- The latest Metafilter catch-all thread discussing the state of US politics here at the beginning of 2019.
- 1.4 Million Floridians Just Got Their Voting Rights Back Today, Whether Republicans Like It or Not.
- Five upcoming short story collections by Arabic writers. In particular I am looking forward to Palestine +100, since Iraq +100 was an excellent book.
- David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books, of which I have read 17.
- Arundhati Roy explains How to Think About Empire in an interview up at The Boston Review.
- A useful tip for managing complex writing and worldbuilding: Create a Wiki.
- From the brilliant journal N+1: The Best of a Bad Situation. Or, what extinction looks like from the inside.
The first full week of the year brings four new bound piles of printed pages to the library at Winkelman Abbey. On the left is Kolyma Stories by Varlam Shalamov. I heard of this one when The Paris Review published “Forty-Five Things I Learned in the Gulag“. Finally ordered it. Apparently this is the first of two volumes to be published (the second to be released this year). I will probably dive into it after I complete the current few books on my “currently reading” shelf.
The next one over is the December 2018 issue of Apex Magazine which, if I have my dates correct, is the last to be published in physical format. From now on the magazine will be digital only, which is fine, as it is well worth the cost of subscription in any format.
The last two are The Uploaded and The Fix by the excellent Ferret Steinmetz. I hope to get them signed at ConFusion 2019 next weekend.
In reading news I am still working my way through Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning. I’m in the home stretch and should be through by the time I leave for ConFusion.
Next week I head across the state to attend ConFusion 2019. This year I will be participating in three panels, all on Saturday, January 19. Here they are:
- AI for Better or Worse – There’s no doubt that Artificial Intelligence will play some part in our future, but is it good, bad, or both? Panelists will discuss the future of AI, some of its uses, and some of its dangers.
- Time: Saturday, 19 January, 2019 – 13:00
- Room: Warren
- Panelists: Anthony W. Eichenlaub (M), John Winkelman, Derek Kunsken
- Let’s Talk Season 2: Computer Science! – A lighthearted talk on a hard science topics with smart and funny people. Let’s Talk: Computer Science will chuckle through the collapse of society as we know it. Come hear how silicon makes better decisions than carbon, protons as data, why you don’t need to be Slytherin to study Python, and what we are going to do with the leisure time we will have in 2025.
- Time: Saturday, January 19, 2019 – 16:00
- Room: Warren
- Panelists: Daniel Dugan (M), John Winkelman, Anthony W. Eichenlaub
- If you liked that, try this! – Our well-read panel will give you personalized book recommendations based on things you’ve read and loved.
- Time: Saturday, January 19, 2019 – 18:00
- Room: Dearborn
- Panelists: Merrie Haskell (M), John Winkelman, Andrea Johnson, Karen Osborne, Sarah Hans
Between now and then I am spending my free moments gathering books I hope to have signed by other attendees, and getting everything around home squared away so I can focus on enjoying the experience. Hopefully one year I will be able to sign books of my own.
- W00t! Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky’s annual State of the World discussion has just begun over at The Well.
- January 1 was Public Domain Day 2019.
- As one of my goals for 2019 is a serious study of economics and Left politics, I am listening to an audiobook of Marx’s Capital. Here are the YouTube links:
- Capital: Critique of Political Economy, 1 of 4
- Capital: Critique of Political Economy, 2 of 4
- Capital: Critique of Political Economy, 3 of 4
- Capital: Critique of Political Economy, 4 of 4
An excellent start to a year of reading, despite the expression on Chateaureynaud’s face. A couple of weeks ago I subscribed to Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, a journal published by the excellent Small Beer Press. They surprised me by sending along a free copy of A Life On Paper, which I have added to my ever-growing to-read stack.
In reading news, I am still working my way through Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning, which I might have done before the start of ConFusion 2019. It is an excellent book, but not one which can be read quickly. After that, I will tackle something lighter. Perhaps Crime and Punishment.
And here we are all of a sudden in calendar year 2019. This is the fifth iteration of my reading material acquisition list, and I plan to keep doing it much the same way as I have in previous years. For my complete catalog of books which I own, please visit LibraryThing. For the list of books I have read, with the occasional rating and review (I know, I know. I need to be better about reviewing things I read), please visit GoodReads.
One change from previous years – instead of linking to their pages on GoodReads, I will from now on be linking book titles directly to the appropriate pages on the websites of their publishers or, where publishers do not sell directly to customers, I will link to resources such as IndieBound and the like. Keep the money in the hands of the writers and publishers.
And now, The List.
- Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #38
- Châteaureynaud, Georges-Olivier – A Life on Paper (Small Beer Press)
- Steinmetz, Ferret – Fix (Angry Robot Books)
- Steinmetz, Ferret – The Uploaded (Angry Robot Books)
- Shalamov, Varlam – Kolyma Stories (New York Review Books)
- Apex Magazine, #115, December 2018
- Palmer, Ada – Seven Surrenders
- Hartmann, Ivor W. (ed.) – AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers (StoryTime)
- Smith, Tracy K. – Life on Mars (Graywolf Press)
- Longoldier, Layli – Whereas (Graywolf Press)
- Eveland, Erin – Darkness (Selladore Press)
- Andrade, R.A. – The Field Trip (Selladore Press)
Here we are at the end of 2018, and here are the last additions to the library before we ring in the new year. On the left is the January 2019 issue of Poetry, and on the right is Decals by Oliverio Girondo, the latest from my subscription to the catalog of Open Letter Books.
The holidays have been hectic as always, but I have made good progress in Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning. I hope to have it completed before ConFusion 2019, where Palmer will be the Guest of Honor.
And with that, Happy New Year!
This week brought a wide variety of new reading material in a small stack. The latest issue of Salvage just arrived, along with the latest Paris Review and the fourth volume of the Long List Anthology. I’m off of work until January 2, so I should be able to sneak in some reading time.
I finished reading Ferret Steinmetz’ excellent The Flux and am now dividing my time between Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer and Seth Dickinson’s The Monster Baru Cormorant.
Earlier today I opened the Fall 2018 edition of the Copper Canyon Reader, which contains some excellent poetry by several Copper Canyon poets. I would get a subscription to Copper Canyon, as I have to so many other wonderful publishers, but their subscriptions are $1,000, and that it a little steep for me at this point in my life.
And since this is likely the last post for 2018, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
- A long write-up in Harper’s on Oulipo, centered around All That Is Evident Is Suspect: Readings from the Oulipo, published by McSweeney’s. Which I own. The book, not McSweeney’s.
- An amazing collection of photos of science fiction fandom, from cons and parties throughout the 60s and 70s.
- And yes, because it is the end of the year, a list of literary figures we lost in 2018. Damn, but I’m still broken up about Anthony Bourdain.
- Because it is the holiday season, here is a rather well-done biographical film of H.P. Lovecraft.
Merry Christmas, y’all!