2021 Books and Reading Material Acquisitions List

Welcome to the list of books and other reading materials which arrived in calendar year 2021.

This is the seventh year I have made a list like this. The previous six are here:

I keep the complete list of books I own over at LibraryThing, and the terribly incomplete list of books I have read over at GoodReads. This list will be updated frequently.

January

  1. Pasternak, Boris (Pevear, Richard and Volokhonsky, Larissa, translators), Doctor Zhivago
  2. Jama-Everett, Ayize and Jennings, JohnBox of Bones, book 1 (Rosarium Publishing)
  3. Robinson, Kim StanleyThe Ministry for the Future
  4. Batyushkov, Konstantin (France, Peter, translator) – Writings from the Golden Age of Russian Poetry (The Russian Library, Columbia University Press)
  5. Khvoshchinskaya, Sofia (Favorov, Nora Seligman, translator) – City Folk and Country Folk (The Russian Library of Columbia University Press)
  6. Sokolov, Sasha (Boguslawski, Alexander, translator) – Between Dog & Wolf (The Russian Library of Columbia University Press)
  7. Martine, ArkadyA Memory Called Empire
  8. Ashton, DyrkPaternus: Wrath of Gods, (Kickstarter exclusive HC, signed, # 108/500) (Paternus Books Media)

Last of the Old, First of the New

And with that, we are in the first book post of the new year.

On the left is the last book to arrive during calendar year 2020: Some Kind of Monster by Tim Waggoner, from my subscription to the catalog of Apex Book Company. On the right is the first arrival of 2021: Boris Pasternak‘s magisterial Doctor Zhivago, translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, who have translated so very many of the great works of Russian literature.

I am a bit ashamed to say that I have never read Doctor Zhivago, nor seen the movie. In the larger picture, despite devoting more than a little of my life to studying Russian culture and literature, I have many gaps in my education. To make up for this short-coming, I have just started reading Fyodor Dostoevsky‘s The Brothers Karamazov for about the fifth time. To clarify I have started it for the fifth time. I have not yet made it more than about 40 pages in, though this time I am pacing myself and have managed to stay focused for 30 pages. Pacing is the trick, and one which helped me read Tolstoy‘s Anna Karenina to completion back in the mid-1990s when my attention span was much shorter than it is now.

2021 will be the year of Russian literature for me. I recently (re-) discovered Read Russia, an organization devoted to Russian literature and book culture. Through them I have found a wealth of contemporary and current Russian writers whose works have been translated into English as part of The Russian Library series from Columbia University Press. Currently they have over two dozen books in print, with more being translated and added to the collection every year.

Welcome to 2021, everyone! May your year be full of beautiful writing.

What I Read In December 2020 – Short Prose

December started slow and distracted, as I abruptly found myself on a new project at work while simultaneously scrambling to wrap up and hand off the suddenly previous project. This made for a lot of long days and late nights, with little time or brain-space in which to read. Fortunately short fiction can with care be fit in the nooks and crannies of a busy schedule while also allowing enough time to actually, you know, read the works, and not simply scan them so that they ricochet off the contours of my brain and exit through my ears.

All of these stories are from two books – The Long List Anthology, vol. 6, and The Apex Book of World SF, vol. 1.

In total, I read 102 short stories in 2020. Not quite the 500 I originally hoped for. Such was 2020.

Starting in 2021 I will break the long-form prose list into monthly installments and combine it with the short prose list. No need to make my reader(s) wait a full year to see what I read in January.

