Category archive: Books

Unread-books project update

I started this project with about 350 unread mass-market paperbacks on my bookshelves, and I bought about 30 more shortly... (More...)

Ziggurat imagery in different tech levels

I've just started reading both Norman Spinrad's 1980 Songs from the Stars (first chapters set in a post-apocalypse quasi-ecotopia in... (More...)

Delany starting-point recommendations

In the past couple years, there've been about three times when I've had occasion to suggest starting points for reading... (More...)

Mysterious Island, colonialism, and translators' agendas

The other day, I pulled Mysterious Island, by Jules Verne, off my unread-books shelf. I decided that I didn't really... (More...)

Time and Again

I've somehow for years had the idea that Jack Finney's 1970 novel Time and Again (which I hadn't read) was... (More...)

My year in books

In 2016, I read 172 books; an average of roughly one every two days. Well, okay, when I say “read,”... (More...)

The Mandela Effect and other memories

I find the whole Mandela Effect thing intriguing. (A group of people remembering something that didn't happen.) Here's one I... (More...)

Bradbury editions

I've wondered for years why new printings of the same old mass-market-paperback editions of Bradbury are still on the store... (More...)

England Swings SF, Judith Merril, and the New Wave

I'm finally reading Judith Merril's groundbreaking 1968 anthology England Swings SF. Here are some thoughts. i probably ought to... (More...)

Nonfiction that's stuck with me

When I saw Amy Sundberg's post listing ten nonfiction books that had stuck with her, my first thought was: Have... (More...)

Reading update

Yesterday, I finished the anthology I'd been reading and skimming for the past few days: Terry Carr's Best Science Fiction... (More...)

Control over communications in Vinge's Zones of Thought books

(Quasi-spoilers here for all three Zones books, in that if you've got this idea in your head as you read,... (More...)

Heavenly Breakfast

Latest randomly chosen book from my unread shelves: Delany's 1979 memoir Heavenly Breakfast. Which, as I opened it, gave me... (More...)

Randomly choosing books

I have this list of the unread books on my shelves, alphabetized by author's last name, and I'm trying to... (More...)

Gender stats: my father's anthologies

So far, I've read or skimmed or at least glanced at 16 of the anthologies that my father owned. Here... (More...)

On first looking into Crowley's Crowley

The latest book chosen at random from my unread-books shelves is The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. I'm curious about the... (More...)

Assorted updates

I feel like there are dozens of things I want to post here, but I have a lot of time-sensitive... (More...)

Remaining free books: trade paperbacks and hardcovers

Here's the list of all the remaining trade paperbacks and hardcovers that I'm giving away. Let me know if you... (More...)

Remaining free books: mass-market paperbacks

The book giveaway has been a success so far; out of the 400+ books I started with, 150+ have now... (More...)

More free books! Part 5 of 5: Shakespeare to Zopol

My final batch of giveaway hardcovers and trade paperbacks: William Shakespeare through Felicia Zopol. If you want any of them,... (More...)

More free books! Part 4 of 5: Milstead to Schneider

Today's batch of giveaway hardcovers and trade paperbacks: John W. Milstead et al through Michael S. Schneider. If you want... (More...)

More free books! Part 3 of 5: Goto to Merritt

Today's batch of giveaway hardcovers and trade paperbacks: Hiromi Goto through A. Merritt. If you want any of them, let... (More...)

More free books! Part 2 of 5: Clarke to Gombrich

Today's batch of giveaway hardcovers and trade paperbacks: Arthur C. Clarke through E. H. Gombrich. If you want any of... (More...)

More free books! Part 1 of 5: Adams to Christian

Over the past couple of weeks, I posted about mass-market paperbacks I'm giving away. Today's post is the beginning of... (More...)

Free books! Part 8 of 8: van Vogt to X-Men

Here's the final batch of the mass-market paperbacks that I'm giving away: A. E. van Vogt through X-Men. I'm also adding... (More...)

Free books! Part 7 of 8: Simmons to Lao Tzu

Here's batch 7 of the mass-market paperbacks that I'm giving away: Dan Simmons through Lao Tzu (who my catalog software... (More...)

