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End of 2019 book roundup

This post is going up as my first in 2020, but it’s all the remaining books acquired during 2019, so these count to 2019’s overall count!

Acquired from Audible in audiobook form:

  • The A.I. Who Loved Me, by Alyssa Cole. Contemporary romance. Grabbed this one as I’ve been very fond of Cole’s work lately, and also because this is an audio-only release.
  • Signal, by Tony Peak. SF. Grabbed this one just because I had a free credit to spend from Audible due to the settlement they had to do, and there was apparently a limited number of titles to choose from, so I grabbed an SF story I didn’t recognize. Hopefully it’ll be good?

Acquired from

  • Wild Cards I, edited by George R.R. Martin. This is the long-running superheroes series that George R.R. Martin has to his credit, I believe as primary creator and editor? This was a recent freebie on the monthly ebook club.

Acquired from Amazon:

  • The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes. Fantasy. Got this in both novella and audiobook form, in no small part because Daveed Diggs apparently does the reading. And now that I’ve finally fallen in love with the Hamilton soundtrack, I was VERY interested to hear about this story as he does the audiobook narration. Plus, the story sounds pretty amazing: a race of mermaids is descended from pregnant African women who threw themselves overboard to escape slavery. And a female of this race, who’s charged with being the keeper of her people’s memories, rediscovers the surface world. Yowza. (I’m only counting this title once for the count, even though I got it in two formats.)
  • In the Dark, by Loreth Anne White. Thriller/romantic suspense. Got this one because I was able to get it for $1.99, and because I’ve read the author before and liked a previous title of hers.
  • The Vine Witch, by Luanne G. Smith. Fantasy. Nabbed this one because it sounds charming, a historical-type fantasy set in France and centered around magically-powered winemaking.
  • Daughter of Shadows, Son of Solace, and Ashes of Chadanar, by Mirren Hogan. Fantasy/fantasy romance. Grabbed this entire trilogy as I got word via the Romance Alliance discord server that author Mirren Hogan had lost her home in the fires going on down in Australia. 🙁 So I donated a little to the GoFundMe set up for her, and grabbed a few of her books as well.
  • The Melding, The Nameless Knight, and The Call of Aven-Ra, by Claire Ryan. Fantasy/fantasy romance. Grabbed this entire trilogy because of Claire Ryan doing splendid work compiling the massive timeline of events in the RWA scandal that broke just before Christmas.

Acquired from Kobo:

  • Parable of the Talents, by Octavia E. Butler. SF. Part 2 of the duology that starts with Parable of the Sower. Nabbed this because I already had book 1, and we wanted to read the pair of them in our little book club.
  • A Prince on Paper, by Alyssa Cole. Romance. Book 3 of her Reluctant Royals series, which I am enjoying immensely.
  • Talk Sweetly to Me, Once Upon a Marquess, A Kiss for Midwinter, Proof by Seduction, and Trial by Desire, all by Courtney Milan. Historical romance. Also Hold Me and Trade Me by same. Bought all of these to show my support for her in the aforementioned RWA scandal. Because DAMN.
  • Magic for Liars, by Sarah Gailey. Grabbed this because I like their hippo books and because it was on sale at the time.

Acquired in print as a Christmas gift:

  • Sauron Defeated, by J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien. This is book 9 of the History of Middle-Earth series, a bunch more analysis and supplementary material for the entire Middle-Earth legendarium. I’ve gotten more interested in acquiring these books due to’s ongoing series People of Middle-Earth, looking in depth at various lesser-known characters. The writer of these posts is pulling considerably out of the History of Middle-Earth series, so yeah, I want to have a look at them myself.

86 for the year.


PSA: Using OpenOffice? Might want to switch to LibreOffice instead

Over on James Nicoll’s LJ, this past weekend, I saw this post wherein James was asking for help on an OpenOffice feature–and folks in the comments were advising that he should consider switching over to LibreOffice instead.

The basis for this is that apparently the code base for OpenOffice is not getting actively updated. The last release was back in October of 2015, and there is a known security issue now that hasn’t been fixed in any release of the suite yet. That issue is described here, where it is noted that there is a hotfix patch available, if you’re comfortable with trying to install that.

But more tellingly, also in the comments on James’ thread, I saw a link off to this Ars Technica article that discusses an active possibility that OpenOffice just might be shut down. Apparently Apache’s OO team doesn’t have enough active developers to support the code.

