I’ve had a slow start to 2019 as I’m still sorting out where I’ll be working this year, and UK politics is a shambles so who knows what context I’ll be working in. Instead, I’m having fun in the kitchen and allowing a little Marie Kondo into my life. I’m not watching the show, but I like asking whether things ‘spark joy’, although nowhere near my bookshelf (SO MUCH JOY SPARKING RIGHT THERE, EVERY TIME).
It’s that time: announcing the 2019 nominees for the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards!
Cue: drum roll
At the end of 2017, C of The Middle Shelf proposed a new set of informal awards: nominated, debated and awarded by a group of bookworms. We embraced chaos as our guiding principle, and we had so much fun we’re back for more. Welcome to the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards 2019.
November is SciFiMonth and this year has been EPIC. My heartfelt thanks and love to everyone who took part – it’s been an absolute blast from start to finish! I read fewer books than I hoped; I was having too much fun scanning the SciFiMonth feeds – and the life admin I put off last month demanded a fair bit of my attention. I’m still not done. But I’m still alive, so I guess it can take a bit longer? And first I better start drafting the final Mission Status of the year. Sniff.
The Saypuri overthrew their Continental masters, killed their gods and passed the Worldly Regulations outlawing any further mention of them. But belief in the Divine lingers. Divine power can still be channelled. And now a Saypuri scholar of that forbidden history has been murdered in the Continental capital. Are the Divine returning to Bulikov?
At some point every summer, I hit a reading slump. This year, it was caused by an overseas trip too far (so tired, people. So tired) and an endless cascade of work deadlines (ongoing through the end of September); too much fun (Nine Worlds!) …and too much reading. I couldn’t keep up with my reviews, and that left me reluctant to pick up anything new until I caught up. I allowed myself a time out, so here’s to getting back on top of reviews and reading in the autumn.
It all started – as so many things do – with a proposal on Twitter: what would happen if a group of bookworms had a go at calling the best genre reads of 2017? Well, firstly an explosion of reading lists as our opinions cross-pollinated. Then an outbreak of glee. Finally, much Serious Debate. And now, at last, we can reveal our winners…
No Season is forever, but this one promises to be longer than humanity can endure. In the underground refuge of Castrima, Essun must master powers that might save her new people. But a powerful city state has emerged from the ashes of Sanzed, and far to the south, the Fulcrum is not yet dead. The Season is not all Castrima must survive…
It’s been a scorching hot summer so far, but thankfully the extra degrees haven’t interfered with my appetite for reading. In fact, July’s reading has been extensive, fuelled by daily London commutes, a long-haul flight back to the US mid-month and the 24 in 48 hour readathon! It’s been lovely to reach the end of assigned reading lists and read free-range – before I tackle my ARC backlog in August (probably)…
The American government imprisoned Aphra’s people and let them die in the desert, far from the sea. Now they need her help, and have an irresistible offer to make. But can outcasts ever truly win the trust of a government that persecuted them? And can they trust that government in return?
We’re entering the final phase of the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards. After the initial phase of nomination and debate, we ended up with 5 categories and 33 nominees. Now we’re down to the wire after six months of reading, discussing and voting: it’s finalist time. So who has made our final cut?
You’d think I’d have read quite enough fantasy by now after Wyrd and Wonder, but I was enjoying myself so much I’ve just kept going. However, reading to a list wore thin even though I left amazing books to read at end, so I needed a bit of light relief by mid-month. Thankfully a delightful avalanche of bookpost arrived just in time to help me out! Add in sunshine and some relief on the epic work-o-meter and June has been a good’un.
Sorlost is the heart of the richest empire in the world: ancient, proud, unconquered. But its self-regard is stronger than its armies. As nobles conspire for power and mercenaries flock to their call, who will prove ruthless enough to seize – and hold – power?
Everything changes in a Season. First guard the gates. Keep storecaches clean and dry. Obey the stonelore, make the hard choices, and maybe when the Season ends there will be people who remember how civilisation should work. Or maybe not. Not this Season.
William Manderlay is old and arthritic. In his dreams, he relives his golden days as a violinist, a sailor, a lover – until the nightmares hunt him down. But William’s music holds the key to the prison at Solomon’s Eye, terrifying heart of the dream beyond dreams. Does William have enough youth left to him to help the Sleepwalkers fight off an army of nightmares intent on releasing the monster trapped there?