Free books! Part 6 of 8: Mason to Silverberg

Here's batch 6 of the mass-market paperbacks that I'm giving away: Lisa Mason through Robert Silverberg. (For more info on... (More...)

Free books! Part 5 of 8: Heller to Marx

Here's batch 5 of the mass-market paperbacks that I'm giving away: Heller through Groucho Marx. (For more info on the... (More...)

Book catalogue update

I think we're done with the book cataloguing project, though I may still do a little more double-checking on a... (More...)

Free books! Part 4 of 8: Disch to Heinlein

Here's batch 4 of the mass-market paperbacks that I'm giving away: Disch through Heinlein. (For more info on the giveaway... (More...)

Free books! Part 3 of 8: Dick

Here's batch 3 of the mass-market paperbacks that I'm giving away: thirty-nine books by Philip K. Dick. (For more info... (More...)

Free books! Part 2 of 8: Carr to Delany

Here's the second batch of mass-market paperbacks that I'm giving away: Terry Carr through Samuel R. Delany. (For more info,... (More...)

Free books! Part 1 of 8: Abe to Capek

Over the past few months, I've been gathering together books that I want to give away (with a great deal... (More...)

Baen and Stirling on women in combat

In 1988, S. M. Stirling sold a novel to Baen Books that was set in an alternate history in which... (More...)

Books sorted

Project completed! A few months ago, when I did a culling pass on my books, I sorted about a hundred... (More...)

Life updates

And yet again, two weeks have gone by without a post from me here. What've I been up to? Day... (More...)

Very Far Away from Anywhere Else

My first encounter with Ursula K. Le Guin's short YA novel Very Far Away from Anywhere Else was in college. My... (More...)

Tech is bad, nature is good

For a long time, we've been reading stories and books about how things mediated through technology are bad and being... (More...)

Who would've been on the Best Editor Hugo ballots?

Jim Hines posted yesterday about the Best Editor categories of the Hugo ballot. A friend asked who might've been on... (More...)

That syncing feeling

The problem with doing one little minor computer task late at night (like, say, "sync my new books to my... (More...)

Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

I just picked up the printed book of The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, and so far it's regularly... (More...)

First-person plural, indeterminate

I've now encountered this interesting and unusual PoV in multiple works of fiction: The narration is in first-person plural. It... (More...)

The Changeling

Among my favorite books as a kid were a few by Zilpha Keatley Snyder: Black and Blue Magic; The Egypt... (More...)

Interim entry

I posted here a whole bunch toward the beginning of WorldCon, mostly about the Hugos, and then switched to Facebook... (More...)

Hugo rec: Ancillary Justice

As I've noted before, I rarely read novels in time to nominate them for the Hugo or Nebula awards. But... (More...)

On first looking into The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time, as most of y'all probably know, has been nominated for a Hugo award, in the Best... (More...)

Some links about Narnia

I just read a lovely, excellent piece by Molly McArdle on the joys, and failures, of Narnia. “I write as... (More...)

Hugo recommendations

I've been meaning for months to blog about specific works and people I'm going to nominate for the Hugos, and... (More...)

Hugo recommendation: When We Wake

I recently read Karen Healey's 2013 YA SF novel When We Wake (which is out in paperback today!), and I... (More...)

Books vs pajamas

Pat (Spencer Tracy) and Jamie (Katharine Hepburn) are on a sleeper train, and the following dialogue ensues: Jamie: Would you... (More...)

Sturgeon's "Granny Won't Knit"

In my Complete Sturgeon reading, I just read his 1954 story “Granny Won't Knit.” Spoilers and an entertaining anecdote follow.... (More...)

Nebula nominees!

SFWA has announced this year's Nebula nominees, and I'm very pleased with them. Congratulations to all the nominees! (And double... (More...)

Assorted updates

I feel like I haven't posted a general life update here in ages. Partly that's because I have half a... (More...)

Picking up Sturgeon again

In 2001, I bought and read and enjoyed the first five volumes in North Atlantic Books's Complete Stories of Theodore... (More...)

More from _Happy All the Time_

Still enjoying Laurie Colwin's 1978 novel Happy All the Time. Here are a couple more bits worth snipping for my... (More...)

Conversational about kissing?

