Susan’s Salon: 2021 June 27/28

Locked-down salon today!

Please use the comment section to just chat about whatever you want. Susan’s Salon is posted early Monday (Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is still Sunday in most other countries). It’s fine to be sad, worried, vaccinated, unvaccinated-yet, angry or maybe even happy (or all of those things at once).

Please feel free to post what you like (either troubling news or pleasant distractions) in the comments for this open thread. [However, no cranky conflicts between each other in the comments.] Links, videos, cat pictures 🐈 etc are fine! Whatever you like and be nice to one another 😇


98 responses to “Susan’s Salon: 2021 June 27/28”

  1. Somebody at the Zelazny estate has finally open up the floodgates there so if you go to your favorite ebook seller, you’ll find a lot of books by him very reasonably priced. By that, I mean most of them will be just $1.99 if you’re in the USA though I’ve no idea if they’re available elsewhere. Some of the books available at that price include Lord of Light, This Immortal, Unicorn Variations, Dream Master and Doorways in the Sand.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Well, here in the Pacific Northwest, we just had the hottest day on record. That is to say, not the hottest ever June 26, not the hottest day in June—the highest temperature ever recorded here ever. And the runners up were all in July and August.

    The forecast for today and tomorrow is 6-8 degrees higher.

    Like

    • Is it true that most people in the Pacific NW don’t have air conditioning? Because, yikes!

      Like

      • Most people in my circles do have it—but my circles are disproportionally well educated and/or techies who can afford it. A lot of people don’t have that luxury.

        I don’t have AC myself—I don’t like its damp artificialness, and I prefer not to pay for one more damn thing that’ll just cost more money when it breaks down. In most years, there are a couple unpleasant weeks, but nothing I can’t handle.

        This weekend, I’m crashing at a friend’s house. In the fall, I’m going to re-evaluate.

        Liked by 3 people

      • I used to live in Idaho, where hardly any houses had AC. The summer I had my kid, we had ten straight days of 105 degree weather. We lived in the basement, but it was still miserable.

        Liked by 3 people

      • When I lived in Salt Lake City, hardly anyone there had air conditioning — despite routine summer highs in the 100s. Of course, nearly everyone had swamp coolers (evaporative coolers), aka swampers, which take advantage of the dry air to cool through evaporation.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Growing up in Michigan, we never had air conditioning and that wasn’t uncommon. Still not a given in houses here these days. When I lived in Florida where it’s ubiquitous, it took me a bit to figure out that’s what people were talking about when they said “AC” or just “Air”! My first car there had broken AC which was fine while moving but hell on wheels when stuck in traffic in summer.

        Like

    • We don’t have A/C here in California because when the house was built in the 60s and even when we moved in in the 90s, there weren’t more than a handful of days, usually in August, when it was needed. We sat around in front of fans or went to the movies or the mall (Which of course we couldn’t last year).

      Now we don’t have the money to install it, and I am thinking annoyed thoughts at the original owner. The ones who owned it 2 before us and put on the addition moved to your neck of the woods, so at least they’re suffering too.

      The not cooling down at night is the worse part. You can’t even open up and get cooled off that way.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You know, you just reminded me of that one week in Berkeley, usually in September, that the temperature spiked and we all died in the dorms. I did a bit better than some, being a kid from the Great Central Valley, but it was rough if you didn’t have anything to move the air.

        Also, my heart goes out to all the Portlanders without AC — one time in Redding the mercury hit 116 and the AC at my house was broken. Neither the cats nor I moved much that day.

        Like

  3. Read an excellent book The Secret Token by Andrew Lawler on how the failed colony of Roanoke became The Lost Colony of myth.
    Finished Invincible which was as boring as I found the comics.
    Delighted Motherland: Fort Salem’s S2 has begun.
    On the opening-up front, had coffee with a writer friend of mine on Friday, and today I’m holding a writer’s work day for my writing group. Feels good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Delighted Motherland: Fort Salem’s S2 has begun.

      Yeah, I got turned on to that because I follow Kameron Hurley’s Twitter feed and she praised it to the skies. I just finished season 1 and really like it. It’s got a depth of worldbuilding you don’t often see on TV/streaming.

