Productive Saturday

December 15, 2012

This is definitely one of those days I can look back on and know that I got stuff done…

  • Got all my Christmas shopping done, including ‘New Year’s’ cards for my colleagues at work and some writer friends. (All the generic Christmas cards at the dollar store were pretty sappy, while the New Year’s cards seemed to hit the right note 😀 )
  • Got my hair cut.
  • Got my cable box shipped back to Cogeco.
  • Finished lesson 7 for revising “The Storm Mirror”, and pushed through lesson 16.
  • Made a kick-ass beef stew, with plenty put away in the fridge.

There was also some Terry Pratchett, organizing recycling, shopping for groceries, and organizing computer stuff in there. Now I can sleep the sleep of the just, or at least the sleep of the reasonably satisfied.

What I’ve been reading – early May edition

May 8, 2012

Well, it’s been nearly four months since I checked in on my ’52 books in a year’ and other reader details, so guess what I’m blogging about today? My 52-books count currently stands at 19 since I finished ‘Equal Rites’, by Terry Pratchett, which sounds pretty good to me… though now that I’m doing the math it looks like I’m not ahead of the game like I thought I was. But the important thing is, I’m loving every word of it! A few highlights:

  • Trading in Danger, by Elizabeth Moon. A nice little science fiction piece, alternately fun and gritty. I’ve never read anything written by Moon alone, though I loved ‘Sassinak’ which she co-wrote with Anne McCaffrey – apparently a lot of the detail in Sassinak about space ships and what it was like to fight in one, and live in one while the environmental systems are limping along, were Elizabeth’s, because she visits the same kind of territory to great effect with this book. Soon after I wrote it, I found some of the themes popping up in the next short story I wrote – ‘The Shuttle.’
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Another great installment in the series, with things going from bad to worse for Harry and his friends at Hogwarts. The school is taken over by a noxious Inquisitor from the Ministry of Magic, and Harry finds out the secret that connects him to the Dark Wizard Voldemort!
  • Mort, by Terry Pratchett. This is one of the first Discworld books that I’ve read, but I really loved the humor and the sense of detail that Pratchett gives to his characters and the wacky world they find themselves in. This book did remind me a lot of Piers Anthony’s ‘On a Pale Horse’, as they both look at the Grim Reaper as a character with an uncomfortable job, and examine the possibilities of the job passing from one Death to another, but Terry Pratchett makes the premise his own as he takes it to the Discworld. (Disclaimer, I have no idea if Pratchett knew about ‘On a Pale Horse’ when he was writing this book – since Piers’ book was published four years earlier, it seems just about possible.)
  • Power of Three, by Diana Wynne Jones. A great little stand-alone fantasy tale, with a fun twist that comes in just about half-way through. I won’t say anything more for fear of spoilers.

I also read a few of the ‘Star Trek: New Frontier” series, and enjoyed “Inheritance” and “The Puppet Masters” as audiobooks. Right now, I’m a little over three quarters of the way through “A Game of Thrones”, right in the middle of the war of the heirs, and hoping that Ned Stark will be free by the end!

What have you enjoyed reading lately?

A Wizard of Mars, Chapter Fifteen

May 29, 2011

A Wizard of Mars chapter index.

So, I’m drawing close to the end of my chapter-by-chapter recap of Diane Duane’s novel “A Wizard of Mars”, and I’d like to say that I’ve had a great time sharing this book with you. I’d like to try something else soon, possibly not chapter by chapter, but going through a book in installments as I read it, instead of a single review/book report of the novel as a whole, and I’m setting up a poll to see what possible titles there’s any interest in from my regulars.

So, at the end of the last chapter, Nita teleports into the throne room of one of the Martian royal houses, that of the Shamaska city, and she’s very pissed off and wizardly and competent and magnificent, as Kit said about her a bit earlier. So she tells off Iskard, the king, and Rorsik, his toadying minister, for the way they’ve treated the planet, and wizardry, and their people, and Aurirelde, Isakard’s daughter, and Khretef, her sweetie from the other side of Mars, the Eilitt. Particularly Nita rages on at the blindness of wizards letting themselves slip into an ‘us or them, we have to use wizardry against them because they’d do it to us’ mentality.

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