I've been doing some sorting and organizing and winnowing of books lately, and came across a book that I think... (More...)

Coraline and the perils of DRM: A case study

In 2003, on the evening when Hugo votes were due, I bought a copy-protected PDF ebook of Coraline from the... (More...)

Assorted updates

A few assorted life updates: Day job I've been at my current day job for nine years as of today.... (More...)

The best-sounding new book I haven't read yet

I was in Borderlands Books yesterday, and I saw a book on the shelf called Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie,... (More...)

Theatre women: Female characters in Streatfeild's _Ballet Shoes_

As noted in my previous entry, I was cutting the Moomin books some slack on the gender-roles front because they... (More...)

Moominwomen: Female characters in Jansson's first two Moomintroll books

Several of my friends grew up reading the Moomintroll books, so I've been hearing the books recommended for a long... (More...)

Crowdfunding an sf anthology? Some suggestions

I've seen a couple of Kickstarter/Indiegogo listings for crowdfunded sf anthology projects that don't mention some important-to-me issues. Some crowdfunded-anthology... (More...)

Some notes on Card

Some notes toward the blog entry that I'm probably not going to manage to write about Orson Scott Card and... (More...)

Small adventures

I'm finally reading Comet in Moominland. (I never read the Moomin books as a kid, but friends have been recommending... (More...)


This week has been kinda stressful. I'm extremely conflict-averse, and in a normal week I might have minor conflicts with... (More...)

What percentage of your book-reading is nonfiction?

It occurred to me recently that I almost never read long-form nonfiction. I read online nonfiction all the time—blogs, news,... (More...)

Stranger Here, and Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace

Yesterday, I read Jen Larsen's newly released memoir Stranger Here: How Weight-Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed with My... (More...)

A few Kickstarters of possible interest

Yesterday, my Facebook stream conveniently grouped together posts about four different Kickstarter projects. (What's the collective noun for Kickstarters?) I... (More...)

Travel, wedding, dragons

After a short weekend sojourn to LA, I got on the plane to go home. Arrived at Mary Anne's place... (More...)


Wow, it’s apparently been two weeks since I posted here. FOGcon was good. It was great to get some time... (More...)

My first Kindle

The latest generation of the Kindle—not the Kindle Fire, not the Kindle Touch, just the plain old Kindle—finally has the... (More...)

Help out Edward Bryant by bidding on cool stuff!

Acclaimed science fiction and horror writer Ed Bryant has been having some medical and financial issues lately. So some friends... (More...)

Last day to help fund Mary Anne's sf erotica novel!

The funding period for Mary Anne's Kickstarter project, Demimonde, ends 19 hours from now. If you'd like to see her... (More...)

My uncle's thriller The Kairos launches today

My Uncle Paul's novel The Kairos is now available from Amazon! (More...)

How you can help fund Mary Anne's SF erotica book

Mary Anne has launched a Kickstarter project for a new book she's writing. It's called Demimonde. It's going to be... (More...)

Assorted updates

Been over a week since I posted anything here, and quite a while before that since I posted a life... (More...)

When everyone understands the implications

I'm reading A Song for Arbonne, and though I'm liking it (more and more as it goes on), there's one... (More...)

Biggest time-sink ever

I have been meaning for years to link to TV Tropes, a wiki that provides a vast and entertaining and... (More...)

That was the month that was

I haven't been posting much lately, have I? In particular, it looks like I haven't posted any life updates here... (More...)

Crusie report

I recently finished reading the reissue of Jennifer Crusie's Trust Me on This, which means I've now read all of... (More...)

Books I read in 2010

Been meaning for ages to post about books I've been reading. But I'm very unlikely to write about all of... (More...)

That BBC book list thing

The alleged BBC book list meme seems to be making the rounds again, so I thought I'd clear up a... (More...)

Queer-friendly YA?

Mary Anne and I were talking about stuff involving queer characters in YA books, and we had a question we... (More...)

Romance novel report

I mentioned a week ago that Sonya, in consultation with Twig, had loaned me half a dozen romance novels. These... (More...)

Sleep etc

I was actually sleeping pretty well for most of the time between my return from Chicago and my flight to... (More...)

