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Quote(s)

“Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science.” - Girl Genius, by Kaja & Phil Foglio

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

Perspective, it's all about perspective ...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

eBooks?

Digital books are all the rage.  Cries of paper books are dead are heard across the land.  I don’t have an eReader and don’t have plans to buy one any time soon.  I like paper books.  I spend much of my work day on a computer and don’t want to spend even more time in front of a lighted screen when I get home.  I spend some, of course, catching up on the news and blogs, but I certainly don’t want all my reading to be on a light box.  I understand eBooks are marvelous and are especially helpful for people who don't have the strength or endurance to hold a paper book.  Useful they are, but not the solution for everyone.

Please read this marvelous essay by Seanan McGuire (who writes urban fantasy, horror, and is also a professional musician), where she very articulately explains why paper books and libraries and bookstores you can walk into are so important. 

seanan-mcguire on why paper books are important

A quote from her essay:  "...every time a discussion of ebooks turns, seemingly inevitably, to "Print is dead, traditional publishing is dead, all smart authors should be bailing to the brave new electronic frontier," what I hear, however unintentionally, is "Poor people don't deserve to read.""

A summary of what she says so marvelously is that there is already a digital divide.  Many people are poor and can not afford computers and internet.  Libraries and used book stores are essential for poor kids to have access to books.  Many poor kids live in areas where if they had an eReader (say, a donated one) it would be stolen.  Now, if your paper book gets stolen, well, it’s one book.  Your eReader?  That could be your entire collection! 

All you need to read a paper book is the ability to read and enough light to see the page.  No electricity need be involved, because sunlight is free.

Please keep this in mind if there’s talk in your community of reducing library services.  Please donate books whenever you can - Toys for Tots, for example. 

Help keep the world of books available for everybody.

Thanks for reading; comments are welcome.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The TBR Pile

TBR = To Be Read and is a stack of books, well, actually, several stacks of books, that are awaiting my attention.  As a way of figuring out just what it is I have here, I decided to make a list!  I am a list-type person, but this is a list I’ve never put together before.  So here goes. 

Pile Number One (so designated because it’s closest to the computer):
Vonda N. McIntyre, Metaphase
A.S. Byatt, Possession
Elizabeth Bear, By the Mountain Bound
Elizabeth Bear, The Sea Thy Mistress
John Scalzi, Zoe’s Tale
Val McDermid, The Wire in the Blood
Margot Edmonds & Ella Clark, Voices in the Winds, Native American Legends
Robert Bresloff, The Wee Musketeers (a middle school book by a friend of mine)
Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys
Caitlin Brennan, Song of Unmaking

Pile Number Two (on the living room couch):
N.K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
N.K. Jemisin, The Broken Kingdoms

Vonda N. McIntyre, Transition
Genevieve Valentine, Mechanique
Sarah Monette, The Virtu
Sarah Monette, The Mirador
Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

eBooks (no, I don’t have a ‘reader,’ I get PDF files from Book View Cafe; this pile is IN the computer!)
Phyllis Irene Radford & Tiffany Trent, eds, Breaking Waves (in progress, I’m about 3/4 through it)
Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff & Pati Nagle, eds, Brewing Fine Fiction
Phyllis Irene Radford, ed, Ways to Trash Your Writing Career
Vonda N. McIntyre, Superluminal (need to read this before Transition and Metaphase)

Want to read but don’t have yet:
Catherynne M. Valente, Myths of Origin (due out Nov 2011)
Terry Pratchett, Snuff (the 39th Discworld novel, due out Oct 2011)
Camille Alexa, Push of the Sky (she has a story in Breaking Waves that I love, so need to read one of her books)
M.H. Bonham, Serpent Singer and Other Stories (the title story is in Breaking Waves & I loved it, so ...)

Oh, my, there are only four guys on this list (John, Bob, Neil and Terry). Think I need to add more books by men!?!? 

AND that’s 25 books!  So far this year I’ve read 26 books.  Yikes!  I know I won’t read much in November (NaNo will be happening), so looks like this list will last into the new year even without any additions.  And of course there will be additions!

What books do you have in your TBR pile(s)?

Thanks for reading; comments are welcome.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

100 Years of Style

One of my daughter's friends sent her this link.  A couple dances their way through the styles of the early 1900's until now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JxfgId3XTs

The clothes they picked are wonderful, and they dance in the style of the times as well.  
Great fun!

Thanks for reading; comments are welcome. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

A few things

Thing 1:  I haven't had much to say recently, blogwise.  No adventures, no excitements.  Which is fine by me.  Those things tend to cost money.

Thing 2:  There's a short story I'm excited about - "Orchid."  It needs a re-write or two, but the antagonist finally showed up and he's on the page.  This took about a year and a half of working on him, ignoring him, trying to entice him, lambasting him ... and just about giving up.  Then one day he started talking.  Not a lot, but enough to complete the first draft.  Crit group said it felt like it could be a novel, but I want a short story!

Thing 3:  I plan to spend some time reworking the plot of my 2010 NaNo, and edit /rewrite that one.  Probably won't have that done by October, though. 

Thing 4:  If I do NaNo this year I want to have a plot, story arcs, STUFF, to work with, and will need October for that.

Thing 5:  I'm about half-way through a long book of short pieces (stories, essays, poems), Breaking Waves.  It's a special collection put together to raise money for Katrina survivors (oops - for The Gulf Oil Spill Relief Fund), available through Book View Cafe.  I did finish one book in August, The Curse of Chalion, by Lois Bujold.  Good fantasy.  And I finished a book yesterday, Thistle Down, by Irene Radford, an easy bit of fluff that was fun.  The To Read Pile isn't getting any smaller, though.  I find books, my daughter finds books, and I'm just not reading fast enough!

Thing 6:  Today it feels like fall.  Temperature's in the 60s and the winds blowing around 15 mph with gusts up to 25.  Blustery, it is!  Have I mentioned that Fall is my favorite time of year?

Thanks for reading; comments are welcome.