Friday, 17 January 2014

Tsana's January Status

Welcome to my first new-style monthly status post. I'm going to start by dividing this into recurring sections, which I will hopefully get around to making little graphics for at some point when everything around me isn't going wrong. (Seriously, it feels like the only thing that hasn't gone wrong lately has been the weather: I got out of Melbourne just before that horrific heatwave and now it's snowing and I like snow.)

In actual news, I have a story, "Transit of Hadley", coming out in Aurealis issue #67 in February, which is exciting! I'll post links to where you can get your hands on it when it's out.

What have I read?

Normally this would be what I've read since my last status post, but since this is the first, I'm going to arbitrarily go from my last New Booksies post in December. Links, of course, go to the reviews.
  • Pawn by Aimée Carter — a pretty good YA dystoipa. Plausibility is the watch word. Well, on a worldbuilding level anyway. It occurs to me just now that operations which change someone's physical appearance to exactly resemble someone else (including height and skin colour) are maybe not as plausible as many movies would have us believe.
  • Mars, Inc by Ben Bova — don't bother, unless you enjoy sexist tripe. It wasn't even that sciencey either.
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner — a nice YA science fiction novel about two teens shipwrecked on an empty(-ish) planet that gives me hope for the future of the genre.
  • The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead — Bloodlines book 4. If you've read the others you probably already know whether you're going to read this one.
  • The Dreaming (Volume 1) by Queenie Chan and also Volumes 2 and 3 — an Aussie horror manga I quite enjoyed. I hadn't read anything like it (particularly form-wise) before. Would recommend to others, including those who haven't read much/any manga before.
  • Jump by Sean Williams — another excellent YA science fiction novel, with a depth of worldbuilding as one would expect from a veteran hard SF writer (and yes, he's written other things too)
  • Shadowplay by Laura Lam — which I had been looking forward to for quite a while and finally read on the plane (first good plane book I chose in the past several long-haul flights). Sequel to Pantomime which can be summarised as "intersex girl runs away to join the circus as a boy".

What am I currently reading?

Two books right now.

The one I started first, which my Kobo tells me I'm 43% of the way through, is Rare Unsigned Copy by Simon Petrie. It's a hefty collection of short stories with the subtitle "Tales of Rocketry, Ineptitude, and Giant Mutant Vegetables". So far have read stories which cover all three of those, although no more than two simultaneously, I think. I am enjoying it a lot, especially the humour, but I'm not sure when I'll finish it. The thing with short stories is that I find it difficult to read too many of them in a row; I prefer to sandwich them between other things. The fact that many of these are so short only exacerbates how slowly I get through them since it's the idea-overload that I mainly want to reduce. Anyway, I'll probably pick it up again when I finish my current novel...

Which is Stained Glass Monsters by Andrea K Höst. I felt like reading something I had absolutely no external pressures on me to read (so not a review copy and not a paper book that was at risk of being left in Melbourne), and this was what I semi-randomly chose. For fun. I'm almost done (about 80% last I checked) and I expect a review will be going up quite soon.

New Booksies

I have a lot of these since my last post and I'm feeling quite uninspired to upload all the cover art. But I shall, for that is the price one must pay for living through Christmases and trips to Australia and end of/new year sales. Alas. ;-p
  • The Disappearance of Ember Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina — sequel to The Interrogation of Ashayla Wolf. Purchased paperback.
  • Jump by Sean Williams — see above for review. Paperback won in giveaway.
  • The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead — see above for review. Purchased paperback.
  • Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett — latest Discworld book. Purchased hardcover.
  • The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter — sequel to The Long Earth. Purchased (trade) paperback.
  • The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan — been meaning to read something of hers for a while, this one was available for rescue from the sad (read: discount) bookshop. Purchased (if you can really call it that) paperback.
  • By Chuck Wendig, from Angry Robot promotional sales. Have yet to read anything of his other than his blog. Purchased ebooks.
    • Blackbirds
    • Mockingbird
    • The Blue Blazes
  • Born of Empire by Simon Brown — rescued from sad bookshop, Aussie author. Purchased paperback.
  • The Catalogue of the Universe by Margaret Mahy — haven't read anything of hers but turns out she's a well-known NZ author. Paperback rescued from sad bookshop.
  • All three volumes of The Dreaming by Queenie Chan — see above for review. Volume 1 purchased paperback, volumes 2 and 3 purchased ebooks (e-comics? emanga?)
  • Act One, Wish One by Mindy Klasky — liked her other books, this is a new-to-me series. Review copy from LibraryThing Early Reviewers programme.
  • Darkwitch Rising by Sara Douglass — book 3 of the Troy Game, I have the first two and have read the first. Mainly got it because it was on sale. Purchased paperback.
  • Small Shen by Kylie Chan and illustrated by Queenie Chan — was inspired to get this by The Dreaming. Purchased paperback.
  • Emilie and the Sky World by Martha Wells — sequel to Emilie and the Hollow World. eARC from Strange Chemistry via NetGalley.
  • The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M. G. Buehrlen — upcoming release from Strange Chemistry. eARC via NetGalley.
  • Blades of the Old Empire by Anna Kashina — new upcoming fantasy book from Angry Robot. Prompted to request it because the new-to-me author is Russian (and female). eARC via NetGalley.
  • I also got a bunch of magazine issues due to promotions and kickstarter rewards, but I'm not listing those individually because there are too many and this list is already too long.

Yay, books! *falls in a heap from exhaustion of uploading covers*


  1. Great to hear you've got a story coming out in Aurealis 67! Congrats!

    And I'm terrifically impressed that you've rescued a copy of 'Catalogue of the Universe', which imho is a truly awesome book, probably my favourite of anything by Margaret Mahy (although 'The Haunting' and 'The Changeover' are also firm favourites). She was an amazing woman, and a tireless promoter of reading to generations of NZ schoolchildren -- but cancer won out in the end, in 2012.

    1. Thanks, Simon! :-D

      I was hoping to read the Mahy book before flying out of Melbourne but didn't quite fit it in, unfortunately. Something to look forward to when I'm back there. (Although I wish the slew of positive Mahy stuff I've read in the past week had happened before I left; then I would've packed it :-/ )