So if you’re an OpenOffice user, you might want to keep an eye on this. At minimum, you should go install the patch discussed on the security bulletin I link to above. And you should think about whether you want to continue to use OpenOffice, or maybe make the switch to LibreOffice instead, since that’s still being actively developed.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck!


Attention, fellow Android-inclined geeks

Has anyone successfully set up an SD card to have an Android install on it?

What I want to do: use my 32GB SD card to have vanilla Android on it so that I can dual boot my Nook HD between the Nook’s proprietary launcher and vanilla Android*. I do not actually want to root the Nook–I just want vanilla Android available to me so I can switch back and forth and see which I like better.

(The main reason I don’t want to root the Nook right now is that it’s still under warranty, and rooting it will violate that warranty.)

I’ve done a bunch of googling, but the various interesting links I’m finding, while interesting, seem like they’re geared towards actually rooting the device. I’m also seeing a bunch of references to just buying images of Android you can plunk onto an SD card. But while that does sound convenient, screw that, I’ve got the tech chops to do an install myself. I just need to know the proper steps.

Anybody done this? If you have, can you point me at any notable links of interest on how to do it?

* For values of ‘vanilla Android’ meaning ‘I’m open to icecreamsandwich or kitkat or whatever works’. The Nook HD ships with what appears to be a B&N-hacked version of cyanogenmod’s hummingbird build, so I’m fine with looking at that, too.


And now, the news!

First off, I have STUFF ON SALE! I’ve been yapping about this all weekend, and if you’re seeing this post on my site, you can probably see the text announcement I’ve got right under the top menu.

For those of you who AREN’T reading this post on my site, and who missed me yapping about it all weekend, hey, Faerie Blood is now ON SALE! 99 cents for the book, and I’m waiving shipping charges for anyone who wants to buy a print copy from me!

ALSO! Carina is putting Valor of the Healer on sale for 99 cents as well! This sale will be running through 7/19! Now would be a real good time to grab this ebook if you haven’t already–and if you’re so inclined and you want to scamper on around to read Vengeance of the Hunter, that wouldn’t suck either! Full details on that are on this post!


Speaking of Carina, they’ve put up a genre spotlight post to emphasize that why yes, Carina does sell fantasy novels! C’mon over and check out what other new releases besides mine Carina’s got in the genre, won’t you?

AND, my Here Be Magic peeps have a post up highlighting Sonya Clark’s new release, the various titles of ours Carina’s put on sale, and a few extra goodies available as well! Check it out!


They handed out the Locus awards for 2014 last night, right here in Seattle! Congratulations to all of the winners, and y’all should go clickie for a roundup of Things You Might Want to Add to Your Reading Lists.


That’s the news for this Monday!


Well, that sure didn’t take long, did it?

Two days ago I was pleased to receive the official announcement, via the backer notifications I was receiving due to having supported the Kickstarter, that the special Women Destroy Science Fiction! issue of Lightspeed had gone on general public sale.

And last night I saw a link going around reporting on how, on one particular site, reviews of the material therein included some reactionary editorials. Very reactionary editorials. Natalie Luhrs reports on it over here. And James Nicoll relayed Natalie’s link here.

I wish I could say I’m surprised at how little time it took for the cane-shaking sexist bullshit to spring up in response to this project. But I’m not. Nor am I surprised that Natalie is targeted in the comments on her thread with the “I’m on your side, I swear, but your shrill argument is just going to drive me right over to side with this guy you’re arguing about” tactic.

This, this right here, is exactly why the Women Destroy Science Fiction! issue needed to exist, and why I was proud to be one of its supporters. So I encourage you all to check it out.

Likewise, I commend to your attention Amal El-Mohtar’s beautiful response to this latest brouhaha, in which she provides several quotes to illustrate exactly how long cane-shaking sexist bullshit has existed. Including Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley herself.

And Rachael Acks lays out why throwing “shrill” around is rife with sexist baggage.

At the end of the day, though, one of Mohtar’s quotes from Christie Yant is the crux of the matter:

We need your voice—don’t let it be silenced.

This is me talking. Because Yant is right.

Now pardon me, I feel some destruction of science fiction coming on.


Monday news roundup: Memes, Amazon vs. Hachette, and Jay Lake

I’m not quite convinced that participation in a meme still counts if you get tagged twice for the same thing–but that said, I’ve been re-tagged on the Writing Process one, specifically by M.M. Justus, who put up her post on the meme right over here.

And in case you missed it, my post on the meme went up in April, and you can find it here.