      Like

  4. Locked-down Salon! Then I guess it’s appropriate that the email I got with the link to this post closes with an ad that shows Andrew Jackson wearing a gag!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We’re blessed here in Portland, Maine as the prevailing climate is effected largely by the Atlantic Ocean which generally keeps us cooler in the summer than even a few miles inland. That means we only get to ninety degree f. (thirty two degrees c.) a handful of days in the summer. We’re going to do that tomorrow and the next day most likely as well. And the humidity levels average rather low oddly enough for being on the ocean.

    Like

  6. I think I did use to little time in my last week to read for the Hugo and to much time for the drama. Try to chance that.

    Like

  7. We just celebrated midsummer with the traditional Swedish weather, mixing sun and rain, forcing everyone to move plates and food indoors and then outdoors again when everything cleared up. Also popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate my full immunity day which occurred at the same day.

    Sir Scrittles had the time of his life with people everywhere, taking him for walks and giving him scratches. At the end he was so tired that he could barely keep his eyes open, so I had to move him inside – under load protests – so he could get som sleep. Also, he has his own ideas on the limits of leashes.

    Nevyn has been much calmer, finding his favourite hiding place in the hedge surrounding my lot. There he sits, silently observing everything that happens. And protests if I get too far away with Sir Scrittles, demanding the right to follow. He keeps the house spider and wasp free. Sadly, he doesn’t care about the mosquitos that are a plague this year.

    Finished of super-hero book “Bones of the Past” which was a bit disappointing compared to Drew Hayes earlier books. Also watched the anime “The Boy and The Beast” which was kind of cute, but slow and forgettable.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for the photos of Sir S! Handsome beast.

      A cat we had (previous to the current) also did that on his leash, but our tree is only climbable for about 2-3 feet. When we took him to the park, he did exactly like Sir S.

      This comment has made me happy.

      Like

  8. I watched first episode of The Mysterious Benedict Society with Ms. 14. She’d read the books when she was younger, I’d read a few excerpts to her just as she was losing patience with adults reading to her when she could damn well do it faster itself.

    We both liked it quite a bit, even though 14 tells me the books are better. Disney+ calls it a “family” show, which might be accurate for once.

    Like

  9. So of course I spoke too soon when I was bragging about my lack of reaction to the vaccine last week. I woke up at 4am the next morning with a throbbing head and a throbbing arm. Felt better by that afternoon though – even the sore arm. Quite a different experience from the flu vaccine overall.

    We have a brief reprise from unpleasant weather today, but only brief – later this week it’s going to be about as cold as it gets here.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nothing happened here except for the Fancy French Restaurant for our anniversary. Had delicious noms, glass of bubbly each, and dessert for under $100 (The smol dessert was free for the occasion). So odd to be wearing real pants, shoes, and button-up shirts, and eat indoors with no masks except on the staff. Their tables have always been socially distanced, so the place was full even on a Wednesday night. It was like the Before Times.

    EGG remains incredibly whiny. Weather continues warm-to-hot and dry as can be.

    I have been spending way too much time with my 8″ Kindle tablet, because new gadget that can play games! So my reading this week has been very little.

    Tomorrow it’s back to the dentist. Ugh. So many cavities, so little money.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reading is going slow but I’m still very much enjoying The Burning God. My social life continues to get in the way of reading, as did finding the demo of NEO: The World Ends With You and accidentally completing it in a 2 hour rush last night. Now I’m psyched to have a game I can jump right into once I’m done with Skyward Sword!

    Finally got my eyes tested last week as well. They’re both -0.75 and both have astigmatism, so I decided to commit to being a glasses wearer now. Luckily here glasses are dirt cheap – I got a decent frame and photochromic lenses for ~$15.

    Like

  12. Let’s see… lots of watching and a little genre reading to report on since last time —

    I indulged in a serious romance binge, but I won’t inflict all that on y’all.

    In genre, I read or listened to:

    The Assassins of Thasalon by LMB. A worthy addition to the Penric series, though I think LMB is overindulging in style to the point that it gets distracting at times. I read this one in text. It’ll be fun to listen to the audio once it’s released.

    The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings by Lily Morton. First in a PNR series. I like Morton’s writing, but this one had too much of cliched ghost story tropes for my taste, and a stupid title. Appealing narration by Joel Leslie.