New Tim Pratt novel free online: The Nex

Just in case there's anyone out there who'd be interested but hasn't heard: Hugo-winning author Tim Pratt is serializing his... (More...)

Book-catalog software for Mac + iPhone

I've been a big fan of Delicious Library ever since it first came out. It looks very pretty, and it... (More...)

Watership Downs

Every so often, I come across yet another book being described as “Watership Down for/with x,” where x is some... (More...)

Le Guin festschrift now available!

As a gift for Ursula K. Le Guin's 80th birthday last year, Karen Joy Fowler and Debbie Notkin put together a... (More...)

Classic works that criticize popular books

I've been reading Don Quixote in fits and starts, and just got to the scene in chapter 6 where Quixote's... (More...)

Judging a person by their book covers

In olden days when people used to read printed books, if you saw someone reading in public, you might be... (More...)

Speculative Ramayana anthology

Been meaning to link to this for ages: Anil Menon and Vandana Singh are putting together a Speculative Ramayana anthology.... (More...)

Recent reading

Speaking of reading (as I was at the end of my previous entry), I've been getting back to doing more... (More...)

Mini-review: Jane Eyre

Finally finished reading Jane Eyre. I originally picked it up because I wanted to read The Eyre Affair and figured... (More...)


At WisCon last weekend, they announced that the guests of honor for next year will be Nisi Shawl and Elizabeth... (More...)

Tuck Everlasting

I read Tuck Everlasting sometime in the early '90s, I think, and loved it. (I suspect I might not have... (More...)

The secret life of Jane Eyre

I cannot but read the following innocent passage from Jane Eyre with a certain inappropriate amusement. It's a scene in... (More...)

Review: Inkheart (movie)

As many of y'all may recall, a year ago I committed the sacrilege of disliking Inkheart (the book). One of... (More...)

Classics recast into high school settings

I recently learned about another modern movie that takes a Shakespeare play and reworks it to set it in a... (More...)

Want to read the fifth Marla Mason book?

T.A. Pratt's Marla Mason series of urban fantasy novels was cancelled last year after four books. Not long ago, the... (More...)

More about cover art

A few more assorted notes about cover art on books, especially with regard to issues of portrayals of characters of... (More...)

The Correct Number

Started reading Pamela Dean's The Secret Country last night on the way to sleep. My comment so far: Having five... (More...)

The effect of reading

"[W]hat with little sleep and much reading his brains got so dry that he lost his wits." —Don Quixote, chapter... (More...)

Maurice Sendak is so gay

Happened across a passing reference this morning to Sendak having come out last year (at age 80); looked it up... (More...)

15 books in 15 minutes

I'm not really clear on what the "15 books in 15 minutes" meme is supposed to be about. The instructions... (More...)

Amelia and Eleanor go for a ride, if you know what I mean

In a gift shop on Saturday, we came across a kids' book called Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride.... (More...)

The Dragons of Ordinary Farm

Tad & Deb's YA novel The Dragons of Ordinary Farm is now out from HarperCollins: Tyler and Lucinda have to... (More...)

Borders scores points

I called my two local independent new-book bookstores, but neither of them had the book I was looking for in... (More...)

Norse Code!

Greg van Eekhout's first novel, Norse Code, launches one week from today. Just in time for WisCon! And the first two... (More...)

American Gods

A while back, HarperCollins set up Browse Inside access to American Gods: you can read the first hundred-plus pages for... (More...)

Amazon: Possibly not evil?

The Internets have been full of panic and outrage today over Amazon allegedly instituting a new policy that any book... (More...)

How do you recognize a One True Pairing?

In conventional romance novels, you can always tell who the female main character is supposed to (and going to) end... (More...)

Spiral Hunt

In the Potlatch dealers' room, I was pleased to find Spiral Hunt, SH author Margaret Ronald's first novel, just published... (More...)

Review: Inkheart (book)

I saw a preview for the forthcoming Inkheart movie a few months back, and it looked like fun--and it appeared... (More...)

Welcome back to Temptation

The other night I was stressed and unhappy, and found myself reading through some old journal entries, one of which... (More...)

Coraline movie

Just learned that Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach) is directing a movie based on Coraline... (More...)