I’m continuing to see a lot of sound and fury bouncing around re: the Amazon-Hachette dispute. B&N is apparently taking advantage of this by doing a Buy 2, Get One Free deal on affected books. So just in case something from a Hachette author is on your personal buy list, you might check this out.

Meanwhile, I was pointed at this post on the matter, in which the author is quite well and firmly on Amazon’s side. I was asked for my thoughts, and can sum them up pretty much thusly: I feel that particular writer has some cogent points re: the good things Amazon’s doing for authors. But on the other hand, I’m still not cool about the strongarm tactics they’ve been using against Hachette. My overall point remains that at the end of the day, when entities as big as Amazon and Hachette go at it, the people who are ultimately hurt by this are still authors–who can’t sell their stuff via Amazon–and readers, who can’t buy the books they may want to get.

And as a general reminder, if you want to read ebooks, Amazon is not your only option. There’s B&N. There’s Kobo. There’s the iBookstore, if you’re an Apple user. There’s Google Play, if you’re Android-inclined. There are device-agnostic places like Smashwords, and there are all sorts of publishers and imprints who sell directly on their own sites–like, of course, Carina. But I also heartily recommend the good folks at Angry Robot, Book View Cafe, and of course savvy longer-term, ebook-reading SF/F fans will be aware that Baen was a pioneer in the DRM-free ebook arena. Likewise, many authors are publishing their own backlists (e.g., Doranna Durgin, highly regarded in these parts). And many small presses may well be selling their own ebooks as well.

Long story short, a judicious ebook-buyer doesn’t have to be constrained to any one device. Do a bit of research and you may well find something awesome you want to read, available in a way that will let you get more money into the hands of the author.


Last but not least, for those who may have missed the news yesterday, Jay Lake finally succumbed to his fight with cancer. The SF/F community will be grieving for him for a while, I think. I’m continuing to see people posting about him all over the Internet, which just goes to show that his impact on the greater SF/F community was deep indeed. I particularly appreciated commentary I’ve seen from people who’ve also been fighting cancer, and who found him to be an inspiration–and also, just from readers who are grateful that his works remain as his legacy. If a writer has to go, I think leaving behind a lot of fans who’ll miss you and treasure your books is a decent way to do it.

My own brief post about this is here, and I reiterate my condolences to all who knew Mr. Lake, whether as a loved one, a friend, or an author.


Things I really didn’t need to know about my student instruments

Back in the day, there was Mystery Science Theater 3000. And when MST3K was no more, lo, there came unto us RiffTrax, but also Cinematic Titanic! And the brains behind RiffTrax (all hallowed be the name of Mike Nelson) said unto the people, “We shall have a Kickstarter, for lo, Twilight in an unriffed state makes us sore afraid.” And the people looked upon this Kickstarter and gave unto it their moneys, and even though they could not riff Twilight and had to riff Starship Troopers instead, they pronounced it GOOD.

And now, RiffTrax has started handing out the shiny rewards for the Kickstarter backers. Among these is a brand new riff treatment of “Mr. B Natural”–which is a short all you diehard MST3K fans out there should remember (and shudder at). I cannot provide you the pointer to the riffed version of this, because hey, it’s a Kickstarter reward and I donated good money for that. 😉 But I CAN point you at this–the entirely uncut, unriffed, 26-minute-long original version of the short. Brace yourselves, people.

What’s REALLY scary about this (well, aside from the androgynous music demon appearing in a 12-year-old boy’s room, that is) is that Dara started googling around for the music instrument company so prominently plugged all throughout this thing. She determined that they are the originators of a whole bunch of various brands of student-grade band and orchestra instruments, and from that, we learned that my original flute (the Yamaha that I played from fourth grade clear up into high school), my current silver flute (the Artley that I got at a pawn shop in college), and my piccolo (an Armstrong) are all brands originated by these people.


I would also like to note categorically and for the record that at no point in fourth grade, when I was deciding to be a flute player, did this chick appear to me. I make no guarantees however about the boys who were in my school’s music classes at the time.

And here’s another thing that never happened to me when I was in band, either! In the uncut short you can see the band teacher consulting a chart to try to figure out what instrument Buzz should play. Dara and I both boggled at that, so Dara googled for that too and found this thing, which is apparently a later iteration of the same chart.

Me, I just got handed a checklist and was told to tick off my first, second, and third choices of instruments! One presumes we were not actually a Conn-Selmer school. On the whole, though, I think I still came out ahead.