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Angela Korra'ti

Books, Other People's Books

Another quick clearing of the inbox ebook roundup

There’s some new Julia Czerneda in my near future, but until THAT happens, behold! A few more books I’ve picked up lately, all from Kobo:

Within the Sanctuary of Wings, by Marie Brennan. The final book in the Lady Trent series, which I’ve finally been able to pick up as the price came down some more. VERY much looking forward to savoring this.

Chapel of Ease, by Alex Bledsoe. This is I believe the fourth book in his Tufa series, which started with the wonderful The Hum and the Shiver.

To Guard Against the Dark, by the aforementioned Julie E. Czerneda. This is the third book of her Reunification trilogy, and I’m looking forward to savoring this too!

The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin. The second and third books of her Broken Earth trilogy. VERY much enjoying this. Plowing through Book 2 right now and should be charging into Book 3 in the next week or so.

This brings me to 54 for the year.

About Me

New front in the battle of me vs. entropy

Y’all have doubtless noticed I haven’t released anything in a while. There are reasons for that. A lot of them are political. I, like a lot of other creatives, have been having a bitch of a time trying to muster the will to work on anything since the 2016 election.

But honesty dictates that I note for the record that that isn’t all of it. I have come to realize over the past few years that one of my character flaws is that I get paralyzed if I have too many things I have to organize at once. I wind up looking at all the things I keep meaning to do, and keep never frigging doing them. That, coupled with the world being generally on fire (politically, but if you happen to live on the West Coast, in a lot of cases also literally), has dropped me into a many-months-long bout of “fuck it, I have just enough brain to handle dealing with my day job so I can keep the bills paid and the food bought, and I’ll spend the rest of my waking hours playing Dungeon Boss and Gummy Drop”.

At the end of the day, though, this doesn’t get books written. Or released. And Orycon is coming up. I’ve promised to work a table again with Madison Keller, since they and I make good table partners. But I’ve also run flat out of print copies of Faerie Blood. And Third Place Press is no longer going to have the espresso book machine available–which means I need a new way to produce print copies of Faerie Blood, Bone Walker, and anything else I decide to release.

I’ve also been (grumpily) thinking for some time that it’s stupid that the print copies of my books aren’t available on Amazon. So I’ve been intending for a while to get my print editions up on Amazon for purchase that way. It should help with my discoverability, as well as just making it easier for people to buy books from me without having to track me down in person, or even contact me online.

All of which are good intentions. But y’all know what the road to hell is paved with. See previous commentary re: being paralyzed by too many things I haven’t finished yet. Here is a list of some of those things:

  • New print edition of Faerie Blood
  • Finish Walk the Wards
  • Restart work on Warder Soul
  • Finish the edit pass on Queen of Ghosts (the book formerly known as Queen of Souls)
  • Restart the Bilingual Lord of the Rings Reread
  • Restart the Trilingual Harry Potter Reread
  • Finish the posts I never finished about the trip to Quebec last summer and Camp Violon Trad 2017
  • Finish reviewing all my old Livejournal posts so I can finally delete my Livejournal
  • Pull a lot of my old mail off my Gmail account and onto the murkworks.net mail server
  • Finish porting a lot of old content onto my personal/fannish site, annathepiper.org

And that’s just a partial list of all the projects. There are more. And I got tired of never actually making any progress on them due to my tendency to paralysis.

So I thought about this a bit and realized that at the day job, we tackle big projects via a very loose Agile-ish methodology. Roughly speaking, this means we split big projects down into component tasks, ballpark how long it’ll take to do those tasks, and then plan to do tasks X, Y, Z, etc., in however many two-week sprints it takes to get the project done.

And I thought, “well hell, wouldn’t it be nice if I had some sort of way to do this with personal projects too?”

I’ve never been content with Apple’s Reminders app in macOS and iOS. It’s not really conducive to planning out larger projects. So I researched around to see what other options were out there, and I finally came across a program called Things. It’s available on both macOS AND iOS. And what made me decide to throw money at it was its ability to organize tasks by not only giving each task a date, but also by assigning them to larger projects.