    The Quiet Boy by Ben H. Winters. I tried this because I really liked his recent book, Underground Airlines. This one is just barely science fiction — it jumps back and forth between 2009 and 2019, and it’s the story of a family, their lawyer, and the lawyer’s son as they all deal with the aftermath of an emergency brain surgery on the family’s son that went wrong. Winters is an intelligent, sharp writer with vivid characters, which is a pleasure to listen to. OTOH, this book has a reaaaaaaaaaaaally sloooooooooow burn, which made me keep wishing they would get to the point. Also, there were several major points that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief for. Nonetheless, there’s more to the book than might be immediately obvious if you stop and think about it, which I always enjoy. Good narration by William DeMerritt.

    Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis, first in a UF series. There was nothing actively wrong with this, aside from repeated references to every female characters’ breasts, but it was mostly pedestrian and forgettable. The narrator, Peter Brook, read so slowly that I had to speed it up to 1.3x, even though I normally hate to increase the speed on books — and I was really irritated by most of his secondary character voices. I probably won’t bother with any more of the series.

    Now I’ve started a re-listen of Shadow Magic, first of another UF series by Nazri Noor, in prep for trying more of the series. The vast improvement over Hard Spell is immediately obvious. This one is vivid and humorous and immediately interesting, and very different from the typical vamp/werewolf/wizard shtick. It’s been awhile since I read it, so I don’t remember much — it will be fun to see how it goes. Ably narrated by Luke Daniels, though I think he frequently overdramatizes.

    In watching:

    The last season of Lucifer. It struck me pretty much like the rest of the series — the female lead was wimpy and whiny and the male lead is not much of an actor, but I liked all the secondaries, and the series had the essential quality of making me want to know what happens next. And bonus, Dennis Haysbert played God for most of the season. 🙂

    The first season of Warrior Nun. I enjoyed this more than I expected. It’s filmed in Spain, so there’s lots of great architecture and landscape. Also, there’s tons of international casting, so lots of interesting accents, lots of diversity, and lots of interesting faces — not just Hollywood-pretty actors. The story is pretty silly, but it held together fairly well and, again, had the quality of making me want to know what happened next.

    The last season of Bosch. Sniff. I never liked the actress who played Bosch’s daughter, but everything else about the series was pretty great.

    One more episode of The Shannara Chronicles. I give up — too groan-inducing.

    Frozen. Believe it or not, I had never watched it before. Interesting in having a more complex storyline and moral than most Disney-type movies.

    Tangled. Entirely forgettable, except that it has the best animated horse ever. The. Best.

    Brave. Fun and sweet, with lots of great actors voicing characters — including Billy Connolly, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, and Emma Thompson.

    First (only?) season of Mare of Easttown. It tried to throw too much in, I think, and it was very depressing, but still very well done.

    And I still haven’t watched the current Loki episode. Maybe tonight!

    Like

    • Any chance you have Kung Fu in your watch list? Young Chinese-American girl runs away from home and her parents’ expectations to learn shaolin kung fu. Becomes embroiled in a quest to stop the Big Bad acquiring powerful, ancient weapons when her shifu is killed. It’s been surprisingly well done, imo.

      Like

      • I actually didn’t even know it was a reboot until I saw some people complaining that it’s got girl cooties all over it now. Still, I’m enjoying it and the fight scenes feel “real” (as in, they feel like a kung fu film/series should). Might be worth checking out if you have access to it 🙂 I unfortunately have no idea what channel it airs on in the US though.

        Like

        • It’s on the CW.
          I’ve wondered if invoking the name of the old show (which I love) will turn off some potential viewers as it has no connection other than, obviously, having Kung Fu. But it’s renewed for S2 so presumably it didn’t turn off too many.

          Like

    • You might be interested to know that the original plot of Frozen had Elsa becoming the antagonist. Then they came up with “Let It Go” and it made her too sympathetic for that. But they weren’t going to get rid of “Let It Go”, rightly thinking that they’d just written a Best Song Oscar-winner, so they had to revise the plot to have a new villain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The show’s got interesting moral implications, and I’m not sure I’m really comfortable with them. I mean, if it’s supposed to be an allegory for coming out of the closet or some such, then you have this message that being gay (or trans or whatever) really is dangerous and must be controlled/made “safe”/cured by love. You can only be “yourself” in small, socially acceptable doses. So……. yeah. Don’t really know how I feel about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Contrarius; it’s more that the GLBT community embraced Elsa as an allegory, not that Disney made her one intentionally. I do find a lot of plot holes and stumbles in it, but I still find it solid.

