After a long hiatus because of too much to do at work, I've finally gotten back to reading fiction ... because of work. Specifically because of the iPad I'm trying out at my day job.
I work at a college, and we're piloting the iPad to see how tablets might be integrated into the academic environment. Part of that is trying out the different e-reading software out there, and that gave me the perfect excuse to get a new book. Or rather two new books: The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton and Realms of Cthulhu, published by Reality Blurs.
The latest edition of SF Site is online with reviews of Conflicts by Ian White (a military SF anthology about all manner of future wars), Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (a vampire book in which the lead character is a woman in love with a vampire, trying to catch a non-vampire killer who's hunting women in love with vampires ...
I finally finished New Moon by Stephanie Meyers, and I have to say the vampire/werewolf/teenager love triangle left me cold. The main character, Bella, is whiny and unsympathetic, and she's exactly the sort of emotional heatsink that I'll be telling my son to avoid in ten years or so.
Finishing the book allowed me to move on to my proper summer reading list, starting with Century Rain and The Space Opera Renaissance. While both books were already on my bookshelf, I did still find myself buying another book for the list: Peter Hamilton's The Dreaming Void.
For the last two years my family's been invited to vacation with our friends at their cabin on Lake Champlain, a cabin with an outhouse, battery-powered appliances, minimal internet connectivity and a hammock. It is, in short, the perfect place to read. And that, of course, means its time to put together my Summer Reading List for 2010.
Lightspeed, a new science fiction magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, has launched. Published by Prime Books, it will feature four short stories a month, the first of which is "I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno" by Vylar Kaftan. New short stories will be released weekly, but you can buy the entire issue at one time as a download in Kindle, iBook, and ePub formats.
I'm happy to see this -- short fiction hasn't fared all that well on the web in the last decade, with magazines like Event Horizon and SciFiction coming and going, but recently we've seen an uptick with Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show and Tor's fiction offerings. The world could definitely use more SF short fiction, it's the format that helped launch the genre, and I think it's one that needs to be nourished.
Today is Towel Day, in which we proudly walk around with our towels in tow so that people will ask us ... "what's with the towel?" and we can answer "IT's to honor Douglas Adams ... and if you don't know who he is, go read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
The man said it best himself:
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
In the latest edition of SF Site has reviews of the following books:
- Prince of Storms by Kay Kenyon
- Ghosts of Manhattan by George Mann
- Katja from the Punk Band by Simon Logan
- Evolve: Vampires Stories of the New Undead edited by Nancy Kilpatrick
- Bone and Jewel Creatures by Elizabeth Bear
- Dead Men's Boots by Mike Carey
- Warbreaker, Part 3 by Brandon Sanderson
- Lifeblood by P.N. Elrod
- One Was Stubborn by L. Ron Hubbard
- The World House by Guy Adams
- Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction edited by Mark Bould and China Miéville
- How To Defeat Your Own Clone by Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson
Super powers have been spawned by almost every element known to man (and plenty that aren't) so it only makes sense that they should be transformed into a periodic table of their own. The Periodic Table Of Super-Powers is a handy chart that breaks down superhero backgrounds by origin, physical powers, and mental powers. It's a fun, quick read for anyone who loves comic books.