarely a problem in the book that can’t be introduced and resolved in just a couple of pages, and so the whole thing can’t help feeling very low-stakes and episodic, to a fault.
In March, I also read thirty-one short stories, one every day. Favorites included:
- “Palingenesis” by Megan Arkenberg (Shimmer)
- “The Wolf and the Tower Unwoven” by Kelly Sandoval (Uncanny)
- “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0” by Caroline Yoachim (Lightspeed)
- “Seven Cups of Coffee” by A.C. Wise (Clarkesworld)
- “Not by Wardrobe, Tornado, or Looking Glass” by Jeremiah Tolbert (Lightspeed)
- “Salvage Opportunity” by Jack Skillingstead (Clarkesworld)
- “The Shadow Collector” by Shveta Thakrar (Uncanny)
- “Meltwater” by Benjamin C. Kinney (Meltwater)
- “Indigo Blue” by Rachael K. Jones (Shimmer)
- “The Name of the Forest” by Margaret Killjoy (Strange Horizons)
- “Angel, Monster, Man” by Sam J. Miller (Nightmare)
- “Tumbleweeds And Little Girls” by Jeff Bowles (Podcastle)
- “Woman in the Reeds” by Esther M. Friesner (Asimov’s)
- â€œOrdinary Soulsâ€ by K. M. Szpara (Glittership, reprint)
- “The Box Wife” by Emma Osborne (Pseudopod, reprint)
- “The Husband Stitch” by Carmen Maria Machado (Podcastle, reprint)
Everything but the last three reprints were from 2016.
I watched six movies in March:
- 10 Cloverfield Lane
- Grand Hotel
- Pee-wee’s Big Holiday
- Jurassic World
They were all pretty good, with the exception of Jurassic World, which was pretty bad. No, strike that: very bad. I don’t quite know what else to say about any of the movies beyond what I said at the time on Twitter. (You do follow me on Twitter, right?)
Creed is very good. I'm not sure it's *remarkably* better than Rocky Balboa, which previously revitalized the series, but it's good.
— Fred Coppersmith (@unrealfred) March 6, 2016
The most unbelievable plot detail in 10 Cloverfield Lane? That the county would designate that road as a "lane." I'm sorry, I said it.
— Fred Coppersmith (@unrealfred) March 15, 2016
Right now, I'm watching 1932's "Grand Hotel," because that's just how I roll on a wild Saturday night.
— Fred Coppersmith (@unrealfred) March 20, 2016
I watched Jurassic World so you wouldn't have to. Although you probably did too at some point. Lots of people did. Why did we all do that?
— Fred Coppersmith (@unrealfred) March 27, 2016
And finally, in March, I turned another year older. I only feel a little bad about that when I realize this is the last year of my thirties. It’s also those little mental math problems that make me feel older, more than anything else.
Anyway, let’s close out March with some music, as I’m wont to do: