I’m not reading enough at the moment.   I got the new multi-focal glasses just before heading off to the US and I feel like I’ve been reading less, not more, since then.  Still, I am pushing forward.  I’m reading Lou’s Fast Forward 2, which I’m enjoying, but being fickle am reading out of order.  Read the opening story, the middle story, and the last story: I’ll pick off the others during the week. I think Paolo Bacigalupi’s story is terrific, if not quite as strong as “Yellow Card Man” from a year or two back. I’m also dipping into Postscripts 15, which has a great Beth Bernobich story in it.  I also second all good things that have been said about Jeff VanderMeer’s and Margo Lanagan’s stories from Extraordinary Engines.  Excellent work.  This is a year for original anthologies, especially SF ones.

A while back I was thinking on my favorite new writers of the moment.  The person I’d pick for that position is Ken Scholes.  I read his first novel, Lamentation, earlier this year and loved it.  I’ve been reading his first collection, and owe him and his publisher a blurb (for which my apologies).  Just for you, dear Streeters, though I’ll tell you that it’s smart, savvy, poetic and the best damned thing you’re likely to pick up for less than twenty bucks any times soon.  Scholes can make words dance, and stories sing: it’s stunning that he’s only starting out.  I have his second novel on my Reader, but have been holding it back till I’ve finished other work before treating myself, but soon.

In other news which warms the cockles of this reader’s heart: whispers suggest Charlie Stross has started writing The Fuller Memorandum, the third Laundry novel.  We discussed the book over a few too many happy hour ales in Denver, and his enthusiasm for the book was infectious. I can’t wait till it’s done.  If it’s half as interesting as that conversation it’ll be something special.