Le Guin: Gifts, Voices, Powers

At some point--last year's WisCon, maybe?--I finally picked up the first two books in Le Guin's Annals of the Western Shore.... (More...)

Last day of Small Beer Press sale (plus: Aiken!)

Today is the last day of Small Beer Press's October Celebration Sale. Buy their books at 25%-60% off! I already... (More...)

Book cataloging

One of the things I've been doing now and then over the past couple weeks, usually when I should've been... (More...)

Jumper and Jumper

As I mentioned the other day, I saw the movie Jumper back in March. Back when we saw it, all... (More...)

Prince Caspian

Went to the late showing of Prince Caspian last night, 'cause I figured it may not be in theatres much... (More...)

Fiction therapy

Last night I went grocery shopping, then stopped by my local bookstore. (Books Inc, in downtown Mountain View.) There were... (More...)


Earlier, Twig said something like, "What did I do with the cup?" And I had a flashback, as often happens... (More...)


I've been reading some good books lately. I have long journal entries partly written in my head about each of... (More...)

Yay, Greg!

I have been ridiculously slow about congratulating Greg van Eekhout on selling his novel! Yay, Greg! Congratulations! (I gotta say,... (More...)

Good King Wenceslas

A couple weeks ago, Mary Anne and Twig and I were sitting around and someone started in on Christmas carols,... (More...)

Review: I Can't Tell You

Okay, I decided to finish reading I Can't Tell You instead of editing. (It's short and moves fast.) (Like a... (More...)

Big news about Dumbledore

I'm guessing all y'all already know this, but I suppose it can't hurt to put a spoiler warning here anyway.... (More...)

New "My Library" feature in Google Books

A bunch of my friends have been using LibraryThing to create an online catalog of their books, share that catalog... (More...)

R.I.P., Madeleine L'Engle

As most of you know by now, Madeleine L'Engle has died at age 88. I liked the original Wrinkle in... (More...)

Week, movies, socializing, books, travel, etc

I never did get around to writing here about the tall ships. I would still like to, but the chances... (More...)

Entering the books

Past couple nights, I've been entering my father's books--the ones I don't want--into Delicious Library. My theory is that once... (More...)

Move Under Ground for free!

In honor of Nick M's birthday (happy birthday, Nick!), I'm finally getting around to mentioning that Nick has provided his... (More...)

Save Pandemonium!

I'm way late on this, but I just heard that Pandemonium Books & Games, a science fiction/fantasy books-and-gaming store in... (More...)

Slobodkin site

Carol Reid of Albany, New York writes to tell me about Io Sono, her new site honoring the life and... (More...)

Genre conventions

I read some romance recently--a Crusie novel (reissue) I hadn't previously encountered, and then a set of three novellas by... (More...)

General notes, plus more Crusie

Sometimes I am a little grumpy and a little glum, due mostly to having been sick on and off for... (More...)

Howl's Moving Castle inventiveness

One quick note about the commentary on Howl's Moving Castle: A bunch of people in the supplemental materials on the... (More...)

Unusual points of view

Some notes on point-of-view handling in works by three authors: One idiosyncrasy of H. Beam Piper's writing, at least in the... (More...)

Greek suffix meets Lingua Terra

Sometimes people complain that the word polyamory is a mix of Latin and Greek roots. I've been known to make... (More...)

Book-shifting day, plus the Chicago Seven trial

This morning, I went over to Pam & Arthur's to help them move furniture and books; they're rearranging a bunch... (More...)

Borderlands this weekend

Reminder about two events this weekend at Borderlands Books in San Francisco: Saturday, November 11, 3:00 p.m.: Ellen Klages, reading... (More...)

More charming books by favorite authors

On the way out the door this morning, I picked up Peter S. Beagle's 1999 novel Tamsin, which has been... (More...)

Twenty Epics

Do you like epic fiction, but don't have time to read the latest ten-thousand-page epic series? Fear not! Twenty Epics,... (More...)


I still haven't put together my planned detailed discussion of Ellen Kushner's forthcoming book The Privilege of the Sword (aka... (More...)

Nalo, Beagle, et alia reading in San Francisco on Tuesday

This coming Tuesday, June 13, there are two events in San Francisco, at the same time and in different places,... (More...)

