I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

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theemdash: (M Squee)
([personal profile] theemdash Jul. 20th, 2017 10:19 pm)
I'm not sure that I really have the words for this.

There's going to be more Stargate. A 10-episode digital series. That's exciting news enough, but...

It's going to be about Catherine Langford's early years.

It's going to be FEMALE-LEAD STARGATE.

Look at that beautiful thumbnail of A WOMAN in front of the Stargate:


FEMALE-LEAD. STARGATE. CATHERINE. LANGFORD.

AND THAT MEANS IT WILL ALSO BE A PERIOD PIECE.

I AM LIVING!!!

ETA: Continuing to add icing to this delicious cake: the director is a woman.
bluespirit: (Supernatural ~ Dean anim good morning)
([personal profile] bluespirit Jul. 20th, 2017 12:30 pm)
It's been a while since I've posted. LJ (& DW) don't have the same vibrancy as they used to for me - which isn't helped by me not posting either, I know. I can hardly complain about my sense of loss of community when I'm not posting much myself!
Anyhoo - a little update on things at Chez Buddy.

Bud's doing really well. He's living with severe IBD, but his latest meds seem to have really helped & he's gained back all of the weight that he lost. He's so well that some of his other meds have been reduced or removed completely. This time last year, he was such a poorly boy & we didn't think that he'd make it, but he's such a fighter. He's on a prescription diet, but his appetite has come back & he's really enjoying life. Although he is a bit of an old man now - he's 11 & 1/2 - & so he does snooze quite a bit! ♥

Here he is on one of our favourite walks. It's a National Trust hill range & woodland that's 5 minutes walk from our door.




I'm doing really well, too. I saw my oncologist a few weeks ago & he's very happy with my scans & blood tests. I have to go back in the autumn for some more extensive scans, but so far things are looking very good. *fc*

Mr B, Bud & myself are off on our holibobs in a week or so. We've hired a cottage in Northumberland that overlooks the sea & you can see Dunstanburgh Castle (a gorgeous ruin) along the coast. So, it's going to be lovely morning walks on the beach & lots of other exploring - Hadrian's Wall & castles galore! Yay!

I hope that everyone is doing well. I do try & keep an eye on my flist & reading circle, even if I don't always comment.
*hugs*
arwcnevenstar:

Lake dress or picnic dress?

Also you should totally follow my Instagram for more cosplay stuff 😉

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I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

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foxnickwylde:

Nourish home on a rainy evening
Возвращаемся домой в дождливый вечер

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laughingsquid:

A Beautiful British Shorthair Tuxedo Cat Who Wears a Furry Heart on the Outside of Her Chest

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