The List

  1. 2020.12.07 – Greenblatt, A.T. – “Give the Family My Love”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  2. 2020.12.08 – Chu, John – “Beyond the El”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  3. 2020.12.10 – Kowall, Mary Robinette, “Articulated Restraint”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  4. 2020.12.10 – Lee, Fonda – “I (28M) created a deepfake girlfriend and now my parents think we’re getting married”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  5. 2020.12.10 – Bolander, Brooke – “A Bird, a Song, a Revolution”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  6. 2020.12.10 – Osborne, Karen – “The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  7. 2020.12.11 – Kingfisher, T. – “Fisher-Bird”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  8. 2020.12.11 – Wise, A.C. – “How the Trick is Done”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  9. 2020.12.12 – Bear, Elizabeth – “Lest We Forget”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  10. 2020.12.12 – Miller, Sam J. – “Shucked”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  11. 2020.12.15 – Yang, JY Neon – “Circus Girl, the Hunter, and Mirror Boy”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  12. 2020.12.15 – Bear, Elizabeth – “Deriving Life”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  13. 2020.12.15 – Mondal, Mimi – “His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  14. 2020.12.15 – Mac Griogair, M. Evan – “Seonag and the Seawolves”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  15. 2020.12.21 – Palmer, Suzanne – “Dave’s Head”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  16. 2020.12.22 – Klages, Ellen – “Nice Things”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  17. 2020.12.22 – Anderson, G.V. – “A Strange Uncertain Light”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  18. 2020.12.22 – Ogden, Aimee – “Blood, Bone, Seed, Spark”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  19. 2020.12.22 – Bear, Elizabeth – “Erase, Erase, Erase”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  20. 2020.12.25 – Lee, Yoon Ha – “Glass Cannon”, The Long List Anthology, vol. 6
  21. 2020.12.25 – Somtow, S.P. – “The Bird Catcher”, The Apex Book of World SF, vol. 1
  22. 2020.12.29 – de Vries, Jetse – “Transcendence Express”, The Apex Book of World SF, vol. 1
  23. 2020.12.29 – Hasson, Guy – “The Levantine Experiments”, The Apex Book of World SF, vol. 1
  24. 2020.12.29 – Han Song – “The Wheel of Samsara”, The Apex Book of World SF, vol. 1

Books I Read in 2020

This is the list of all 86 books I read to completion in Calendar Year 2020.

I started the year focusing on short fiction, as detailed in other posts. Then the lockdown hit in March, and I was put on a crazy work project in April which had me working 50+ hour weeks, second and third shift until the end of July. In order to stay sane and balanced I switched to long-form fiction, and specifically fantasy fiction.

This was driven in no small part by a decision to write a fantasy novel. At ConFusion 2020 I spent a lot of time talking to a number of self-published authors, who have found varying degrees of success in their craft. All of them, however, were quite happy with the self-publishing route, and in reading their work I discovered for myself that which many people have known for a long time: Self-published work can be just as good, or even better, than work published through more traditional means.

These authors introduced me to the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, the winners and runners-up of which are equal (at least!) in quality to the best of traditionally published fantasy.

I have been well aware of this with reference to poetry, but for some reason the blind spot around self-published prose was more difficult to, well, see.

So I read a lot of fantasy, including the first nineteen books in R.A. Salvatore’s Legend of Drizzt sequence set in the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons and Dragons. There are 36 books in the series, but after 19 the boundary between reality and not-reality was beginning to blur.

In October I participated in the Sealey Challenge and read 31 poetry books in 31 days, which did wonderful things for my state of mind.

In November and December I read many of the novellas I have accrued from Subterranean Press. This also did wonderful things for my state of mind.

Anyway, here is the list. Next year I will break the long-form reading list up and combine it with the short fiction lists I have posted at the end of each month.

2020.03.05: Valencia, Sayak – Gore Capitalism

2020.04.06: Gibson, WilliamNeuromancer
2020.04.08: Walton, DavidThe Genius Plague
2020.04.09: Indiana, RitaTentacle
2020.04.11: Mieville, ChinaThe Last Days of New Paris
2020.04.12: Bacigalupi, PaoloThe Alchemist
2020.04.16: Steinmetz, FerrettThe Sol Majestic
2020.04.28: Jemisin, N.K.The City We Became

2020.05.05: Salvatore, R.A.Homeland
2020.05.08: Salvatore, R.A. – Exile
2020.05.10: Salvatore, R.A. – Sojourn
2020.05.12: Rowland, DianaMy Life as a White Trash Zombie
2020.05.23: Wang, M.L.The Sword of Kaigen
2020.05.26: Eichenlaub, Anthony W.Justice in an Age of Metal and Men

