Reading 52 books in 2012 – January-ish milestone.

January 28, 2012

The challenge to read 52 books in a calendar year is another something that I came across on Stringing Words, where Eileen and Roma have been starting threads for tracking our yearly readings for the past few years.

I didn’t join in the 52-books fun until July the fourth of last year – at which point I had only 12 books that I could remember reading in 2011 to date, so I was going in with a huge lead to make up. But I had fun reading and keeping track of what I was reading, and by the thirty-first of December, I had thirty-four books listed, which means, I guess, that I read twenty-two books during the second half (or so) of the year, and wasn’t really on pace to get to 52 even if I hadn’t started behind. But that was just the warm-up lap, not really for serious.

This year, I’m bound and determined to get to 52, and I plan to not let myself slip behind. So far, my count stands at six books:

  1. Darwin’s Radio, by Greg Bear.
  2. Door to Alternity: The Unseen Trilogy, by Nancy Holder and Jeff Mariotte.
  3. More than Human, by Theodore Sturgeon.
  4. The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells.
  5. Long Way Home: The Unseen Trilogy, by Nancy Holder and Jeff Mariotte.
  6. Vampire Diaries: The Struggle, by LJ Smith.

The books from the ‘Unseen trilogy’ are all e-books that I bought a long time ago, and was reading on particular portable devices that were properly authorized to access their DRM – Door to Alternity was in an old Adobe DRM format, (before the new ‘Digital Editions’ standard,) and would read happily only on my palm tungsten, and ‘Long Way Home’ was Microsoft Reader DRM and was authorized for my HP pocket PC. I could probably have read either of them on a PC as well, but it’s been nice reading while riding the bus to work or back home every day.

And the other four titles, I read in audible format, from  I’m still working on ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ in paperback, but it seems like I only pick that up once or twice every week or so.

If you’d like to join in the challenge, you can come over to Stringing Words and sign up to the forums there, and/or check out a blog dedicated to the challenge: Read 52 books in 52 weeks.

Dispatches from the Campbell Conference

July 9, 2011

So, the writing workshop is definitely over now, and since Thursday evening or so I’ve actually spent a lot of time going to events affiliated with “The Campbell Conference.” This has been interesting – I’ve been to fandom conferences, and conferences that have a lot of stuff for writers and general science fiction/fantasy fans, but this has been a bit like a low-key convention devoted to science fiction (and sometimes fantasy) literature.

Like the workshop, it’s served to underscore just how little I actually know about science fiction literature, and thus been fascinating and annoying at the same time. 😉

Thursday evening was the library reception for the donation of the Theodore Sturgeon papers to a University of Kansas library, which was pretty cool, even though the speeches got a bit long and dry. It was really cool to look at the letter that he got from Isaac Asimov, for instance, or the one-page summary for “Spock Blows Top”, an episode idea for the original Star Trek TV series. It was eventually named “Amok Time” – the first episode to feature Pon Farr, “Live Long and Prosper”, and the Vulcan salute.

EDITED TO ADD: There was something that I’ve overheard bits of, both at this reception and earlier, and I haven’t got up the nerve to ask anybody for the full context yet, so maybe I’ll ask my followers. Something about a woman who was writing under a male pseudonym during the Golden Age of Science Fiction, and a prominent male author who said that “No woman could have written those stories.” Does anybody know who was being talked about?

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