        It’s a rare case of a Disney movie (or really, any movie) whose sequel is as good. Better thought through, and apparently they took on board actual Indigenous consultants and applied their ideas, including attitudes to reconciliation. Some people were disappointed it continued to tease at the “Elsa is a lesbian/ace/etc” thing that the GLBT community wanted, rather than going for it for real, but I didn’t expect that of Disney at this point in time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I liked the movie a lot better than you did, but I agree that Max is the best horse ever – and much more moral (and consistent about it) than most of the other characters.

        Like

  13. Had my first shot last week, they scheduled shot #2 while checking that I had booked. Next one is early August, and I guess I will have fully-developed immunity some time after that.

    Like

    • From what I’ve heard, you have about 80% protection from the base strain (maybe less against the new variants) even just two weeks after your first shot — note that the United Kingdom has made great strides with a policy of getting as many people their first jab as they can, at the expense of delaying the second.

      I’ve seen a lot of people putting great stress on “second shot plus two weeks” as though someone comes along and flips a switch right then. That’s not how bodies work….

      Like

      • First shot + 3 weeks is what they say here for base immunity (we have some relaxed recommendations then). On the other hand, Delta seems to be taking over so two shots + two weeks if you want to be safe.

        Like

      • General vaccine comment: too many people keep forgetting that the biggest benefit of a booster shot (the second injection) is not so much in the height of the immune response as in its duration. One shot can induce a strong response, but that response will likely drop off fairly quickly; the second shot will strengthen the response, but more importantly it will create a much longer-lasting immunity with a much slower drop-off.

        So everyone, don’t forget your second shot!

        Like

      • Second shot acquired on Saturday. I’m a mixed bag; they didn’t have any Astra-Zeneca, anywhere in the province, from what I could gather, and Pfizer is the only one approved in Canada for 12-17, so they’re mostly only giving that one out to that age group (Well, there were also adults getting it when I went, but I assume they *booked* their appointment weeks ago.), So I’m an Astra-Moderna mix now.

        Which supposedly creates a better overall immune response but also may come with more side effects. I was achy all over yesterday, today is just a headache but that could be staring hard at the screen all day for both of the above (You might not be able to tell this second, what with the commenting on Susan’s salon thingy, but I actually had a lot of work to process earlier.)

        Liked by 1 person

    • I finally got my first vaccination appointment for next week. Second one is sometime in August. I got lucky that I got an early morning slot, which a lot of people with 9 to 5 jobs can’t take.

      I’m getting Biontech/Pfizer, because I can’t take AstraZeneca.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. Further to my comment last week, I finished Elizabeth Bear’s Machine. It did pick up for me a bit in the second half but I didn’t love it.

    I have now moved onto The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell, which won the Arthur C. Clarke Award. It’s good, but not very genre-y. Reminds me quite a lot of David Mitchell.

    I realised when going through my TBR list that most of the books on it seem to be really chunky (The Old Drift is more than 500 pages) and I’m actually not that enthusiastic about reading doorstoppers at the moment. I have a 2-year old child in my household and I’m studying part-time for a Master’s degree and that leaves me with limited time for leisure reading. I think my book purchases from now on will be determined by width.

    Like

  15. Our condo in Seattle has no central air, but there are circular ports in three rooms to which we can attach portable AC units. Normally we only do this for our bedroom at night, but this week has been exceptional. Also we have an 11-year-old foster kid living with us, so the inability to cool the entire unit during the day has been a real problem, even though we do have cool bedrooms at night.

    Yesterday, I contacted an old friend of mine from Microsoft who owns a big place on Lake Sammamish, asking if he and his wife would like some company. They were happy to have us, so we spent most of the day in the water. One of my friend’s grandkids was there, and the two boys played together happily all day long. On the downside, it was difficult to get our little guy to take sunscreen seriously. We got him to sit still long enough for one application, but that’s it.

    Last night at bedtime, he was unusually cranky, and he finally tearfully admitted that his arms and legs were hurting. After a little research online, we gave him some OTC pain meds and I smeared a gel that combines aloe vera with hydrocortisone. The latter provided instant (although not complete) relief, and he settled down a lot.