So here’s what the “Third Edition of Faerie Blood” project currently looks like:

Third Edition of Faerie Blood in Things

Third Edition of Faerie Blood in Things

And here’s what I’ve done already:

More Faerie Blood in Things

More Faerie Blood in Things

I’m not going to say this thing has changed my life yet. But I will say that I really like the design of it, and it’s very galvanizing to have a nice list of tasks to check off every day. The Faerie Blood project isn’t the only one I’m working on, either. I’ve got active work going on the deletion of old Livejournal posts, as well as the review and archiving of old email.

Here’s what today’s task list looks like so far:

Things Logbook

Things Logbook

Just being able to have a visual thing to point at, as evidence that I have in fact accomplished things today, makes me feel like I might actually manage to chip away at the mountain of entropy that’s been slamming me down for some time now.

And in summary, if you’re a macOS/iOS person? Things. I recommend it.

Books, Other People's Books

A holy crap have I really not posted since July?! ebook roundup

So yeah y’all may or may not have noticed I’ve been really behind on getting things posted around here. I’ve got a lot of things I just petered out on completely, and I’ve been trying to explore new ways of dealing with that.

But in the meantime, yes, hi, this blog still exists, so here, have a quick ebook roundup post!

Purchased from Amazon:

Stillhouse Lake and Killman Creek, by Rachel Caine. I have a long history of loving Caine’s work, though these two are a change of pace: they’re thrillers in which the heroine has to deal with discovering her husband is a serial killer. (YIKES!) I will probably have to be in the right headspace to read these, and I don’t know when that’s going to be. But I got them because a) Caine! and b) they were on sale.

I also nabbed them from Amazon specifically because this particular series is in fact _only_ available on Amazon. For favorite authors, I will in fact purchase from Amazon if that’s the only way I can get their work.

And back in the land where I usually purchase my ebooks, i.e., Kobo:

A Conspiracy in Belgravia, by Sherry Thomas. This is book 2 of her Lady Sherlock series, which I grabbed again because it was on sale, and also because this series has gotten talked up a lot on the Smart Bitches podcast. Thomas is a delightful interviewee, and that as well as just being fond of Sherlock Holmes pastiches drove me to go ahead and pick up book 1 earlier. Now I’ve got book 2 as well.

(And for those of you unfamiliar with this particular series, it’s still Victorian England, but ‘Sherlock Holmes’ is a cover identity of a young lady of the gentry, Charlotte Holmes. I’m reading book 1 right now as of this writing, and so far, I’m pretty intrigued by her backstory. But I’m anxious to get to the part where she’s actively solving crimes.)

Wonderful, by Jill Barnett. Historical romance. This had been hanging out for some time on my wishlist, until I recently discovered that the author had new editions of the trilogy. And also that book 1 was free. I like free! So I finally nabbed this one.

The Fall of Gondolin, by J.R.R. and Christopher Tolkien. And absolutely NONE of you should be surprised I nabbed this. This is going to possibly be the last volume of the truly great stories out of The Silmarillion edited by J.R.R. Tolkien’s son Christopher, if nothing else just due to Christopher Tolkien’s advanced years. But I’m very much looking forward to diving into this. I always felt that the fall of Gondolin was a story given short shrift in The Silmarillion!

(It should also surprise none of you I will also be picking this up in print. The print edition is currently hanging out on my Amazon wishlist. We’ll see if it shows up around Yuletide this year.)

Pre-orders which have shown up now but which I counted already:

The Fated Sky, by Mary Robinette Kowal. Now that I’ve read The Calculating Stars, I’m VERY much looking forward to diving into this.

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, by Seanan McGuire. Another book 2 I’m looking forward to, after an excellent book 1.

This brings me up to 49 for the year.

Other People's Books

Mid-July ebook roundup

Nabbed from Kobo in the last couple weeks or so:

The City & The City, by China Mieville. Had previously owned in print, re-bought in ebook, nabbed it because the ebook was on sale.

