So, that was October. The big news on the bookish front is that I finally have my library back. Yes, it’s technically my bedroom, but at this point there’s far more books than there is bed. I’m still moving bits and pieces around, but books are back on shelves and life is getting back to normal. Better than normal, in some cases. But now that the month is at an end, it’s time to break down how the blogging went. Right this way friends.
I’ve actually been very restrained in my book buying this month. The visceral thrill of Black Library’s limited stock pre-orders aside, I’ve only picked up two books, and one of those was second hand. In a sign that I may finally be conquering my TBR, my October book haul looks like this:
- Shadows on the Sun, by Michael Jan Friedman
- Centers of Gravity, by Marko Kloos
- Helbrecht: Knight of the Throne, by Marc Collins
- The Vorbis Conspiracy, by various authors
- Kasrkin, by Edoardo Albert
Somewhere in the dark void that is a warehouse, my copy of Murray Leinster’s Sideways in Time is gathering dust. At this stage I’ve essentially given up all hope of seeing it, and if it doesn’t arrive before December, it will no longer be making an appearance here.
My planned reading schedule for October pretty much fell apart in the first week. Turns out I underestimated how much of a time investment a Star Trek trilogy could be, and I didn’t get around to the second one I’d planned for the month. The upside of this was that I managed to clear out some of the more miscellaneous books in my TBR tower. And in the end, I really enjoyed all but a few of the books I got around to reading. Here’s the list, with links to my reviews:
- Resolute, by Jack Campbell
- Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers, by James Swallow
- Terok Nor: Night of the Wolves, by S. D. Perry & Britta Dennison
- Terok Nor: Dawn of the Eagles, by S. D. Perry & Britta Dennison
- Monsters & Medics, by James White
- The Rose at War, by Danie Ware
- Conquests, by Poul Anderson
- The Precipice, by Ben Bova
- Fire Made Flesh, by Denny Flowers
- Centers of Gravity, by Marko Kloos
- The Fraxilly Fracas, by Douglas Hill
- Cthonia’s Reckoning, by various authors
Most of my listening time this month was spent catching up with podcasts and album releases, but I’ve got a few SF audiobooks in the pipeline that I’m hoping to get around to next month.
In a sad reflection of the way things are headed, this month was all about the big franchises. Monopolies aside, however, the shows themselves are surprisingly good. Star Wars: Andor is the best show to come from that particular franchise, and by some margin. Given how much I enjoyed Obi-Wan Kenobi, this has been a delightful surprise. On a Star of another kind, Strange New Worlds was retro in all the right ways (and one bad way), but injected fun back into live-action Star Trek right when it was needed. Lower Decks also concluded its third, decidedly mixed season, bringing me to something of a loss as to what I should watch next. recommendations gladly received.
A relatively quiet month of reading and reviewing has given me the chance to get some articles out there. The first of these was something of a community effort, as I answered a few science fiction questions from readers of the blog. I followed this up with a slightly longer answer to the question of how we apply labels to books. Then it was time for a bit of self-indulgence as I celebrated getting my 50,000th view on the blog. Finally, Black Library author Marc Collins was kind enough to stop by for a quick interview about his work.
And in a first for me, I stepped beyond the confines of this blog to pay a visit to Athena over at OneReadingNurse for a talk on why I stopped reading grimdark fantasy as part of GrimdDarkTober. Be sure to check that out alongside thought from other bloggers, and give her blog a follow while you’re over there.
I have fallen slightly behind in my SPSFC slushpile reading, but rest assured I’ll be rectifying that in November, when I hope to finish and give initial thoughts on the remaining slushpile entrants.
Entering the final quarter of what has by far been the worst year for writing I’ve had since committing myself to it, I’ve barely scraped together a few chapters. I have fully reached the stage of hating my current project, and am now only finishing it out of a point of principle, and to be able to say I’ve completed at least one first draft this year.
At the time of writing, October has been my second most successful month in terms of views. There’s a very real possibility that it takes the top spot today, and the same goes for visitors. In terms of likes and comments, the true indicators of an engaged readership, I’m in a very healthy spot. As I rocket towards the end of my fourth year of blogging, I think I’m finally getting the hang of things. And while I remain stubbornly determined not to do this for any financial gain, running this blog has led to rewards of a different kind. Long may it continue.
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