    The thing is, this child normally won’t let adults touch him. I won’t say why, but you can probably guess. Even after over a month with us, the most he’d do was a high-five or a fist bump. Yet he lay there quietly and let me rub the lotion onto his thighs, legs, arms, etc. I figured he must have really been in a lot of pain to let me do that. Once it was clear it was working, he sprawled out on top of the bed, and we turned out the light.

    A few minutes later, as we were getting ready to go to bed ourselves, he came rapping on our door. I opened it, to see what was the matter.

    “I didn’t say goodnight,” he told me.

    And for the first time ever, he hugged me.

    Liked by 11 people

    • Oooh, so happy it seems to be working out! Same kid you were talking about with regards to reading?

      Like

    • I’m sorry to hear about the sunburn, but so glad to hear that the trust level seems to be increasing so well. And I bet he’ll willingly submit to sunscreen in the future.

      I absolutely swear by aloe vera gel with lidocaine. It really numbs the burn, and I’ve found aloe vera has prevented peeling on a couple of occasions where I was just sure I was going to lose a lot of skin.

      Best wishes dealing with the heatwave, it doesn’t sound as if it’s over yet.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Greg, that’s really impressive. best wishes for continued progress and cooler weather.

      Having been extensively sunburned more than once, I san say that the best remedy I know of is soaking a cloth in a mixture half-water, half-vinegar, wringing it out and and then laying the damp cloth on the sunburned area (no rubbing!). You end up smelling like a salad, but I don’t consider that a drawback. I did that after a bad sunburn once and the swelling went down and I didn’t blister.

      Like

  16. Had tooth extracted yesterday.

    Dentist no longer gives out the good drugs, so ibuprofen it is, warm salt water, and a lot of room temperature soft food.

    Stitches out and more fillings next week.

    Luckily the tax refund FINALLY came in.

    (Mammogram and standard blood tests tomorrow. It’s a joyful week. :/)

    Like

    • Ooo, sorry about the tooth! I hate dentistry!

      It’s turning into Medical Month here too. Had a regular checkup with my GP today (in person — take that, Covid!), which is leading to appts for ultrasound for possible deep vein thrombosis (nah, he’s just excited about a symptom he hadn’t paid attention to before), physical therapy (yay!), blood draw, mammogram recheck (o joy), ob-gyn recheck (o joy), ortho recheck for more serious discussions about joint replacement (past time!)… and Lord knows what else might develop. GP also keeps trying to talk me into insomnia meds, which I refuse to take, and now is talking about testing for sleep apnea too, but he’s convinced I wouldn’t use the CPAP machine if they did find anything. Heh. It’s not like I’m Contrarian or anything, right?

      SO happy right now about Obamacare. And especially about Biden’s strengthening of it — because of him I’ve started saving an additional $150 on my monthly bill, which I appreciate!

      Liked by 1 person

      • We’d probably have had to sell the house if it weren’t for Obamacare. As it is, we can hang on by the skin of our teeth. Well, the teeth we still have.

        Ours was good enough already that the extension of it didn’t apply to us. But we did get a couple of nice masks sent to us. They pooch out and have nose space, which is good because I have quite the schnoz.

        Liked by 1 person

    • You have my deepest sympathy. I had a tooth pulled last year, and it’s definitely no fun. It took over 12 months to get an implant installed, but I’ve been amazed how well the implant works. It really does feel just like a normal tooth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mine used to give out all the good drugs, but the DEA under Agent Orange made an especial project out of hassling doctors and dentists in California to make sure all their “papers please!” were in order and strongly discouraging them from prescribing any controlled substances.

        Of course, the whole problem with opioids in the US is down to big business and red states, so of course they gotta hassle people who don’t contribute to the fascists instead.

        Hurts like a sumbitch, let me tell you. Good thing there’s pot.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Fashionably late to the Salon! Like StefanB, I spent too much time following Hugo drama last week and too little time on Hugo reading. Currently reading Axiom’s End by Astounding finalist Lindsay Ellis. It’s not really grabbing me so far. She uses some odd phrasing every so often which pops me out of the story thinking too much about the way things are worded.

    Like

    • When the ballot was announced, I had already read 3 of the Novels, all of the Novellas, all the books in 4 of the series, 2 of the Lodestars, and 3 of the Astoundings. YA isn’t really my thing, but I’ve read the Kingfisher and the Novik, and I’m thinking about reading Elatsoe, but the synopses of the other 3 hold little appeal for me.