Tastemakers and reputable influencers

(I wrote most of this a week ago, but forgot to post it.) A while back, I was pleased and... (More...)

"Pushing the Envelope" resource list

At WisCon, as I mentioned a few days ago, I was on a panel titled "Pushing the Envelope," about how... (More...)

Reviewed without venom

For over three months now, I've been meaning to post a note about Liz Henry's excellent SH review of Touched... (More...)

Slate on the death of independent bookstores

Tyler Cowen weighs in with an article titled "What Are Independent Bookstores Really Good For?" and subtitled "Not much." The... (More...)


Just finished reading Tigana. Wow. A really gorgeous book, compelling and moving and lovely, easy to read but richly layered,... (More...)

About spoiler warnings

(This is another case where I wrote most of the entry months ago but didn't get around to posting it... (More...)

Becoming what they oppose

There's a trope I like a lot in fiction when it's done well: characters who are so ardent in their... (More...)

Redshirts and spear-carriers are people too

This entry contains a couple of generalized and thematic quasi-spoilers for Battlestar Galactica, especially for the first half of season... (More...)

Ghibli Earthsea trailer

Studio Ghibli has released a second trailer for Gedo Senki, a.k.a. Tales from Earthsea. You may have to right-click that... (More...)

Romance meets action

As y'all know, I'm a big fan of Jennifer Crusie's books. What you probably don't know, 'cause I keep forgetting... (More...)

Long week

Assorted bits and pieces from the past week or so (some good, some not): (More...)

Rich Horton to do Year's Bests

As many of y'all know, Rich Horton reads possibly a higher percentage of the short science fiction and fantasy published... (More...)

R.I.P., Octavia Butler

For those who haven't heard: sf writer Octavia E. Butler died on Saturday, age 58. Here are some relevant links... (More...)

Rangergirl and the case of the snappy dialogue

I'm about a quarter of the way through Tim's novel The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl, and so far I'm enjoying... (More...)

Africa, the Other, and sf

Some items that may or may not add up to more than the sum of their parts: Okay, so there's... (More...)

Lockpick Pornography: The Novel

I've posted a couple of times in the past year about Joey Comeau's short novel Lockpick Pornography--first when I first... (More...)

Rangergirl reading

Just a reminder that Tim Pratt will be reading at Borderlands Books in San Francisco today (Saturday, 7 January) at... (More...)


Here are some of the things I've done in the past week, in no particular order: finally washed some dishes... (More...)

(Some of my) favorite novels read in 2005

My pleasure-reading this year has been kinda haphazard. I've read probably a dozen novels (not counting re-reading the Narnia books... (More...)


Back in May, I posted some links to a few entries at Hitherby Dragons. I still haven't gone back to... (More...)

Outline of Narnian history, plus nitpicking

I'm continuing to re-read the Narnia books. Will have more to say about that sooner or later, but for now,... (More...)

R.I.P., Robert Sheckley

Most of you who would care know by now that sf author Robert Sheckley died a week ago. It's been... (More...)

Review: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Narnia movie was splendid. I went into it with very high hopes and a lot of trepidation. The hopes... (More...)

Boxing up the books

I've abandoned my original plan to spend this weekend doing a triage pass on Peter's books to get rid of a bunch of them before shipping them to my place; instead, I'm boxing them all up to mail, and I'll sort them at my leisure at home. (More...)

Things that have made me laugh this morning

The morning's just barely begun, and already two things have made me laugh: (More...)

Kepler's saved!

Kepler's Books will be reopening this weekend! They renegotiated the lease. The new business plan (according to the Palo Alto... (More...)


And another weekend flies by, just like that. I have lots of things to post, but keep not having time... (More...)

Thoreau on journaling

A conversation with Karen M. the other night somehow came 'round to the Transcendentalists, which reminded me of one of... (More...)

Robot librarian

According to the New York Times, Johns Hopkins is developing "a robot that can move about inside a library and... (More...)

Dept. of totally charming

I finally managed to hook up my PowerBook's DVD player to my TV. Works nicely. On the Spy Kids DVD... (More...)

Leonard I

I said, "They ended up watching Get Shorty. I've seen it twice, but I stayed for the opening. Ten minutes,... (More...)