Series in Parallel

‘Tis that time of year, when everyone and his/her grandmother trots out ordered lists, codifying the content of the previous year.   I’ll fulfill my quota not with a Top 10/20/40/100 list, but by identifying a major trend for me this year in books: discovery of series.  It’s always fun as a reader to discover a new series either wrapped up or already well underway, and devour it whole. It’s the Netflix model! Here are four book series I discovered this past year that, to varying degrees, kept me coming back until I emptied the queue.

The First Law, Joe Abercrombie – Forget the inevitable “grimdark” label. These books are a surprising amount of fun, especially for a broad cast of unlikeable blokes and harlots. Or maybe I’m just twisted that way. Sand Dan Glokta may not be much fun at parties, but he gets the girl! Even as he sucks on his empty gums. Nary a tree-dwelling elf nor mine-dwelling dwarf in sight.

The Expanse, James S.A. Corey – Space opera done right. Franck and Abraham give us more bang for the credits with high stakes and interpersonal drama.  Here’s hoping the TV show lands on cable, because a *bleep*ed Avasarala would seriously bum me out. Looking forward to a return to the Rocinante with Cibola Burn.

Miriam Black, Chuck Wendig – Fun, fast, Tourette’s-fueled adventures. Like a Red Bull with a PBR.

Wool Omnibus (Wool 1-5), Hugh Howey – The Amazon poster child does not disappoint, spinning a short story into an ongoing saga with no end in sight. Sheltered dystopia, evil IT professionals, insubordination and revolution. What’s not to love? I’m on board for more adventures in the silos.

I’m finally updating my profile at Goodreads. (So much social! Me can’t stands it.) Looking forward to more good reads in ’14.

ICON Approaches

So here we are in the thick of November. How did we get here? 2013 continues its headlong rush to the finish line, ready or not. And now I have to get my act together for a trip to Iowa this coming Wednesday. Cedar Rapids or bust!  I’ll be attending ICON 38, “Iowa’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention,” from November 15-17. Even better, I’ll also be participating in the Paradise Icon workshop at the same site. But that’s not all! I’m also part of the Rapid Fire Reading (Cue the “wrap it up” music after 1k words!) at 4:30 on Saturday. So, you know, if you’re around come say hi!  Promises to be a great time, with several of my old pals from Viable Paradise. And the rest of the con ain’t so shabby either. Ellen Datlow!  Nancy Kress!  Jim Hines!  Joe Haldeman! What more incentive does one need?

I’m also hard at work revising my latest manuscript in the hopes of getting feedback next month. ‘Tis really tightening up and I’m looking forward to getting this one in the can. Sure would be nice to devote the holidays to something new.

Readings are fundamental

For those in the Bay Area, tomorrow night promises to be a fun evening for a good cause presented by SF in SF.  Authors, VP instructors and all-around good people Steven Gould and Laura J. Mixon will be reading and participating in a Q&A at  The Variety Preview Room Theatre (582 Market @ 2nd in SF). Books will be provided by the legendary Borderlands Books.  Catch the details here, and catch the show to benefit Variety Children’s Charity of Northern California.

I’ll be there if I can manage to get my sluggish self into the City in time.