The universe provides, or at least sometimes it does if you don’t ask for much. There was me busy trying to figure out the title for this week’s Friday Five – something to do with cats or sunshine probably – when a chance conversation on Twitter led me to come up with “I’m Snarkacus”. “I’m Snarkacus” is fundamentally the feeling you get when you realise over 50% of the people you interact with online idolise Daria in some way, and everyone else would if they were of the right age. Now I’ve realised it exists, I think I’m going to feel that feeling a lot.
Now let’s get this show on the road, as it’s going to be a long one.
1. Let’s start on an unusual note for me, namely short stories.
I must admit I didn’t at all get the point of Hugh Behm-Steinberg’s Dcuq Angruq, but enjoyed it anyway.
This one is less a short story and more a whole novelette (as I’d have realised if I’d read closely the first time, it says so): Eleanor Arnason’s The Lovers, as recommended to me by Para. I like the found story framing here, and there’s something pleasantly concise about Arnason’s writing.
I also present for your consideration When Your Being Here Is Gentler Than Your Absence Hard by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko, featuring swords and sapphism.
Last but never least is T Chan’s The Death Haikus, full of AIs and, well, death haikus. My favourite among the four.
2. We will now do that thing where I share lots of book reviews
Kriti at Armed With A Book makes SJ Sidhu’s Blue Skinned Gods sound fascinating. Slipping that one onto the longlist for future consideration.
In the Grauniad, Alex Preston reviews Alan Garner’s Treacle Walker and it sounds like the old master has lost none of his magic
At Libri Draconis, Fabienne was utterly compelled by Tade Thompson’s Far From the Light of Heaven and hopes we will be too
Aliette de Bodard’s The Citadel of Weeping Pearls receives a great write up at The Captain’s Log
3. In interesting general book news, She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan is on ebook sale in the UK throughout November, in what is a ludicrous deal. In case you missed me saying it, it’s a really good book.
Also throughout November, some of the bigger names in self-published fantasy are offering a lot of free books here
4. Continuing the general theme, I’m enjoying the various five books by theme lists that Shepherd.com is putting out – so far I’ve found a SFF action one and a mercenary bands one and I’m sure there’s a bunch more other good ones there.
Joe and Adri reads the Hugos continues over at Nerds of a Feather, and speaking of which, I hear they’re looking for contributors, which sounds like a great opportunity for the right blogger. I know I’m sat here trying to figure out whether there’s anything I do in the screen/games/comics space they’re looking for that would sit right with them.
I strongly recommend reading Imyril’s interview with Xueting Christine Ni, editor and translator for the Chinese Sci-Fi collection Sinopticon. It is fascinating.
There’s been a couple of interesting tweets from agents
And a very good twitter thread from Joanne Harris on use and overuse of gestures in writing
I also liked this little one on writing
None book related but still interesting are Helen Pugh’s article on witchcraft in the Spanish Conquest of Central and South America and David Jesudason’s Account of finding a sense of belonging in rural Kent as a British Asian man.
Finally, here’s a twitter thread I’m sure some of you have seen but that’s still worth seeing again – Anna’s LotR characters as YouTube accounts
5. There’s been a lot of tweets in this Friday Five, and I thought it right to end with Fonda Lee talking about the dark side of twitter.
Originally I wrote a lot more on commentary on this. But it didn’t add a lot to what Lee’s talking about and I don’t really have suggestions for what happens next. It’s clear Twitter has become a minefield and that many people prefer not to enter, or to only take cleared routes – bluntly, I’m in that category – and I hope those in charge of publishing PR efforts recognise this. But what happens on top of that? Wish I knew. Suffice to say, I understand everyone who stands clear, and wish it felt more of a viable option, even if there’s many good things about the place.
Anyway, that’s it for this week, have great weekends everyone.