This week brought a wide variety of new reading material in a small stack. The latest issue of Salvage just arrived, along with the latest Paris Review and the fourth volume of the Long List Anthology. I’m off of work until January 2, so I should be able to sneak in some reading time.
I finished reading Ferret Steinmetz’ excellent The Flux and am now dividing my time between Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer and Seth Dickinson’s The Monster Baru Cormorant.
Earlier today I opened the Fall 2018 edition of the Copper Canyon Reader, which contains some excellent poetry by several Copper Canyon poets. I would get a subscription to Copper Canyon, as I have to so many other wonderful publishers, but their subscriptions are $1,000, and that it a little steep for me at this point in my life.
And since this is likely the last post for 2018, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
- A long write-up in Harper’s on Oulipo, centered around All That Is Evident Is Suspect: Readings from the Oulipo, published by McSweeney’s. Which I own. The book, not McSweeney’s.
- An amazing collection of photos of science fiction fandom, from cons and parties throughout the 60s and 70s.
- And yes, because it is the end of the year, a list of literary figures we lost in 2018. Damn, but I’m still broken up about Anthony Bourdain.
- Because it is the holiday season, here is a rather well-done biographical film of H.P. Lovecraft.
Merry Christmas, y’all!
- Some new books by Muslim authors we can look forward to in 2019. Me? I’m waiting for The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty, the sequel to her excellent The City of Brass.
- Some words: Sphinx, sphincter (yes they have the same etymological root)
Yeah, not a lot to add from the past week. Everything is Christmas wishes, end-of-year lists, and the ineffectual flailing our 45th POTUS. I expect things will pick up again in the new year.
- Over at GQ, a beautiful, funny, heartfelt, tearjerker tribute to Anthony Bourdain, from some of the may people who have known, worked with, and loved him.
- A good list of the nonfiction which has appeared on Tor.com in 2018.
- Excellent interview with, and discussion of, China Mieville.
- On the Oulipo.
- And in odious political news, Metafilter has just posted the latest in their long-running series on the regime of Terribly Triggered Trump.
- And for a ray of hope in these troubling times, here is an interview with Chris Hedges where he discusses the current state of the USA, and his new book America: The Farewell Tour.
- Fifty Must-Read Books By Egyptian Authors
- 50 Must-Read Microhistory Books
- Some beautiful artwork from Russia’s early wars.
- Tor.com’s list of new Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Genre-bending books coming out in December.
- NPR’s amazing, wonderful, awesome list of their favorite books from 2018. Well over 300 books to add to your list. Page also includes links to their annual lists going back to 2008.
- The Millions is currently posting their 2018 Year In Reading list, wherein the Millions contributors discuss the books they have read over the past year. Link goes to the archive page which also includes reading lists from past years.
- Kirk Thatcher, the punk from Star Trek IV, is an amazing human being.
- Now here’s an interesting website (and philosophy): Conceptual Fiction.
- From Book Riot, 50 Must-Reads of Slavic Literature. I am humbled to say I have only read one, maybe two of these books.
- Jeannette Ng’s wonderful Twitter thread on old and imaginary libraries.
- Tor.com has released their new upcoming book lists for November 2018:
- Rick Liebling has an interesting essay up on his Medium site “The Adjacent Possible”: The Aesthetics of Science Fiction. What does SciFi Look Like After Cyberpunk?
- Bernie Sanders and Greek politician Yanis Varoufakis are teaming up to create a “European Spring” movement to counter the increasing level of right-wing fascism in the European Union, the United States, and Central and South America.
- Metafilter’s latest roundup thread of news items and commentary on the reign of racist idiot and Stochastic Terrorist Donald Trump.
- Metafilter has a new post and thread on the ongoing hellscape of the administration of emasculated man-baby Donald Trump, and his bootlicks and water-carriers.
- Over at Book Riot, 10 Short Story Collections About Race and Culture.
- And from Friday Black, the first collection in the above list, “Zimmer Land“, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah.
- I would have loved (LOVED) to attend this conference: Sublime Cognition: Science Fiction and Metaphysics (schedule with descriptions)
- A Russian publisher Yelena Shubina on why it’s difficult to find great contemporary fiction by current Russian authors.
- LitHub is doing a series of posts on the ten books which have defined each decade for the past hundred years, with a brief essay on each title. Really interesting stuff here! I will continue to update this list as LitHub releases the rest of the pages.
- From Electric Literature: A Master Class in Women’s Rage
- Another from LitHub: An essential reading list of Midwestern Women
- The MacArthur Genius grants for 2018 have just been announced. And once again I have been cruelly snubbed simply for not doing anything of any particular note. The system is rigged, I tells ya!
- A good (for certain very depressing values of “good”) essay on why people are getting poorer without necessarily losing money. (from this MetaFilter post)
- Some mad genius has posted over 13,000 playable Commodore 64 programs to the Internet Archive. I would like to hereby apologize to any and all personal responsibilities which existed up to this moment. They will be missed.
- Latest catch-all thread on Metafilter.
- A compelling list of up-and-coming Asian writers, courtesy of LitHub.
- Charles Stross put a post up on his blog asking his readers to come up with story ideas which nobody seems to have done yet. Or more specifically, What are the current blind spots in SF? The (1,000+) comments and ideas therein are very much worth reading.