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March Metapost

March 14, 2013 Leave a comment

I noticed that I was off pace, and wasn’t going to hit a hundred this year.  So I’ve made a change: I’m working only on the short story nominees and winners for the Hugo.  And oh dear, this is a delight.  I’m downloading them, I’m buying a few books, and the library is sending me short story collections that I’ll only read one of.  But I’m attempting to either read a story or write a review every day for this project.  That should get me to a hundred in the remaining days….  I hope.

Categories: Meta

2013: year of Hugo 100.

January 1, 2013 Leave a comment

I am about to start a sequence of posts during which I will review 100 Hugo nominated works.  All in year 2013.  Wish me luck.  I figure with my current rate of speed–y’know, four posts a month, then six months off–it should be trivial to do this.  Yah.

Categories: Meta

Dear folks I spoke to tonight:

You know who you are.  Hiya.

I’m too tired to write the things we talked about up in enough detail, but. . . .

Seanan McGuire‘s the author of the October Daye novels.  The first one is called Rosemary and Rue.  She’s currently nominated for the Hugo for Feed, a zombie novel she wrote under a pen name.

The graphic novel series about the characters from fairytales is called Fables, and you should get it from Amazon.  The correct reading order can be found here if you just Google it.

My email address is on the About page.  Or smart people should be able to figure it out, anyway.

More about both of these worthy series later, folks.  G’night.

Categories: Meta

March metapost.

March 10, 2011 Leave a comment

There is a story called “Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse”.  It is a very well-done story that I wish I liked more, so that I could recommend it here.  It’s very good–it just doesn’t speak to me.

But that title sure does.  Wow.  Best title ever.

Categories: Meta

February metapost.

February 7, 2011 Leave a comment

I just spent five weeks reading the Codex Alera.  As it’s neither short nor free, I can’t really recommend it here, but I can recommend it.  If you like Jim Butcher’s other books–hi, Harry!–this is much, much more of the same.

Also, I was going to recomment “The Persistence of Vision” by John Varley, eventually, but Best Science Fiction Stories beat me to it.  Go read.

Categories: Meta Tags: , ,

2011.

January 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Started off like I expected, posts coming out easily, and then life kicked up. The tiny backlog I’d built up went away in no time. Last post was in October. Blogfade? Bah.

Enough. I’m committing to a new recommendation every Thursday by 11:35 PM. I reserve the right for posts to be short, badly formatted, or not about new material or authors. (If I get desperate, I can always recommend Tim Pratt’s stuff over and over again.) Certainly, I’m not going to be bothering with Amazon links any more. Was fooling myself with that from day one.

Also, a new meta post during the first week of every month.

Let’s talk on 1/1/12, and see if I delivered at least 64 new posts this year…. One down, sixty-three to go.

steve

Categories: Meta

The Hugos!

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment

In case this blog is your only source of news about the world of science fiction–and that’s all kinds of sad–the Hugo awards were given out a week ago.  The winners  were very satisfying to me, because I thought they were mostly great stories, and also because I got most of them right. 

You can find all the information on the official Hugo page, but here’s the highlights:

  • Best Novel: TIE: The City & The City, China Miéville; The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (my first two picks, in the order I picked them.)
  • Best Novella: “Palimpsest”, Charles Stross (This one I got completely wrong–this was my last choice. Not a bad story in any way, but a tough field.)
  • Best Novelette: “The Island”, Peter Watts  (My second choice, and I understand why it won.)
  • Best Short Story: “Bridesicle”, Will McIntosh (My first choice, absolutely.)
  • I really enjoyed reading the nominees to vote, and will do so again next year.  Heck, maybe I’ll nominate this year, too.

    What kinds of stories?

    Okay, here’s a confession:  I like genre fiction, mostly.  Almost everything I’m going to recommend will be genre.  Science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror, superhero stories.  Pretty geeky stuff.  Not all of it will be fiction–occasionally, I’ll recommend an essay or piece of non-fiction, but with the same general sensibility.

    I’m going to be recommending at least half short fiction, instead of novels, and on the rare occasions I recommend series, I’ll discuss the best way to get started with it.  (I strongly favor starting series at the beginning, but sometimes the beginning isn’t clear, isn’t available, or isn’t actually a good book to start with.)  Quite a number of the stories I pick will either be exclusively available in audio form, or at least have that form available.  (Right now, my favorite sources for short fiction are Escape Pod, Podcastle, and Pseudopod, the weekly science fiction, fantasy, and horror podcasts from Escape Artists.  As a podcast addict, it’s really easy for me to find new stories or authors this way.)

    And–see the post about “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth” for some details here–a decent fraction of what I recommend is going to be freely available, as a Creative Commons release or something like it.  (I originally thought that I was going to do all free short fiction, but then all the stories that are really good, but have the disadvantage of being, y’know, long, or from an author who hasn’t opted to open their work up, those stories started calling to me and saying, “Don’t ignore us!  We matter!”)

    If a work is available freely, the link will be in the post, and if it’s available commercially, there’ll be a link to Amazon.  (These two things are not mutually exclusive, by the way.)  The Amazon link is as much for you to get other people’s reviews of the work as it is for the affiliate fee, but if you happen to buy it from that link, be aware that an undecided fraction of any profit I make from this effort will be funnelled back in to supporting free fiction on the web, and the rest will be used to offset my expenses.

    I’m going to try to mention which works that have been nominated for or won awards.  I love me some award-winning fiction, and have a life-goal of reading everything ever nominated for the Hugo or Nebula.  If a story I recommend has won an award or gotten a nomination that I’ve missed, please do tell me; I’ll credit you and update the post.

    So that defines pretty much the space we’re working in.  The only actual guarantee you have is that I liked it, but mostly genre, largely short, substantially free, significantly available-in-audio, and uniformly good.  At least, I’d like to think so.

    Categories: Meta

    What is this?

    I’m here to recommend stories for you to enjoy.  At least, I hope.

    I have been a bookseller at heart for more than half my life.  I started working in libraries and used book stores when I was fifteen, and moved on to a discount new book store at age twenty.  The next few years were a whirl of joy, as I realized just how addicted I was to connecting people with stories they’d love.  A slave to the buzz I get when someone loves a recommendation I make for a story, and asks for more.  I am trying to feed that need via this blog. 

    Now, this isn’t completely selfish.  I’m a relatively successful recommender of stories, and I hope to be able to offer you some material you haven’t heard of, that you enjoy.  Of course, it’s possible we have different tastes, but you’ll find that out pretty quickly, if you try a few of my recommendations and we don’t click.

    And so here I am, preparing to try to capture my spiel for some of my favorite books and stories, trying to convince you to read them.

    What these posts are: An unabashed attempt to get you to read and like something I value.  Success for me is measured in your response; I want to hear that you tried the story I’m recommending.  I’d like even more if I then hear that you loved it, but if you don’t, tell me why.  The more information I have about people’s reactions to these selections, the better I can do for people in the future.

    What these posts are not:  Objective.  I’m trying to convince you that something I like is good, and that you should read it.  And I may even tell you . . . how I feel.  I’ll be expressing my emotions about these stories, because to get a recommendation, a story has likely left a mark on me.

    Please read these posts.  Please try and enjoy these stories.  If you do, please tell me what you thought, and if you thought the blog post honored the work, did a good job of leading you to it.  I’ve never “sold books” to a faceless person before, and it’s harder than I thought to do this without seeing your face.

    Thanks, and I hope I can help you enjoy some amazing stories.

    steve

    Categories: Meta