Ah September, the month of soaring highs and crushing lows. As I write this, the house renovations are one carpet away from being complete, meaning I can finally end my exile to the dining room within the next week or so. My month was also rudely interrupted by the last LARP event of the year, at which I managed to have a rather severe bout of hypothermia, which effectively scrambled me of the rest of the week. Then there’s the whole economic collapse and brink of mutually-assured destruction we’ve got going on right now. I’m doing my best to keep my nose in a book and not think about all that, for the sake of my own sanity. It’s odd that, in spite of everything listed above, between books and some personal affairs I won’t detail here, I manage to wake up happy each morning. But enough about me. Let’s talk about the blog.
Following last month’s mega-haul from Hay-on-Wye, I took it a little easier on the book buying. But you know me, I always find time for a purchase or two.
- Seven Novels, by Jules Verne (a collection of his best known works)
- Ape and Essence, by Aldous Huxley
- Awakenings, by George Mann
- The Rose at War, by Danie Ware
- Fire Made Flesh, by Denny Flowers
- Cthonia’s Reckoning, by various authors
- Babel-17, by Samuel R. Delany
In addition, some of my orders from the previous month arrived. They are:
- Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers, by James Swallow
- Prey: The Jackal’s Trick, by John Jackson Miller
- Prey: The Hall of Heroes, by John Jackson Miller
As Waterstones continue to deal with major warehouse issues (blame the technology, not the staff), my one remaining book on order looks to be achieving mythical status. Murray Leinster’s Sideways in Time is truly living up to its name.
A lot of people I know have struggled to finish books this month, and for once I find myself in the same positions. Solidarity aside, it’s painful to admit I have just scraped by my target by reading ten books in September. My planned reading schedule went completely out the window, as I ended up reading mostly standalones, and wrapping up long series.
- Defender of the Imperium, by Sandy Mitchell
- The Albion Initiative, by George Mann
- The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
- End As A Hero, by Keith Laumer
- The Best of Kuttner 1, by Henry Kuttner
- Saviour of the Imperium, by Sandy Mitchell
- Interstellar Empire, by John Brunner
- The Space Merchants, by Frederik Pohl & C.M. Kornbluth
- Requiem Infernal, by Peter Fehervari
- The Outward Urge, by John Wyndham (review forthcoming)
I’ve been listening to a lot of music. None of it science fiction related.
First of all I caught up to date with For All Mankind, which is a rare example of a show deserving all the praise it receives. In both production and story, it’s up there with the best I’ve seen. I’ve also started Andor, which is offering a surprisingly gritty take on Star Wars that I find utterly enthralling, and Strange New Worlds, which strips away all the grit that Star Trek has gathered these past few years and returns to the old formula of a new planet every week. I’m not wild about yet another prequel in either case, but each of these shows is reinvigorating their respective franchise in a brilliant way. I’ve shied away from reviewing TV shows at this point, but Andor and Strange New Worlds will get write-ups once I’ve completed each season.
Early in the month, I revisited my Wishlist posts of previous years to see how things turned out. The answer, as always, was a bit of a mixed bag.
September’s other article was a discussion on the nature of canon and canonicity in science fiction. This is the sort of academic article I’d like to write more of. A source I trust has also suggested I be cranky about SF more often, so watch this space.
In a slight change from last year’s format, my fellow judges and I are revealing our personal choices as we go. For me, the first seven books led to two YES votes, which you can read more about by clicking HERE.
After an August in which everything went right, September started off on the same track . . . and then promptly fell off a cliff. I’ve barely scraped together three thousand words in the past two weeks. I’m hoping to be done with this project by the end of October, but it’s going to be a rough month down in the word mines.
Right now I’m exactly where I want to be. Averaging in at over a hundred views per day is more than I imagined possible when I started. Next month will almost definitely see two major milestones, which I fully intend to celebrate. I run this blog for the joy of it, and it’s nice to see others sharing in that joy.