2020.06.01: McGuire, SeananEvery Heart a Doorway
2020.06.07: Shel, MikeAching God
2020.06.18: Pike, J. ZacharyOrconomics
2020.06.28: Hayes, Rob J.Where Loyalties Lie

2020.07.05: Künsken, DerekThe Quantum Magician
2020.07.06: Salvatore, R.A. – The Crystal Shard
2020.07.10: Salvatore, R.A. – Streams of Silver
2020.07.14: Salvatore, R.A. – The Halfling’s Gem
2020.07.15: Hossain, Saad Z.The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday
2020.07.16: Salvatore, R.A. – The Legacy
2020.07.17: Salvatore, R.A. – Starless Night
2020.07.18: Salvatore, R.A. – Siege of Darkness
2020.07.23: Salvatore, R.A. – Passage to Dawn
2020.07.30: Salvatore, R.A. – The Silent Blade

2020.08.03: Salvatore, R.A. – The Spine of the World
2020.08.06: Salvatore, R.A. – Sea of Swords
2020.08.08: Salvatore, R.A. – The Thousand Orcs
2020.08.10: Salvatore, R.A. – The Lone Drow
2020.08.12: Salvatore, R.A. – The Two Swords
2020.08.18: Salvatore, R.A. – The Orc King
2020.08.22: Salvatore, R.A. – The Pirate King
2020.08.28: Salvatore, R.A. – The Ghost King

2020.09.03: Ward, JesmynSing, Unburied, Sing
2020.09.17: Alexander, MichelleThe New Jim Crow
2020.09.24: Ashton, DyrkPaternus: War of Gods

2020.10.01: Rogin-Roper, LeahTwo Truths and a Lie
2020.10.02: Danos, StephenMissing Slides
2020.10.03: Mandelstam, OsipVoronezh Notebooks
2020.10.04: Almeida, AlexisI Have Never Been Able to Sing
2020.10.05: Kaneko, W. ToddThis Is How the Bone Sings
2020.10.06: Coolidge, Sarah (ed.) – Home: New Arabic Poetry
2020.10.07: Cooper, WynChaos Is the New Calm
2020.10.08: ortiz, mónica teresaautobiography of a semiromantic anarchist
2020.10.09: Brace, KristinThe Farthest Dreaming Hill
2020.10.10: de Alba, Cassandrahabitats
2020.10.11: Le Guin, UrsulaWild Angels
2020.10.12: Matthews, Airea D.Simulacra
2020.10.12: Meltzer, DavidSan Francisco Beat: Talking With the Poets
2020.10.13: Rogal, LisaFeed Me Weird Things
2020.10.14: Amezcua, EloisaOn Not Screaming
2020.10.15: Stafford, WilliamMy Name is William Tell
2020.10.16: Stack, GarrettYeoman’s Work
2020.10.17: Brandt, EmilySleeptalk or Not At All
2020.10.18: Olszewska, DanielaAnswering Machine
2020.10.18: Sizemore, JasonFor Exposure
2020.10.19: Marinovich, FilipWolfman Librarian
2020.10.20: Harris, JosephLogically Thinking
2020.10.21: Harrison, JimCollected Ghazals
2020.10.22: Bettis, ChristineBurnout Paradise
2020.10.23: Gleason, RachelNew Kind of Rebellion
2020.10.24: Khayyam, OmarThe Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
2020.10.25: Cáceres, OmarDefense of the Idol
2020.10.26: Chang, KristinPast Lives, Future Bodies
2020.10.27: Goff, NicholeAluminum Necropolis
2020.10.28: Gurton-Wachter, AnnaBlank Blank Blues
2020.10.29: Porter, BillRoad to Heaven
2020.10.29: Burns, MeganSleepwalk With Me
2020.10.30: Trier-Walker, Amy JoTrembling Ourselves Into Trees
2020.10.31: Harrison, JimLetters to Yesenin

2020.11.10: Gevers, Nick (ed.) – The Book of Dreams
2020.11.15: Palmatier, Joshua (ed.) Apocalyptic
2020.11.25: Wendig, ChuckDamn Fine Story
2020.11.28: Vance, JackThe Kragen

