November Redux: unusually classic

A pair of burgundy boots rest on a bookshelf of fantasy novels

November always whizzes by in a blur. As usual, my SciFiMonth didn’t go entirely to plan – while I did read a couple of novellas, I ended up focused on classic SF thanks to the glossy new dramatisations of Dune and Foundation – but I thoroughly enjoyed it. A huge shout out to our epic crew, whose annual commitment to SFnal content warms my heart – watch out for the final Mission Log round-up at the end of the month.

Reading Round-up

My plan for SciFiMonth was all the novellas, and hopefully some overdue SFs ARCs. Instead, it’s been a low-volume reading month, although in addition to finishing Caliban’s War I’ve very nearly listened to all of Abaddon’s Gate thanks to a number of very long walks.

Book of the month goes to Premee Mohamed’s spiky novella of fear and vengeance, And What Can We Offer You Tonight. It’s been an immense year for her work – I’m going to have to get over my lack of appetite for cosmic horror / teen protagonists and read Beneath the Rising. Winter’s Orbit was fun and charming and unapologetically a romance – I enjoyed it, but if you don’t find romance narratives very satisfying, this may not be the space opera for you. My enjoyment of Hard Reboot suffered from it not delivering what was promised by its rather misleading blurb – it too is primarily an SFnal romance, in this case with a side of big punchy robots.

  • Winter’s Orbit – Everina Maxwell ★★★★
  • Bite-size Books:
    • Hard Reboot – Django Wexler ★★★
    • And What Can We Offer You Tonight – Premee Mohamed ★★★★
  • Audio Read: Caliban’s War – James S A Corey ★★★★★

Additional Reviews

SciFiMonth was always planned to be quiet on the review backlog as I’ve broadly stayed on top of reviewing SF (if not reading it). So just the one this month, which I’ve been agonising over since September: The All-Consuming World – Cassandra Khaw ★★★

Stacking the shelves

November hasn’t been particularly acquisitive – I am still spending my monthly Audible credit on The Expanse (which I’m loving as an audio reread) and I picked up a Kindle copy of A Closed and Common Orbit in a daily deal so that I can always have my favourite Wayfarers novel in my pocket. This month’s Goldsboro SFF title is a fun concept, but I’m sceptical of the YA hype – I wouldn’t have bought it by choice. Here’s hoping it surprises me. And that’s it!

Reading statistics

My goal – always – is to read diversely and to love every book. I decided not to set any particular targets for my reading this year – no Goodreads Challenge or even Game of Books – although I continue to monitor my reading mix.

Books completed: 63 | DNFs: 3

  • 7 off the shelf (i.e. not bought in 2021)
  • 26 ARCs
  • 20 bite-size (excl. short stories)
  • 10 audio reads

Authors: 19 male (28%) / 32 female (48%) / 8 trans, enby or genderqueer (12%) + 8 collaborations (12%)

  • Authors of colour: 24 (36%)
  • LGBTQIA authors: 22 (33%)
  • Non-US / UK based authors: 6 (9%)

BookSpin: 2 read | 1 WIP | 1 TBR | 2 DNF

What’s coming up?

I’m looking forward to some time off work, but I’ve deliberately got very little planned for December. My ambitions stretch to ‘spend time outdoors’ and ‘spend time with family’, while my reading and blogging will be entirely whim-based. My last goal for the year is to get my NetGalley rating to 80%, which requires just one more read so doesn’t sound daunting (and yes, this was also true a month ago, but there were a lot of competing priorities through SciFiMonth). Here’s to a quiet end of the year.

How was your November?