Reading is Fundamental

Yes, it’s sad.  I missed a week of posting what I’ve read and how my writing has progressed.  What can I say?  It’s been one busy blur… lots to talk about about, and actually one or two things I can’t just yet.

But, ’til then, back to business.  Here’s what I’ve read over a fortnight.  It wasn’t much…

Yeah, yeah, I know I said I was going to get to Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others, but it’s hard carrying around and reading a dead tree book while maneuvering through an upstate New York winter.  So I started one of the many ‘zines I purchased for my Nook during the holiday season, namely Apex Magazine #15.

  • “Fair Ladies” by Theodora Goss.  A lovely, richly-detailed story.  Not entirely certain how much I bought the trajectory of the main character’s arc, though–at least not through the time gap near the end.  4 out of 5.
  • “Four Is Me! With Squeeeeee! (And LOLer)” by Nick Mamatas.  A story about the future told in a data-stream of consciousness.  Exquisite!  5 out of 5.
  • “Secret Life” by Jeff Vandermeer.  There’s a reason people tell you not to write office-space-as-metaphor stories.  The one you write will never be as good as this one.  5 out of 5.

Then I loaded up Clarkesworld 50 for the heck of it…

  • “On the Banks of the River Lex” by N.K. Jemesin.  In comic book terms, this was sort of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman meets Brian Wood’s DMZ. I feel like I have to give it a 5 out of 5, since the one thing that sticks in my craw about this story isn’t the story’s fault.  It’s just that, sort of like DMZ, the obvious love for NYC comes across as something I, as a reader, could only really understand if I was cool enough to have once lived there.
  • “Seeing” by Genevieve Valentine.  I don’t know how I’ve managed to miss her fiction.  It took me awhile to remember that I was reading Clarkesworld and not Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.  In other words: dystopic astronomy and space-travel FTW!  5 out of 5.

From Lightspeed Magazine 2

  • “No Time Like the Present” by Carol Emshwiller.  Since precious few other writers can keep you invested in a story whose plot you’ve figured out all of two pages in, this gets 5 out of 5!