      I haven’t read Axiom’s End yet, I’ve been putting it off (and off, and off…). Ellis has both an avid following and a dedicated hatening in a certain segment of fandom due to a major controversy with a videocast channel of which she used to be a part, so a lot of the book’s “reviews” are either gushing hagioreviews or scathing rants. I deliberately sought out some reviews by people who didn’t seem to have a stake in either side of that controversy, and they were not terribly complimentary.

      I’ve started the Daevabad trilogy. Cassy B. has just started a Reading Group for The City of Brass over at Forumania, and anyone who wishes to join in is welcome to do so.

      Like

      • In regards to the Lodestar, I dnfed Legendborn. YMMV, and I may go back and finish it now that it’s been nominated.

        In regards to Axiom’s End, I thought it was middle-of-the-road over all. It has some clunky writing, and some dumb plotting, but it kept me interested. And I didn’t know anything about Ellis before I read it, so I’m unbiased on that score.

        Like

      • JJ: I quite like Elatsoe, I haven’t finished it yet, but I did like Raybearier also, so your milage may wary. I don’t mind YA, last year I had a blast in the category.
        My reaction to Ellis novel was not so great, it had some interesting bits in it, but I didn’t love it. Still better for my than The Unspoken Name, which didn’t work for me at all.
        (Going beyond JJs post)
        In Graphic Story it will be very interesting, how much of a fight the other nominees can put against Butler. I quite like Once and Future (no wonder) and Ghost-Spider is a fun superherostory (ending missing), but I have more respect for Monstress than love, and DIe is the weaker Gillen imho, Invisible Kingsom may have worked better if I had read V1.
        One best dramatic I have to say that I am suprised the finale of the good place beat no award for me. It is still on last place but I have some troubles with comedy. She-Ra is in for me the one to beat (yes I bindged it)
        On short story and Novelette I agree with the Nebulavoters (In Novelette they had it imho more dificult than the Hugovoters)
        Riot Baby is my first in Novella (a okay but not exiting ballot in this category).
        I still haven’t started best novel.

        Like

        • I will say that while I think the Novellas Ring Shout and Riot Baby are well worth reading, I did not enjoy them. I thought The Empress of Salt and Fortune was absolutely fantastic, and still rave about it. Another one of the novellas was just okay, and the other two were so bad that I put them under No Award.

          Like

      • JJ
        I’ve finished Lodestar, novelette, and short story (plus the artist categories). If YA isn’t your thing, I’d still say give Elatsoe and maybe Cemetery Boys a try.

        For the three remaining novels and one novella I have left, I’d like to re-read (or read in the case of The Fated Sky) the previous works first. For series, I was surprised to see I’d read at least the first book in all six. In Astounding, I have the Jimenez and Larkwood to go. I may read more from Lyons and Tesh if I get a chance.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I loved the Jimenez book The Vanishing Birds, it was on my Hugo Novel ballot. It’s very much an epic universe-spanning space story. And even though I’m not a huge fan of fantasy, I really, really liked Tesh’s Silver in the Wood, and almost as much, the sequel Drowned Country. (I’ve linked the Novellapaloozas if you want to check out my mini-reviews.)

          Like

          • I am looking forward to the Jimenez from all the praise I’ve heard. I probably would have nominated Micaiah Johnson for Astounding (and maybe Novel too) if I had read The Space Between Worlds in time. I really liked Silver in the Wood as well. Just haven’t gotten to Drowned Country. I thought Lyons bit off more than she could chew with her first book, but I’m willing to give her another try.

            Like

            • I haven’t tried Lyons or Larkwood yet, but I thought the Johnson was fantastic, and she was on my Astounding ballot.

              Like

            • My major complaint with Lyons is that there are SO many twists and betrayals that it’s impossible to keep track of them all, and they lose their individual impact because they’re happening every couple of pages. I’ve read three of her books so far — will get to book 4 before too long!

              As I’ve mentioned before, the Jimenez was one of my two favorite books from last year. 🙂 And I did nominate Johnson for the Astounding, though not in Novel because of weak worldbuilding.

              As it stands right now I’ll probably place Jimenez first and Lyons second. I haven’t read Tesh yet, though, because of the absence of an audio version last year — but an audio was produced last fall, so hopefully I’ll get to it before December!