2020.12.02 – de Bodard, AlietteOn a Red Station, Drifting
2020.12.04 – Baker, KageRude Mechanicals
2020.12.06 – Desmond, MatthewEvicted
2020.12.06 – Armstrong, Kelley Lost Souls
2020.12.16 – Bear, ElizabethBook of Iron
2020.12.17 – Bear, Elizabeth – Ad Eternum
2020.12.19 – Grant, MiraFinal Girls
2020.12.25 – Steffen, David (ed.) – The Long List Anthology, volume 6
2020.12.28 – Kittredge, CaitlinThe Curse of Four

Orange Days

Eleven days left to the end of the year, and tomorrow is the beginning of winter. That leaves a ten day no-man’s-land at the end of 2020, a sort of lame-duck December where we try to recover from 2020 and hope there is enough left in us to appreciate the first day of 2021.

One new book arrived this week – The Essential Ruth Stone, edited by the poet’s granddaughter Bianca Stone (a fine poet and artist in her own right) and published by the always-excellent Copper Canyon Press. Poe, of course, has mixed feelings; not because of poetry per se, but because there is only really room for one orange thing on the cat tree at once, and a book ain’t it.

In reading news, I have been working my way through my large pile of novellas published by Subterranean Press. Some have arrived as part of their annual-ish Grab Bags, and some by the more deliberate process of purchasing directly from this most excellent publisher. Since the beginning of the month I have read Rude Mechanicals by Kage Baker, Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong, Book of Iron and Ad Eternum by Elizabeth Bear, and Final Girls by Mira Grant. I also read On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard, which was not published by Subterranean Press but was sold by them. Novellas are the perfect length to finish in a couple of evenings before I go to bed.

In writing news, still no new writing. Maybe after the beginning of next year.

Or the year after that.

Or after that.

2020 can go to hell.

Hot and Cold Running Books

As this weird, terrible, chaotic year winds down, so does my energy, and I find myself drifting without thought or emotion from one moment to the next. The days of December are blurring together undifferentiated, as did the days of November, October, and the rest. I have not left the house for more than an hour in several weeks, and there are times where I don’t leave the house at all for two or more days in a row.

That just ain’t no way to live.

Fortunately I have my girlfriend, our cat, and a great big heap of unread books to keep me from going completely feral here at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A small but most excellent stack of reading material arrived at the house this past week.

On the left is Camille Longley‘s Firefrost, from her recently completed Kickstarter campaign.

In the middle is a signed (!) copy Jeff VanderMeer‘s Ambergris, which includes the three books of the Ambergris series – City of Saints and Madmen, Shriek: An Afterword, and Finch. This beautiful compilation arrived from Midtown Reader in Tallahassee, Florida. I read part of Finch many years ago, but at the time couldn’t really get into it. In the intervening years I read (and deeply enjoyed!) all of VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy as well as Bourne, and so I think I am ready to re-enter the world of Ambergris.

On the right is the new issue of the Boston Review Forum journal. This issue is devoted to articles about climate change, climate justice, and the like.

In reading news, I am working my way through the superb sixth volume of the Long List Anthology of short fictions which were nominated for, but did not win, the Hugo awards. These books are brilliant, and I wish someone had thought to create such anthologies many years before.

In writing news…there is no writing news. Ideas, yes, but no writing. So it goes.

That’s all for now. Three weeks left in this energy-sucking vampire tick of a year. I can make it three more weeks.

The Beginning of the End of 2020

It is just my imagination, or did November seem to last several weeks longer than usual? I’m sure the drama around the elections contributed, but also likely the stress of watching NaNoWriMo come and go without participating past the first week. The last time that happened was (I think) 2016. It is quite discouraging as a writer, in particular because it was NaNoWriMo 2013 which got me back into the habit and practice of writing after well over a decade away from it. I feel like I have somehow disrespected the craft.

But I am still writing. I still get out of bed at 5:00 and write as much as I can, though with the Ricochet Kitten demanding play time after breakfast it can be difficult to focus for long enough to write a thousand words before work. Or even 100, on some days. If Poe is sick on the couch cushions, well, it really kills the creative mood.

