1. Spots the Space Marine by M.C.A. Hogarth
I've held off on talking about the amazing fiction I've been sucked into and reading like my life depended on it, simply because I seem to suck royally at motivating myself to do so. Well, this one broke that block.
I have loved her tragic, but transcendent The Worth of a Shell; I have adored her stories about Jahir and Vasih'th, the xenopsychiatrists; I have faithfully slurped up every possible smidgen of Black Blossom she could throw at me: it's like Emma with male aliens instead of female humans. It's a fantasy of manners, and I want her to write a zillion more. And then there's Spots.
I tried this book as an e-book first. Could. not. get into it. My paperback came from when I backed it on Kickstarter, and I pushed through the first four chapters and that was it. Hooked. The narrative zings along and you cannot put the book down without grumbling terribly at the requirement of doing so.
A 32-year-old mother is called up from the reserves and sent to supposedly in-the-middle-of-nowhere depot, which just happens to turn out to be practically on top of a crab breeding facility. I don't know even how to describe this book. This is a family, a Marine family, in space fighting crab-like aliens that look eerily like their allies, the violinists. It's a roller coaster, but it doesn't feel like one; it's that smooth and well-put-together.
2. The art business book by M.C.A. Hogarth
The woman's earning a living doing what I want to be doing. Enough said. Please consider funding this book through IndieGoGo.