              Like

              • Yes, I agree about Lyons and the twists. I thought she could have cut out or combined some of her characters too. I’ve only read the first, but I plan to at least give the second a try. We’ll see from there.

                Like

      • Lyons like Tesh is someone I have read last year. Lyons has definitly ambition for her first novel.
        The strange think is we get only on formate for Tesh novella and every format for Lyons novel, last year it was the oposite (I don’t remember if the excerpt from Drowned Country is new)
        Reading the first of Kowals series at the moment.

        Like

        • I’ve got the original ebook for Silver in the Wood, and the excerpt from Drowned Country isn’t in it. And in my Astounding packet from last year, it’s labeled as an excerpt, but I checked and it’s actually the full story.

          It’s quite common for the first printing of new novels to contain an excerpt of the next book in the series, though. The publishing pipeline tends to be around 1-2 years, so by the time they’re actually ready to print, it’s quite possible the next book has already been written. It doesn’t take much to add in the first chapter of the next book, especially if they’ve planned the layout to include x number of additional pages.

          Like

      • Laura: I checked you are right, but it wouldn’t have been the first time that an expert is older than the book.

        Like

        • That’s true. I should have said “likely new”. It wouldn’t have been good to have in the packet last year though since Astounding eligibility was 2018-2019. Not that the packets don’t sometimes have ineligible stuff anyway.

          Like

      • Including that year, we had a long formeditor including 2 graphic storys and a short storycollection, good stuff but should be inelligatable.
        I am not so sure about the stuff, if an ebook has a chapter of the new book in it in the regular sale, would it be a problem if it also has it for the Hugo? (This is only a theoretical question)
        And I did just realise today that I at last sampled all but one of the seriesnominees and could vote in their (yes I haven’t read all of October Day, but I have read more on it, than I can read of every other candidate, should be enough)

        Like

        • I try to avoid current year stuff for Astounding and series. I’m glad to hear Tor didn’t include the excerpt in the Hugo packet version. But that may just have been because it wasn’t in the regular sale copy yet.

          Like

      • @Laura: I am avoiding nearly all new stuff, when I am reading for the Hugo so the problem is small. I read excepts from the next book not so much as I did when I was younger.
        I can see myself picking up a work that is up for series between yearsbegining and Hugopacket but if I read it, I have obvious read the rest of the series and want to read it now, in which case there is a very high chance that (at last in series) spot 1 is very likly regardless.
        @JJ:
        Interesting enough that wasn’t the only excerpt that had the full story last year, Dragon Pearl in the Lodestar was the same, I haven’t checked with the fullbook (Which has to do that getting an ebook here would require more work, than I was willing at the moment) but it fealed pretty complete.

        Like

        • Yes, Dragon Pearl was the full book. It was a double-page pdf so maybe that led them to think it was less. And maybe they didn’t realize Silver in the Wood was a novella so it also seemed too short. And it is on the shorter side even for a novella.

          Like

  18. I’ve been in a bad funk lately. We had Mom’s funeral a couple weeks ago and while it was nice to see people… it was another reminder she’s not here anymore. My sister bought me Animal Crossing back at the beginning of June and it’s been one of my few pleasures.

    Here’s a shot of my character in his best preppy clothes underneath the island flag. Argor is actually a city in my probably never to-be-published fantasy story, but it’s also been my Animal Crossing city/island name in the last two iterations of the game.

    Like

  19. Something someone said somewhere recently, whether it was here or File 770 or somewhere else (and if any of you know what and where it was, please tell me because it’s driving me crazy), had me looking for the 1992 Nebula Novella finalists.

    So I just read Griffin’s Egg by Michael Swanwick, which was a Hugo and Nebula finalist, and while it’s got some interesting ideas in it, it’s… really kind of bad. I did a lot of eyerolling. The protagonist is screwing women right and left, sometimes less than an hour after the previous woman, and (quelle suprise) they are all falling in love with him and acting jealous of each other. The cringeworthy graphic descriptions of the sex were not welcomed by me. The story has a lot of elements in common with Peter Cawdron’s Retrograde, and the latter novel is just so much better.

    Is this story typical of Swanwick’s work? Because if so, yuck, I don’t want to read anything else by him.

    Like

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: