Very early morning Monday, not sleeping, same pandemic

The cat is outside and I’ve had my mandated minimum five hours sleep, which seems what this second COVID year is allowing me right now. I hope to get back to something a bit more usual for me, but who knows? I’m awake, there’s a day job to go to, and that’s about that. Although I was a bit up and down over the weekend, I think I can say the second COVID shot had little or no impact on me. Getting vaccinated was good and important and, unless you have a compelling medical reason not to, you should too.

I’ve been watching a lot of television over the past year or so – subscribed to a million services, tried a bunch of things, watched a handful of half-series I mean to get back to and usually don’t (like Mare of Easttown and Sweet Tooth), but now feels like a time for reading.

As I’ve been saying here, I just finished Zen Cho’s Black Water Sister, Shelley Parker-Chan’s She Who Became the Sun, and am three quarters through Lavie Tidhar’s The Hood. Very different books all three, but big chunks of fantasy all. I find myself, as I reach the end of the Tidhar, casting my eye around for a change of pace. Maybe the latest Chuck Wendig (I used to read big horror novels) or the new Adrian Tchaikovsky (I love me some space opera). I also randomly bought ebooks of some old Elmore Leonard and Ross McDonald novels, because I’ve enjoyed some crime stuff. Looking at the next book, though, lots of white guys. Will think on that. I don’t mind dropping some into the mix, but you want to keep it varied.

I also have a few things on the Kindle to get to. I am perfectly happy reading digitally, I have to say, but I never get the same feel for how far through a book I am when I read that way. One of the things print still has, I guess.

Anyway, if anyone’s reading this, be happy to hear your books recs for 2021 titles I should be reading.


Sunday evening, just before dinner, a few hours later in the same pandemic

Today has not been the productive day I’d hoped, but it wasn’t a total loss. Having been a bit under the weather, I rescheduled social commitments, and then recorded a new episode of the podcast. It talks a little about the Lavie Tidhar novel we’re both reading, about the forthcoming talk with Arkady Martine we plan to have, and some other stuff. Interesting.

We then had a house painter visit to set plans. In about eight days he’ll be back to paint some ceilings, Jess’s bedroom and some other stuff. Good to get that done, and very grateful to Barbara (our project manager and sister/aunt) who is making sure we keep focussed and on course.

After that, a quick weekly visit to Yahava Koffeeworks in the Swan Valley with Jess, lunch with the girls, and then back to my armchair (I need a new one) to read some more about the Hood.

This didn’t help me with the reviews I need to edit, a couple of stories I need to get into the world, or the proposals I need to get to. Hopefully (definitely for some of it) during the week.

Episode 559: Partway through the pandemic, a ramble

Welcome to episode 17 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. For those very few of you who might be wondering what Jonathan and Gary ramble on about when they’re not recording or talking to guests, here’s a taste—especially if you make it all the way to the last ten minutes or so, when we end up talking about our vaccination cards and possible travel plans.  

Before we get there, however, we touch upon the new Lavie Tidhar novel The Hood, which we’re both in the midst of reading and is due out in October. That leads to a broader discussion of Tidhar’s work and an even broader discussion about how historical material is handled differently in fantasy from the way it is in SF, and whether the classic view of SF’s manifest destiny even holds up anymore, given the variety of voices and perspectives now available.

Some of the authors we touch upon are Arkady Martine, John Varley, C.J. Cherryh, Isaac Asimov (and the forthcoming Apple TV+ series derived from the Foundation series), Kelly Robson, John Varley, and a few others. A mixed bag, for sure.

Too early on Sunday, a little later in the same pandemic

To bed late after a whisky too many and now a healthy distance into The Hood. The goombahs have made an appearance. I’ll see what happens next.

It’s a rainy morning here, too, very windy.  Due to do some social stuff but might hang home. Podcasting is possible.  A painter is coming to discuss painting parts of the house in a week or so.  And I want to discuss the changes in space opera as a result of ever more scientific data about space, living there, and travelling through it with Gary. Might.

It also feels, as it has for a while, like a time when you’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop.  For another lockdown to happen (described, of course, as the menu of the day now requires as “short and sharp” so we know that the politicians know what they’re doing, regardless whether they do). I say this, not because I don’t support lockdowns (I do) or vaccination (I do!), but because the politicians just look lost.

…unavoidable stuff from jonathan strahan…