I have a list of calls for submission to themed anthologies stretching out over the next 24 or so months, and the first of those deadlines is midnight, December 31. I have rough drafts ready for editing against the end of the year, but the holidays, even in the COVID era, take up time and, worse, attention, that I would rather put to literally creative use.

Three new volumes arrived this past week at the Library of Winkelman Abbey. On the left is the magnificent Appendix N., recently arrived from Strange Attractor Press, where great literary work is accomplished across the pond. Next to it is a standalone short story, “People of the Pit” by A. Merritt, which was included as a lagniappe along with Appendix NAppendix N. collects 17 short stories from authors whose work provided inspiration to Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson when they created the original version of Dungeons and Dragons. The book is named after Appendix N., a page of notes in the first Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide, which listed source material and inspiration for the game.

On the right is the Winter 2020 issue of The Paris Review, which I will probably read as a counter-balance to the reality-warping power of large stacks of genre books. Not that literary fiction is necessarily any more grounded in reality than are books about ghosts and rogue AIs.

In reading news, I have been working my way through the various novellas in the library. In the past week I completed Aliette de Bodard’s wonderful On A Red Station, Drifting and Kage Baker’s Rude Mechanicals. And I just started Kelley Armstrong’s Lost Souls, which I am really enjoying so far.

I am close to the end of Matthew Desmond’s enlightening, infuriating, depressing, and brilliant Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. I just…goddammit. This book, after reading The New Jim Crow and Carceral Capitalism, angers me to the point of wanting to do something rash RIGHT GODDAMN NOW, and at the same time bringing to light the complexities, interconnections, inertia, and above all the unnecessary cruelty of things-as-they-are, which is to say that complex problems do not have simple solutions, or solutions at all that would be feasible in the current neo-feudal mode of American culture and capitalism.

And now, off to start the day, after I extricate myself from under a sleeping kitten.

What I Read In November 2020 – Short Prose

 

Looks like I will be ending the year as I started it, immersed in short fiction. This month was the first time since March that I put any particular effort into reading short fiction despite my plan at the beginning of 2020 to try to read at least 200 short stories. That sounds like a lot, but considering the average short story takes about half an hour to read at a reasonable pace, that number could easily be doubled without taking a lot of time out of any given day.

There are nineteen short stories in this list, from two anthologies – The Book of Dreams, published by Subterranean Press, and Apocalyptic, published by Zombies Need Brains. I am fairly certain I picked up the Subterranean Press book as part of one of their occasional Grab Bags. Apocalyptic was part of a Kickstarter, the third or fourth annual such which ZNB puts on in order to support the publishing each year of a trio of themed anthologies. I submitted a story to one of their previous calls for submission but, as you may have gathered from the lack of cheering and shouting it to the heavens, that story was not accepted.

[NOTE: That story was later accepted by a different publisher, and will be released on January 1, at which time I will cheer and shout it to the heavens.]

I won’t make any predictions about what I may read in December, which starts (egads!) tomorrow. I am writing several short stories against rapidly approaching submission deadlines, and the holidays are always chaotic, although ironically much less so this year, when everything else is so much more so. I may read a lot or not at all.

The List

2020.11.09: Silverberg, Robert – “The Prisoner”,  The Book of Dreams
2020.11.10: Shepard, Lucius – “Dream Burgers at the Mouth of Hell”, The Book of Dreams
2020.11.10: Lake, Jay – “Testaments”, The Book of Dreams
2020.11.10: Baker, Kage – “Rex Nemorensis”, The Book of Dreams
2020.11.10: Ford, Jeffrey – “86 Deathdick Road”, The Book of Dreams
2020.11.10: McGuire, Seanan – “Coafields’ Catalog of Available Apocalypse Events”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.10: Picchi, Aimee – “Solo Cooking for the Recently Revived”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.10:  Huff, Tanya – “To Dust We Shall Return”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.11: Holzner, Nancy – “End of Eternity”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.11: Blackmoore, Stephen – “Little Armageddons”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.11: Johnson, Zakariah – “Almost Like Snow”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.11: Malan, Violette – “Shadows Behind”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.12: Keramidas, Eleftherios – “A Tale of Two Apocalypses”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.13: Enge, James – “Zodiac Chorus”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.13: Ning, Leah – “Last Letters”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.14: Vaughn, Thomas – “Gut Truck”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.14: King, Marjorie – “Sass and Sacrifice”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.15: Palmatier, Joshua – “The Ballad of Rory McDaniels”, Apocalyptic
2020.11.15: Jessop, Blake – “Trust Fall”, Apocalyptic

