Shards of Honor, the…

Shards of Honor, the first book in Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series, is now available for download. It's a great romp, and the beginning of a wonderful addiction. I've read it at least five times now, and I strongly recommend it.

Mostly this morning, I've been reading Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables, for class. Just finished it -- good stuff, though I'm amazed at the pacing that he could get away with. Partly he manages it because he's actually really funny -- I'm pretty sure that's intentional. It's a quiet humor, and if you're not reading line-by-line, I think you could miss it entirely. The gothic feel is just that tiny bit over-the-top that makes it seem intentional. Good mystery, fun book. Now I get to go read some criticism of it, which will probably miss the point entirely. (Sorry to be so negative; I've just read some pretty bad criticism of Melville recently, so I'm feeling dubious about early Americanists in general :-).

I also spent a while talking with my SH publicists about how we can more actively solicit donations, in the way that a museum or National Public Television or NPR might. Various plans in the works, including a letter to be sent out in early December, a fund-raising drive in December, along with some possible free gifts to randomly-selected donors... If that goes well, we may repeat it every few months, with different prizes each time. We're also thinking about putting together a SH poster, featuring the work of our illustrators over the last year. Wouldn't that be cool? I'd love to have one to frame and hang in my apartment. We'll see if the illustrators are willing; if so, I see no reason not to do it...

Back to the reading, but I may check in again later. There's only so much criticism I can read before it feels like my head is going to explode. That's when I do dishes or come talk to y'all. :-)

2:45. Two essays down, three to go. But I is tired and the snow is falling, and I just want to curl up and go to sleep. Not the best state for reading dull stuff. Sigh.

But you don't have to read dull stuff. You can go read cool new Strange Horizons stuff instead. Lucky you! New story, with interesting gender politics. New (very short) poem. New review of Tad Williams's Shadowmarch project. New article on falconry. I wanna falcon, I do. But I want someone else to do all the work, which I gather just doesn't happen, unless you're a king. I wanna be a king...

(I love the bit in Patricia Wrede's Dealing with Dragons where Cimorene is asking the female dragon she's keeping house for if she really means to try out for the newly vacant position of King of the Dragons -- 'Don't you mean Queen of the Dragons'? And the dragon is bewildered at the question, eventually explaining that Queen of the Dragons is a completely different position, and a much duller one -- why, it's been vacant for years... Heh heh.)

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