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, by Seanan McGuire. This is another preorder! And I nabbed it because it’s a sequel to her earlier Rose Marshall release, Sparrow Hill Road. I quite liked that first Rose Marshall, and I’m looking forward to this new one. It’ll be coming out very soon after this post!

And my preorder for The Calculating Stars showed up, which I am ALSO very much looking forward to reading. 😀

44 for the year.

Other People's Books

End of June 2018 ebook roundup

Because I forgot to note that I nabbed it as Tor.com’s May freebie, here’s that for the ebook roundup:

The Quantum Thief, by Hannu Rajaniemi. SF.

Also, two of my pre-orders mentioned in the last roundup post came in, yay! Looking forward to reading Witchmark and Trail of Lightning!

But meanwhile, I also nabbed all three of Tanya Huff’s Peacekeeper trilogy from Kobo, now that Book 3 has dropped. This is of course military SF and I grabbed ’em on general “Because Tanya Huff needs more of my money” principles, and because I’ve liked the Torin Kerr books that came before these. These books are An Ancient Peace, A Peace Divided, and The Privilege of Peace.

42 for the year (I’ve already counted Trail of Lightning and Witchmark).

Other People's Books

Mid June 2018 ebook roundup

This month’s free ebook from Tor.com’s ebook club was V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic, so I nabbed that one. Because hey, free!

Nabbed from Kobo, because they were on sale:

Provenance, by Ann Leckie. I’ve been enjoying the Ancillary novels quite a bit (I’ve read the first two, still need to read the third), so I wanted this one as well.

Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente. Because if you tell me a book is essentially “Eurovision IN SPACE”, then why yes you HAVE MY ATTENTION. ;D

And pre-ordered from Kobo, because all of these are relevant to my interests:

The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky, by Mary Robinette Kowal. Pair of novels set in the same universe as her excellent short story “The Lady Astronaut of Mars”. VERY much looking forward to these.

Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse. Urban fantasy. Nabbing this one because a) it’s urban fantasy utilizing Navaho mythos, and b) written by an actual Native American author. Also VERY much looking forward to this one. 😀

Witchmark, by C.L. Polk. Fantasy. All the buzz about this one talks about this one as very reminiscent of Howl’s Moving Castle in terms of the culture it’s set in. But it’s also got a queer romance in it, and all in all, from what I’ve seen in reading excerpts and descriptions, there’s a high likelihood of this being charming. I particularly like the heavy emphasis on bicycles being important to this book’s culture!

38 for the year.

Movies

Movie review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

There’s been a lot of dubious buzz over the last several months about Solo: A Star Wars Story. A lot of folks have been concerned about the change in directors, and about whether the movie would deliver a cohesive story. It’s only been out a week, and there’s buzz now about OHNOEZ DID IT FLOP, apparently because it hasn’t made quite as gigantic a pile of money as The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi have done.

With all this negative buzz going around, you could easily conclude that the movie sucks. I am delighted to report, Internets, that this is not the case.

As y’all know I’m a lifelong fangirl for Harrison Ford in general, and for Han Solo in particular. So I was absolutely expecting to come into this movie all Judgy McJudgypants. Because of my Ford fangirldom, but also because of my longstanding love of the Han Solo backstory novels by Brian Daley and A.C. Crispin. The Crispins in particular are near and dear to my heart, as I relied upon them heavily for inspiration when playing Han on Star Wars MUSH back in the day.

Happily, while this movie’s story is of course different in the minor details (while getting the major ones generally right), its spirit felt entirely like those novels. It was just generally fun in a way we don’t usually get with Star Wars flicks. By which I mean, we’re not dealing with galaxy-shaking stakes here. This is an origin story, a heist-flick-in-space, with the Empire only a background presence rather than the main point.

And while Alden Ehrenreich isn’t Harrison Ford, I am now happy to accept his take on Han. Also, Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian is absolutely glorious, and so is the droid L3.

All in all, if you’re a Star Wars fan–and especially if you’re a Han fan–go see it!

Now let’s have a swing past the Spoiler Mines of Kessel, shall we?

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