(Alternative title: I couldn’t really think of a blog post title)
Really late (it’s back to sporadic blogging now), but I’m liking the Hugo Awards shortlist. I think it’s back to being a source of new-to-me authors, instead of being hijacked by personal vendettas. My thoughts on the Best Novel finalists FWIW:
- ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY by Charlie Jane Anders: I admit I keep on changing my mind on this one. One review makes the book sound like something I’d really enjoy, and then the next review makes me think it wouldn’t speak to me at all. I guess there’s only one way to find out…
- A CLOSED AND COMMON ORBIT by Becky Chambers: I’ve the first book on my Kindle, I guess I should really get around to reading it? I’ve only read good things about this series.
- DEATH’S END by Cixin Liu: Ditto re first book, Kindle.
- NINEFOX GAMBIT by Yoon Ha Lee: Oh hey, I’ve read this one. I’ve mixed feelings – I can see why it’s earned its place on the shortlist (it is brilliant), but I also found it genuinely difficult to understand (and it’s rare I say that about a fiction book!). I did get into the story eventually, and will definitely get the sequel, but it’s one of those books where you really have to pay attention at the start.
- THE OBELISK GATE by N. K. Jemisin: Err, I can only repeat that I’ve been meaning to read her books for ages. This may be the spur I need.
- TOO LIKE THE LIGHTNING by Ada Palmer: I was really interested in reading it, but the price of the hardback put me off. And then I’ve read not-so-great reviews of the second book. So this is probably in the same category for me as the Charlie Jane Anders. for me.
And a couple of links that caught my attention recently:
Tamora Pierce is one of my favourite YA fantasy authors – her Alanna books have a special space in my heart. I found her Margaret A Edwards Awards speech really interesting – she talks about Alanna (of course), but also how she came up with Keladry’s story, and how she wanted Kel to be different to Alanna. Also:
Kel’s story is more political than Alanna’s because I have grown more political over the years[…]
Speaking of favourite authors, Elizabeth Mansfield also wrote some of the most well-loved Regency romances on my shelves (and I’ve been grabbing the e-versions as they become available). Her daughter has posted some of unpublished anecdotes on her website – they’re wickedly funny and well worth a read.
Intisar Khanani’s SUNBOLT & MEMORIES OF ASH: A YA with a strong female lead in a wonderfully-realised fantasy world – this ticks a lot of boxes for me. Fair warning, SUNBOLT is more of a lead-in novella than a standalone story – it doesn’t quite end on a cliffhanger, but I was left wondering what happens next. MEMORIES OF ASH more than ably answers that question, and I stayed up (very) late following Hitomi on her adventures with my heart in my mouth.