The dance will be great, your mother tells Margaret, shunting her tomato to the side. You wish, not for the first time, that you’d developed any other neural disorder than the one you have—telekinesis so you could move a piece of chicken to her plate, or telepathy so you could plant the suggestion that she eat more.
What about you, Jessica? your father says, mildly. Everyone speaks mildly to you, except Margaret. Better safe than roasted.
— "Firebug" by Katie Cortese
Carve Magazine, Winter 2012
What is the soul?
Am I a tiny being
Ensconced in the pilot seat
of this aging Kamekazi robot?
If so, how did I end up the driver?
— excerpted from
"Rainy Disconnect" by Dee Martin
In order to save their world, the mages of long ago plunged it into eternal night.
Now rare veins of quartz provide light, heat, and food to a dying world. And Rafael Grenfeld has just learned that the biggest quartz pillar of them all, the legendary Tower of Light, exists. Unfortunately, his informer died before revealing its location and he’s stuck in the hostile totalitarian state of Blackstone.
Desperate to find the Tower of Light for his people, Rafe forms an uneasy alliance with the mysterious and maddening Isabella. They’re not the only ones interested in the quartz. The Shadow, chief of the Blackstone secret police, is also hunting for it. As darkness-loving demons devour souls and dangerous magical artifacts resurface, Rafe must tap into the lost powers of the mages in order to find and secure the quartz—before his world is destroyed by famine and war.
For years, Enya Royston has hidden from herself and her abilities, fearing the destruction that always comes with using them. The others embraced their talents, but she turned away from them. Now, though, everything has changed, and their paths have twisted up together again, forcing them to reevaluate the choices they made and how they will go forward from here. The past stands ready to destroy them, and if it doesn’t get them, their enemies will.
So I'm behind on my reading. No surprise there. I've got a proofreading job, a few musical birthday/mother's day gifts to complete, and a job—besides the 365 Challenge and a remix exchange fanfic to write. En brief, the scribbler's busy.
What are you reading?
I had wanted to read Octavia Butler's Wild Seed for so long that I picked it up the moment I thought I could spend that much on a book (and that Veronica Roth didn't have anything new for me to inhale). The book fascinated me, I loved it, and when I saw it was part of a series, I bought the whole thing.
:cue dirge here:
Wild Seed was written fourth. You know what that means? Even though chronologically, in story-time it was the first book, it was not meant to be read first and shouldn't have been. The book redeemed Doro and then I read the second book chronologically and Butler killed him.
End of series for me.
But the second book was written almost first and the characters were all good and the ideas were wonderful. If I had read it first, then I would have loved probably the whole series.
Let this be a lesson to the scribbler (me): think about your story order and your publication order, especially when you put together omnibuses. Do not assume chronological is best. It probably isn't.
Started off February with a bang primarily because bad news meant I read more as a coping mechanism. After War of Honor, I slowed down because I got sick, because I distrusted the next book in the series, and because my attempts at reading my collaborator's fiction screwed with my writing, and I gave up. Then I did a little rereading to lift my rotten mood, but rereads don't count, remember?
- Doppelganger duology by Marie Brennan - compelling, couldn't put it down
- Flag in Exile by David Weber - layered and amazingly good
- Honor Among Enemies by David Weber - very good, enjoyed thoroughly
- In Enemy Hands by David Weber - reduced me to a quivery, cringing mess—in a good way. I was in no way up to reading the next book immediately and took a reprieve
- Mindtouch by M.C.A. Hogarth - even more amazing than expected and ended on a cliffhanger! love, love, love—except the cliffhanger
- Mindline by M.C.A. Hogarth - heartpounding, awww-inducing awesome. Love
- Echoes of Honor by David Weber - wow, loved
- Ashes of Victory by David Weber - oh, my heart
- War of Honor by David Weber - There are too many characters I want to strangle right now, not least of all High Ridge and Giancola. I hate how it ended and had to go read the summary of the next book to be sure it would fix it. It will. I must sit through watching my favorite characters fight each other. Gut-wrenching.
Breaking this down by genre:
- 2 books heroic action-adventure fantasy
- 6 books military science fiction
- 2 books general science fiction*
*meaning I haven't the foggiest which subgenres the Mindhealers duology belongs to, but it was awesome and clearly SF.
- 2 entire series
- 1 continuing through a series
- 0 stand-alone novels
One of my big goals for the year was to do more reading again, so here goes a little list of what I read book-wise in the last month (let's not bother with the online reading, re-reads, or anything reading-in-progress; I do too much of that):
- Return to Me by Lynn Austin - mixed feelings
- The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult - loved
- Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn - liked a lot, want the next one
- Delirium by Susan Kaye Quinn - excellent; bought the whole season based on it
- Agony by Susan Kaye Quinn - slightly annoying, lots of setup, but interesting enough to keep going
- Debt Collector, Season 1, by Susan Kaye Quinn - mixed feelings, stayed interested
- Wild Seed by Octavia Butler - fascinated by it and will reread often
- Mind of My Mind by Octavia Butler - loved it at first and hated with fiery passion the ending, will never read again and try to expunge it from my memory banks
- The Drought by Allowyn Nyrti - had a hard time getting into it at first, then fell back in love
- Honor of the Queen by David Weber - as good as Basilisk and loaded with great characters on all sides, loved
- The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner - I read The Thief when I was fourteen and taking a writing course at the suggestion of my instructor. Adored the book and this follow-up just blew it out of the water.
- The Flood by Allowyn Nyrti - Sucked me right in, but I procrastinated on finishing it because I didn't want the story to end just yet. Bad me. Awesome stuff then ended on another cliffhanger. I'm getting an amicable grudge against this author.
- The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner - Not enough Gen but I loved every second of this book
- Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner - Again, amazing, if much harder to take
- The Short Victorious War by David Weber - loved
- Field of Dishonor by David Weber - wept and hated and loved
This breaks down to:
- 14 novel-length books*
*Delirium and Agony were parts of Debt Collector, Season 1, which is itself equivalent to one large novel-length book, though it is also an omnibus and thus a series.
which break down further to:
- 1 stand-alone novel
- 2 complete series
- 3 first novels in a series
- 1 finished a previously started series
- 2 reading through a series
- 1 stopped reading a series
- 1 Biblical Fiction
- 1 Literary Fiction
- 1 YA Science Fiction
- 5 General Science Fiction
- 3 Fantasy
- 3 Military Science Fiction
- 9 traditionally published
- 2 indie published
- 2 not yet published