Friday Five: Taking Life As It Comes Edition

I was about to write a long spiel about how this is the last Friday before Christmas then I remembered that’s not true. Which doesn’t leave me with a lot to say other than, for everyone who like me hasn’t done their Christmas shopping:

Hurry up! Hurry!

1) Blog of the week! The single most awesome little goldmine of fantasy reading I found this week! That dubious honour goes to Before We Go, where Beth is doing great work covering the Hugos. I particularly admire the work she’s doing with artists, like this review of Tommy Arnold’s stuff, but there’s some great reviews too from her and her guest reviewers Piranesi by Susannah Clarke, Ring Shout by P Djeli Clark, A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik, and many more. So have a look before you go.

(And yes, I will be one of those guest reviewers assuming Beth doesn’t look at my review and go “Peat, why do you smoke crack before writing reviews, please send no more” but my review isn’t this week so I can name it without bias)

2) Reviews. A good review is entertaining and thought provoking all in itself, which is why I love them. Particularly restaurant reviews of restaurants I’ll never go to. Similarly, I’m not saying I’d devour all the books being talked about here, but the reviews are still worth reading.

Tar Val on is very much one of my favourite reviewers to check up on, and it sounds like he found a nugget of nuttiness in Roger Zelazny’s A Night in Lonesome October.

Zezee with Books absolutely didn’t sell me on The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, but I very much enjoyed her exploring why it didn’t work for her.

I normally visit An Roinn Ultra for frankly deranged short stories, but I enjoyed his only somewhat deranged review of (friend of the blog’s) Jo Zebedee’s The Wildest Hunt, which might well appear in new year’s reading.

It’s taken me about two weeks to remember to include the If/Then review of Margaret Rogerson’s Vespertine and Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights from Caitlin at Realms of my Mind which is my bad as it’s a great format and an interesting read – interesting enough I remembered it for two weeks before remembering it on the right day.

I know I want to try more Melissa Caruso books, but Paul Weimer’s review of Caruso’s The Obsidian Tower over Nerds of a Feather might have sped up the process

Finally, I’ve heard a good deal of Richard Swan’s The Justice of Kings but Nils’ review at the Hive is the first I’ve seen; great read as a review, sounds like it could be a great read of a book

3) General book stuff.

The biggest news in books this week is Anne Rice’s death. I’ve never read her work, only knowing her through second-hand influences, movies, and jokes in webcomics. Still, she meant a huge amount to many people, and this twitter thread seems one of the fuller attempts at just how much she meant.

Looking for some SFF reading from Africa? This reading list is worth a look.

Looking for some Christmas gift ideas? Well, this fantasy list from Santa Womble Returns – The Womble of Time Turns Again isn’t here just because that title makes me laugh (although it doesn’t hurt either).

4. Writing thoughts. We will start with a fantastic tip from a Grandmaster.

Another fantastic tip comes from Dan Jones – give yourself as many chances to be lucky as possible. I haven’t been following it, but I thoroughly believe in it.

Good post here from John Mendez on the four act structure

This tweet from Stephen Bush is right on the money for me

Last but never least, the Stephen Palmer blog tour has thrown up a number of interesting essays, so I thought I’d share a couple of my favourites – his one on Worldbuilding at Juliana’s and this one on black and white morality at SFFWorld

5. My favourite part of the day – esoterica

Here’s a cool post on fantastical creatures of the western world at Felix the Fox Mysteries (guest post by Douglas Lumsden)

To all my fellow peeps who love this fantasy history – I’ve got this video on S&S queued

This week I learned about solo journaling RPGing from Sandstone and that’s pretty awesome

I love extracting lessons from unlikely sources, and that’s what Jack Han has done here

And pretty hyped for this

Have a good weekend all!

6 thoughts on “Friday Five: Taking Life As It Comes Edition

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