My goodness, July is almost over! Nearly half the summer vacation gone, and what do I have to show for it? Several delicious reads, for one thing. Here is my recommended list:
A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar
Jevick, a pepper merchant’s son, heads to Olondria and adventure, little knowing the pitfalls that await him. Richly imagined secondary world fantasy, beautiful and lush – descriptive writing at its best. A gourmet meal of a book! Not hard to see why it won the 2014 World Fantasy Award. I am now reading it’s companion novel, The Winged Histories.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
If A stranger in Olondria is a gourmet meal, then Uprooted is the delicious, decadent chocolate cake that you must eat after. I consumed this book in a single setting, unable to put it down until I’d finished it ALL. This 2015 Nebula award winner is the story of a ‘dragon’, a girl, and a rather wicked Wood. Agnieszka lives in a village by the Wood, and every 10 years, a powerful wizard chooses a girl to live with him. You can guess who he chooses when Agnieszka comes of age, can’t you?
Blindsight by Peter Watts
What an amazing, riveting, clever book this is. A bunch of transhumans on a ship bound to investigate suspected alien activity in the Oort cloud. What can possibly go wrong? Answer: just about everything you cannot imagine. Oh yes, don’t forget the vampire in their midst. Note: I have also read the companion novel to this book, Echopraxia. It drove me crazy. I have so many questions for Peter. Will have to wait until I can corner him at the next convention.
To ground myself in a bit of reality, I’m also re-reading an old favorite, Simon Singh’s Fermat’s Last Theorem, a fascinating account of a fascinating subject. As the author points out, a mathematical proof differs from a scientific proof in that it is inviolable. Scientific proofs rely on observation and experimentation, and are supplanted as new evidence comes in. But a mathematical proof relies on logic. It holds forever!
Now for a bit of writerly news. I sold my very first audio rights! Hatyasin – originally published by Abyss & Apex in 2014, has been podcasted by Podcastle, narrated by Mahvesh Murad.
I also sold an original story – a mystery set on a generation spaceship titled Ghost in the Aurora – to the 2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide. Tremendously pleased! Dreaming Robot Press has been publishing this series since 2015, and I’m delighted my story will feature in their next one alongside some great writers. Plus, it’s one of my favorite stories ever.
That’s it from me for now. Word count on Book 2 is now 44k – I’m going strong! Until I hit the battle scene, probably.