- 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.
A small update this week, which given the mountain which arrived last week is just fine. This is the latest from my subscription to the excellent Open Letter Books, which was the first publisher to which I subscribed, back in 2014 or 2015.
I spent all of this past week in Las Vegas for the AWS:Reinvent conference, which left me with a decent amount of time for books on the airplane and in airports. I read Mirra Ginsburg‘s wonderful translation of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita from cover to cover, and made significant dents in Sunvault and Volume 5 of The Apex Book of World SF. I also made a little headway in the extraordinary Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez, but reading such a book in the middle of the Las Vegas strip made me want to burn the place to the ground. I will revisit Scarborough over the holidays, when I won’t be surrounded by the monetized fetishizing of the worst of first world indulgences.
Only one new acquisition for the first full week of November, but that one thing was actually three things – three chapbooks, to be precise, from Ugly Duckling Presse. The collection (the box for which is at the top of the photo) is called Ideas Have No Smell: Three Belgian Surrealist Booklets. The three are Transfigured Publicity by Paul Nougé, Abstractive Treatise on Obeuse by Paul Colinet, and For Balthazar by Louis Scutenaire.
I have to say, in the brief time that I have held a subscription to Ugly Duckling Presse they have been absolutely knocking it out of the park.
- 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.
This was an excellent week for The Library at Winkelman Abbey. First up is the latest issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, followed by the latest issue of Apex Magazine. Both of these are the results of successful Kickstarter campaigns. Next are the two latest books (Tentacle by Rita Indiana, Slip of a Fish by Amy Arnold) from my subscription to And Other Stories. On the top right is Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias, from Rosarium Publishing.
The entire bottom row is my first shipment from Ugly Duckling Presse, to whom I subscribed back in July when I had a little extra money and no immediate household needs. From left to right they are Orange by Christine Herzer, Wolfman Librarian by Filip Marinovich, This Window Makes Me Feel by Robert Fitterman, Feeling Upon Arrival by Saretta Morgan, Defense of the Idol by Omar Cáceres, and Dear Angel of Death by Simone White. All are poetry, and all are beautiful editions of beautiful writing.
Once again, this week’s haul is made up entirely of books from independent publishers. Save for Ink, all are part of annual subscriptions. If Rosarium ever offers a subscription to their catalog, I will be the FIRST in line to purchase one.
Last week brought a small pile of books. On the left is Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, which I picked up as research material for an upcoming anthology submission. The second, Scarborough, was recommended to me by my girlfriend, and on quick glance looks like it will be a fantastic, emotional read. Celadon is collection of poetry by my friend (and 3288 Review contributor!) Ian Haight. Checkpoint is the most recent arrival through my subscription to Restless Books.
Bonus note: all four of these are published by indie publishing houses!
One day I will be retired or otherwise unemployed, and on that day my pile of unread books will start to shrink. Or more likely, continue to grow at a slower pace.