Good Monday Morning!
I hope you are ready to tackle the new week with vigor, vivacity, and zeal!
Aren’t you? No?
Good. Neither am I.
Every story has a message. Some stories are blatant and clumsy about it, but as the author of some rather silly stuff, I can tell you that even the fluffiest, lighthearted tale has meaning.
Some of you may think you are writing for the story-sake alone, but do not convince yourself that there is no “message” in your creation. Whether aware of it or not; biases, religion, fears, morals, even the way you string your sentences together, impart a message to your reader. It is inevitable, nay, innate to the medium of story-telling. In other words, it’s the point. The message is the reason for the story. Without it, there is no story. Know what your message is, otherwise you’ll end up looking like an insensitive prick.
Onto the next subject…
Over the weekend, I read an editor interview. We often read author interviews. I have done a number of ’em myself for SFFWorld.com and on my review blog, but I think I’ve only seen an editor interview here and there in the dark corners of the intertubes. They are rare gems. Check out Big Al’s interview with Patricia Morrison, acquisition (and so much more) editor for Penumbra Publishing. An author can learn a great deal from an editor like Ms. Morrison.
And onto our last topic for today…
Apparently, it is summer. It snuck up on me during the week. It got blazing hot last weekend. And being so close to the coast, the heat brought the fog. We call it the Sonoma County air conditioner. The temperature plummeted below 70°F, and, come Wednesday, I completely forgot the summer solstice was upon us. So, here we are in the midst of summer, and I haven’t put together a summer reading list!
To be honest, I don’t really put together reading lists, let alone summer reading lists. I just read what interests me. It’s a bit of a spur-of-the-moment decision. GoodReads does allow a member to keep track of what one might want to read. And I have a list going over here, but I rarely remember to go look at it when I’m ready to start a new book. I’ll have to remind myself to use it more often.
Anyway, here’s what I’m reading now:
Mr. Tolan is a SFFWorld.com forum member and I’ve been curious about his work for some time now. I finally got around to getting the first book of his trilogy, and though the main character hasn’t completely grabbed me, it is a fine story and I am enjoying it so far. He’s done a great job with his world building, and coming up with alien creatures different from us, but entirely sympathetic.
Tim Marquitz, one of the authors included in this anthology, is also a SFFWorld.com forum member and I picked this up on a lark. It had a free promotional day on Amazon.com so I downloaded. Last weekend, in a daze from all the heat, I couldn’t bother doing anything else but lay out in the shade, reading on the Kindle app on my iPhone. (Sweet.) Intending to finish off Blade Dancer, I inadvertently hit Four in the Morning and started reading the most surreal, steam-punk story I’ve ever come across. Mind you, I don’t read a lot of steam-punk, so maybe they are all that surreal. But seeing as there were a number of gods, some black magic, a mermaid, and the ugliest tree of life you can imagine, I don’t think my assessment of surreal is far off the mark. The second story is hard to read. Not only is it written in Texan, gang slang, but there’s lots of blood, murder, rape, and horrific acts of violence. I’m not sure whether I like it or not. But then again, I’m not finished with the second story yet. Anyway, I suspect the entire anthology is in the same vein: well written (needed one more pass with the proofreader, but nothing too bad), emotionally poignant stories that are NOT for the squeamish. Definitely R rated, but so hard to put down. These guys know how to write.
Alas, I haven’t started reading this yet, but it does look interesting, and it is from Angry Robot Books, so I’m sure it will be stunning. Review to come shortly.
I’m also re-reading Frankenstein. After reading and reviewing LEATHERSTONE by David Pabian, I decided to interview the author. But I can’t really do that without re-reading the original that inspired Mr. Pabian’s excellent homage. I completely forgot all the initial expedition stuff, and just how good the average reader’s vocabulary was back in the day (thank goodness for the Kindle instant dictionary feature), nor did I remember how central ‘friendship’ was to the story.
Well, that’s what’s on my plate. What are you reading?