November, Come and Gone

With the election finally over and the orange idiot on his way out, November subjective time has smoothed out and though the first week seemed to last a month, the remainder of the month seemed to last little more than a week. In three days December will begin and we will be in the last month of the strangest year of my life so far.

A small stack of reading material arrived this week, in keeping with my overall reduction in purchases this year.

On the left is Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction From Africa and the African Diaspora. This one arrived from a Kickstarter campaign I backed in February of this year. The collection is gorgeous and it was absolutely worth the wait.

In the middle is Aetherchrist by Kirk Jones, the latest shipment from my subscription (via Patreon) to the Apex Publications catalog.

On the right is the December 2020 issue of Poetry, which arrives not a moment too soon as I am in dire need of poetry to sooth my soul here in the waning light of 2020.

In reading news, I finished Chuck Wendig’s Damn Fine Story which recharged my writing energies, though not in time to allow me to win NaNoWriMo this year. I also completed The Kragen, a novella by Jack Vance, published by Subterranean Press as a beautiful little hardcover. I haven’t read any Vance in years, and so this felt like a rediscovery of his remarkable prose.

In writing news I spent a few hours this past week pruning my list of themed publication deadlines. I removed all those whose deadlines had passed since I last looked at the list, and added a couple dozen from various calls for submissions in various social media groups and also the deadline calendar at Duotrope, which always has at a minimum 200 upcoming deadlines, stretching from tomorrow (always tomorrow, no matter when you look at the list) to well into 2022. One of the anthology publishers has half a dozen calls for submission on various themes, but on looking them up on Absolute Write it looks like the publisher is one terribly overworked person and the anthologies are often riddled with editorial errors. So I may have to remove half a dozen opportunities from the list.

I have notes prepared for three short stories, one of which I hope to complete two drafts, have beta-read, and finally whipped into shape by the submission deadline of December 31. The other two have deadlines several months away so I doubt I will have trouble completing the stories in time. Assuming, of course I start them in the first place.

And the starting is usually the biggest hurdle.

Fugue

Oh, that I had time to read all the books which arrive at my house, and Oh, that I had the time to write all the stories which are bouncing around in my head.

A small but significant stack arrived this week. On the left is Empire of Gold, the final book in the Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty, I have unfortunately only read the first in the series. I now have the set, but likely will not have time to read the next until the end of the year.

Second from left is volume 6 of the superb Long List Anthology of Hugo Award finalists. Again, I have the complete set but have only read a few stories from each book. And again, I really need to spend more quality time with the books I already have.

Second from right is the latest issue of Amazing Stories, of which I most certainly do NOT have the entire set, as it has been around since 1926.

And on the far right is the latest issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, the excellent literary magazine published by Small Beer Press. Again, not the full set etc., though as this is issue #42 I could in theory hunt down all the past issues. Hmmm…

In writing news, there is no writing news.

In reading news, I have been catching up on short stories, and will post the list of such which I read in November, at the beginning of December. I am also making my way through Chuck Wendig’s Damn Fine Story, which is brilliant and entertaining and I am slowly working my head back into the space from which stories come, though I doubt it will be in time to make even a bit of difference for NaNoWriMo 2020.

I am also still working my way through Matthew Desmond’s Evicted, which is no longer making me angry. Rather, it is making me deeply, profoundly sad for everyone involved, with a few noted exceptions where obvious sociopaths are involved in the eviction process. Fuck those guys.

The year is winding down and, other than a few Kickstarter rewards, I don’t expect to acquire many more books and magazines before January. Just as well. I don’t seem to have time to read the ones I have already picked up.