Oh, what a month it has been. The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and we are not far from the halfway point of 2022. Suddenly this long year has become surprisingly short.
Three new books arrived in the past week.
First up is Kameron Hurley‘s new collection of short stories Future Artifacts, recently published by Apex Book Company. I met Kameron at the ConFusion science fiction convention some years ago, and she has graciously signed several of her books. I haven’t read any of her work in a couple of years, so I started reading it on Saturday.
Next on the stack is Issue 22 of the Boston Review Forum, titled Rethinking Law. I had let my membership to the Boston Review lapse, but they had a re-up offer which was too good to pass up. And since it’s only three issues a year, the additional weight in my house should be manageable.
And on the right is Bad Eminence by James Greer, delivered Saturday afternoon from And Other Stories.
In reading news, I am caught up to autumn of 2021 in my read-through of the pile of unread back issues of Poetry. Time and energy permitting, I may catch up to present sometime in June.
I finished Stephen Duncombe‘s Dream or Nightmare. Though unintended, it was the perfect follow-up to Benedict Anderson‘s Imagined Communities, as though the Anderson is about nationalism and the Duncombe about progressive political strategies, they both make the point that, when it comes to politics (which is to say, practically everything about society), people qua people don’t really notice or care about the minutiae of daily life outside of their immediate reach. What they notice are the stories, the narratives in which connect the individual to the people, places, ideas, and events outside of their immediate purview. This is how conservatives are able to convince their followers that fascism and freedom are synonymous, as long as the Right People are in the in-group. This is also why progressives and lefties are so much less successful at spinning inclusive narratives, as (a) progressives are much more grounded in facts and the real world than are conservatives, and (b) the 15% or so of the USA who are actually left-of-center tend to fail each others’ purity tests when it comes to the work of gathering a community.
To clear my head of modern stresses, I picked up Between Clay and Dust, a novel by Pakistani author Musharraf Ali Farooqi, which arrived at the house back in February of 2016 as part of my (now lapsed) subscription to Restless Books. I finished the book in three days, and it was beautiful. I rated it five stars, and recommend it unreservedly.
As stated above, I am now reading Kameron Hurley’s Future Artifacts.
In writing news, I haven’t done much lately. Too many other things taking up space in my head. I do plan to finish transcribing my National Poetry Month poems over the next couple of weeks.