Good Stuff. It’s been a long, long time with some bad stuff, and I’ve gotten through by reading some really good stuff, so I thought I’d share– *read: save for myself so I don’t forget*–
Alix Harrow – I’d been intending to read The Ten Thousand Doors of January, but hadn’t gotten to it. I finally read The Once and Future Witches and loved it, so I looked Harrow up and found this short story. Wow. I am really inspired to try to describe things in a less cliched/ predictable way by her vivid and unexpected metaphors. So, I then backtracked and read Doors, and I’m so glad I didn’t read it first, because I don’t think it’s nearly as good. In fact, as I got to the end I got really really frustrated, both with January herself and with the long-windedness of the storytelling. Which just goes to show, you can’t always tell an author by one book.
I also read The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler — a weird coincidence that I started reading it along with Doors — there are SO many similarities — in a middle-grade way and with a much more satisfactory ending (even though it’s the beginning of a series which I will certainly read).
The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey — As always with Gailey, I read it quickly, couldn’t put it down and then at the end said, Did I enjoy that or not? Such weird and sometimes depressing stories with odd and sometimes difficult main characters. Challenging reads that I think I’ll check out again.
88 Names by Matt Ruff. Like Doors, I loved this at the start, and liked it much less at the end. I got frustrated by the prosaic conclusion after the fascinating wind up. Sherpas helping rich guys navigate a video game — what a very likely and intriguing idea! Unfortunately, the conclusion didn’t intrigue at all.
The Atlas series by Emma Newman, Planetfall being the first — I devoured these four books. All fascinating in different ways. She includes so MANY different things that interest me — from what’s happening on our planet with the rich getting richer to what might happen if we landed on another planet and carried our problems there to 3-D printing to — well, it goes on. Not really necessary to read them in order, although I did.
Game Changer by Neal Shusterman — I’ve heard so many good things about Shusterman, and I’ve tried to read his books before. This was the first one that captivated me. Reminiscent in some ways of an old favorite series of mine — Quantum Leap.
Another good short story. I think stories that explore how we’ll treat neurodiverse people in the future are interesting — and sometimes frightening. My current read is The Outside by Ada Hoffman which also encompasses this, along with a whole lot of other issues. Here is a short story by Hoffman in the same world as The Outside.
If my tastes appeal to you, check out my store in Bookshop.
*Picture from Lightspeed.