April 2017

April was a less eventful month than March, which is maybe for the best. Mostly just some stories, books, movies, and music.

The stories

I read twenty-nine short stories in April. Or thirty-one. But I only wrote down twenty-nine of them, and if I can’t remember the other two, they can’t have been that great, right? It’s altogether possible I missed a couple of days altogether.

Anyway, the ones I liked most were:

  • “Seven Permutations of My Daughter” by Lina Rather (Lightspeed)
  • “Maybe Look Up” by Jess Barber (Lightspeed)
  • “How the 576th Annual Pollen Festival Blossomed My Budding Career” by S. L. Saboviec (Flash Fiction Online)
  • “With Cardamom I’ll Bind Their Lips” by Beth Cato (Uncanny)
  • “Infinite Love Engine” by Joseph Allen Hill (Lightspeed)
  • “Remote Presence” by Susan Palwick (Lightspeed)
  • “Jonathan’s Heaven Has Many Cats” by Rachael K. Jones (Lackington’s)
  • “Sex After Fascism” by Audie Shushan (Luna Station Quarterly)
  • “An Abundance of Fish” by S. Qiouyi Lu (Uncanny)
  • “Auspicium Melioris Aevi” by JY Yang (Uncanny)
  • “Marta Ranunculus Wolf Calf” by Gillian Barlow Graham (Lackington’s)
  • “On Grief and the Language of Flowers: Selected Arrangements” by Damien Angelica Walters (Mythic Delirium)
  • “Phase Day: A Log of the Journalistic Career of Amaltua Obon” by Kara Dennison (Devilfish Review)
  • “Some Remarks on the Reproductive Strategy of the Common Octopus” by Bogi Takács (Clarkesorld)
  • “Never Truly Yours” by Marion Deeds (Podcastle)

The books

I finished two books in April: Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Pratchett’s book was fun enough, a welcome respite from the bleakness that had been my last read in March, Stephen King’s The Long Walk. But it hardly felt like Pratchett’s best. I did really like this line, though:

They thought they wanted to be taken out of themselves, and every art humans dreamt up took them further in.

Tartt’s book, meanwhile, is one I’d been reading off and on since at least September. I’m not wholly convinced it wasn’t too long, and not just because it’s taken me several months to finish it, but I really liked the book, and I loved its last few pages, which contain some of its best and most beautiful writing:

Whatever teaches us to talk to ourselves is important: whatever teaches us to sing ourselves out of despair….And I feel I have something very serious and urgent to say to you, my non-existent reader, and I feel I should say it as urgently as if I were standing in the room with you. That life–whatever else it is–is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.

There’s a little part of me that’s going to miss that book.

The movies

I watched twelve movies in April.

  • The Blackcoat’s Daughter:

  • Independence Day: Resurgence:

  • Ghost in the Shell:

  • Bone Tomahawk:

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:

  • The Discovery:

  • Hidden Figures:

  • The Girl With All the Gifts:

  • To Live and Die in L.A.:

  • The Fate of the Furious:

  • Underworld: Blood Wars:

  • Only Lovers Left Alive:

The music

I listened to some of it in April: