Reading Roundup: May 2024

The books have been treating me well lately, and I hope they’re doing the same for you. Busier schedules this month have meant fewer hours for reading, but it’s always possible to peel off a few minutes here and there for a short story or two. Or a novel.

The Night Meeting

I just finished my early (free) copy of The Night Meeting by R. Jean Mathieu, and I can say it is an absolute treasure. It’s a collection of short stories framed by the meeting of two strangers across time. Brilliant and beautifully written, Mathieu’s stories span the ages and blur the lines between past and present, alien and mundane. Definitely worth a read.

Mirror Dance

Lois McMaster Bujold is coming to 4th Street Fantasy, and one feature of the convention will be a conversation about Mirror Dance, so I figured I had better read it. I haven’t read much of Bujold’s work, but even without the background, this book is a fantastic piece of science fiction. I’m looking forward to conversations about it at the con.

The Irregulars

In The Irregulars, Jennet Conant tells the story of Roald Dahl and a pile of other authors in the leadup to America’s involvement in WWII. The British desperately wanted America to join the fight, and they weren’t above a little spycraft, propaganda, and manipulation to make it happen. This is a fascinating piece of history, and whenever a name you recognize pops up, you’ll think, “Holy shit, what?!?” Definitely worth picking up the audiobook.

Short Stories

A lot of my short story reading was taken up by The Night Meeting, but there were a few that I enjoyed from various podcasts.

Geminoid by Malena Salazar Maciá – A story about people created to serve as organ farms for humans. This was a wonderfully told piece with some hefty ethical dilemmas built in. Loved the characterization.

Swarm X1048 – Ethological Field Report: Canis Lupus Familiaris, “6” by F.E. Choe – The study of a canine living as the world collapses is told with incredible empathy. It’s about the desire to preserve something, even after it is doomed.

The coming month is full of travel, and with travel comes a whole pile of time sitting quietly in an airport. I look forward to getting lots of reading done. The e-reader is already loaded and ready to go. The Nebulas Conference is also going to be a great place for buying books (and there’s a book bag full of freebies)

So, keep reading everyone. Let me know what you’ve been reading lately!

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