drcpunk (drcpunk) wrote,

Recent Reading

81. Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho. A bit uneven, but utterly delightful. I like the bite, and I'm looking forward to more.

82. Magical Knight Rayearth, volumes 1 and 2, by CLAMP. So very CLAMP. Research. We were reading this for research, yep. And we'll need to watch the anime for the same reason. I could count this as two books, but given I'm counting some shorter things as one, it probably balances out.

83. Dracula (re-read) and the Unredacted Dracula (more of a skim, as I tried to read only the new material). The Unredacted Dracula has a couple of collaborators, as it's part of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane for Night's Black Agents. If you're an RPG about spies and vampires in the modern day, sooner or later, you're going to have to address the Dracula question. And that Bram Stoker -- what a professional! As Kenneth Hite notes, Mr. Stoker got his word count in early.

84. The Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert & Sullivan, by Laura Howell. And, this is a very short graphic novel, balancing the Rayearth books.

85. Dresden Accelerated Beta Version. Much easier to use than the Alpha -- and we had a blast with the Alpha playtest last year.

86. Athene Palace, by R. G. Waldeck. I asked for a book about Romania during WWII that wouldn't put me to sleep, giving as an example of non-fiction books I find riveting The Ghost Map. Kenneth Hite said that there was precisely one book written in English fitting that description. It is amazing. The author is not free from the prejudices of her time (I am almost certainly understating), but this is a firsthand account of events in Bucharest in the months after Paris fell. It's a story full of other stories, which is the kind of thing that I can read and digest.

87. Pocket Apocalypse, by Seanan McGuire. Fun, fast paced, good read. I like the InCryptid series, not least because the main characters tend to be sensible enough to understand the importance of good, rapid, and frequent communication.

88. Carmilla, by Sheridan Le Fanu (re-read). I cracked and got the ebook edition with the scholarly apparatus, which was very useful for putting the work in context. Also, I want to run "The Carmilla Sanction" at some point. I'd forgotten how weird both this and Dracula are. And, yeah, they both read quite well, if quite differently, if you look at it through the lens of "everyone's a vampire or a spy trying to use vampires".

89. A Red-Rose Chain, by Seanan McGuire. The latest Toby Daye book, very well done.

90. Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire. Currently a stand alone, but I gather there may be more in that world. I tried to nominate it for an award before someone pointed out that it isn't officially out yet, so it's not eligible for another year. It's very good.

91. Alarums & Excursions #480.

92. Pawn in Frankincense, by Dorothy Dunnett. This is the 4th of the 6 Lymond books. So, if you're like me, you put off reading it because a) you don't want them going too fast, b) you've had to reread #3 first, and c) you then need time to let it all settle. But, if you're the kind of person who prefers not to wait on finding out what happens next with certain kinds of endings, have #4 right by you so that you can start it immediately after #3. And... brace yourself.

About halfway in, I said, "Things just got complicated." Now, this is a Dorothy Dunnett book, fourth in a series, and things STARTED complicated. About 2/3 to 3/4 in, things got even more complicated. Then, one of the most amazing scenes I've read, going somewhere that most writers would never dare, and most writers who would dare would leave me feeling like I didn't care about anyone in the world of the book. Dunnett goes there, and I totally care. And then, there's more left, including a delightfully unexpected Checkhovian Gun that isn't a gun. But, it was introduced, right properly, and it never occurred to me that this interesting cultural detail would matter.

So, I'm catching my breath before trying #5. I don't think I'll need to reread #4 first, though I might change my mind, and might have to reread #4 and #5 before reading #6.

93. The Rhesus Chart, by Charles Stross. I read this thinking it would be a palate cleanser after the Dunnett. Actually, it's similar in several ways, including quality. The main character is smart, competent, and stressed. There are several hilarious bits. The overall story is played straight. And... the last page left me gasping for air.

Fortunately, around here, I started reading Tremontaine, being serialized on Serial Box. It doesn't get a listing here because it's still in progress.

94. Speak Easy, by Catherynne Valente. It's set in New York City, but mneme and I both found that we needed to read it aloud (which is pretty normal for anything by Valente) in an accent that veered rather south of NYC. It's amazing.

95. Alarums & Excursions #481.

96. Nurk, by Ursula Vernon. It's set in the same world as Digger, with a character descended from one of the characters in the web comic. It's well done, and I'm absurdly pleased with myself for having spotted a Chekhov's Gun which wasn't a gun and guessing exactly how it would be used.

NOT NUMBERED: Tremontaine, the prequel to Swordspoint, by Ellen Kushner and a whole lot of other people. I've read the first 5 chapters, all that are out as of today, and listened to the first 3 and half of the 4th. I caught something fairly subtle, and am watching events move like a snowball getting bigger, faster, and scarier. Chocolate! Romance! Betrayal! Duels! Math! And snark -- lots of snark!
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