Every once in a while a book or —even better—a series of books comes along to take you out of yourself. Such a series is the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden. At first glance, the structure of these books, particularly the first one, The Bear and the Nightingale, feels familiar. Vasilisa "Vasya" Petrovna runs wild … Continue reading The Night is Dark and Full of Wonders: The Winternight Trilogy
A couple of quick items. First, meet "Here Today," a Medium site devoted to reflecting on daily life during the novel coronavirus pandemic and related social distancing. It features several writers, including myself. Second, if you have the means, throw some love to your favorite local indie bookstore (as opposed to that decidedly not indie … Continue reading Introducing “Here Today” + New Books
I have been reading a lot of books about the climate crisis lately, mostly because three separate work projects have put me in their path. These books are less about the science, per se, and more about how we should respond—emotionally, actionally, narratively. I'm grateful for these books having deadlines because, despite how much attention … Continue reading ‘Gideon the Ninth’ and Food Metaphors for Genre Fiction, a.k.a the Delicious Delights of Lesbian necromancers … IN SPAAACE!!!
On the podcast Still Processing hosts Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham discuss pop culture and life in America circa now. On a recent episode while discussing Wortham's tour of Thomas Jefferson's plantation Monticello, alongside Bong Joon Ho's film Parasite and the HBO series Watchmen, Morris says, "[Black people,] as a people, we are allergic to … Continue reading Memory, Family, Trauma: The Deep and The Yellow House
Very, very mild spoilers for The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Starless Sea, and The Magicians. I have been thinking a lot about doors and thresholds. We pass through them all the time, entering and exiting buildings and rooms without thought. Metaphorically, doors represent beginnings or endings or changes, and thresholds represent the in-between … Continue reading Of Doors and Thresholds, Magic and Stories and Change
How many other appreciators have lumped together the ineffable Margaret Atwood, Ursula Le Guin, and Octavia Butler? Combined they may be up there with poems to spring or love in terms of clichéd subjects. But I'm going to do it anyway because these three transcend easy comparison about "women writing speculative fiction." They are prophets … Continue reading Weird Sisters: Atwood, Le Guin, Butler
Into every reading life, a slump will come. Maybe you're just not in the mood for what's in the stack. Maybe the line-up of blockbuster movies and bingeable shows is too much to resist. Maybe there's simply a lot going on. Regardless of the reasons, dry spells are inevitable. My recent slump seemed like it … Continue reading Summertime Slump
Listening to: Garbage, Garbage. Drinking: Red table wine Sometimes chance gives you a cluster of works (books, songs, shows, movies, podcast) that create an intriguing juxtaposition or a complementary meshing. I first noticed this phenomenon in college, when classes chosen for schedule (or the texts assigned in them) created an unexpected, unintended harmony. When such a thing … Continue reading Accidentally Complementary, or when the universe hands you a literary gift