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.

Book cover: City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett (a hooded figure in clouds above a city)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’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)…

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.

Book cover: Metronome - Oliver LangmeadWilliam 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?

May has been that eye-watering combination of work hard play hard that stretches you too far, but has moments of pure joy. Work was a nightmare, but Wyrd and Wonder has been delightful – my only regret is that work (and a lapse in wifi whilst on holiday) meant I wasn’t able to stay fully engaged through the second half of the month. Still, I think our baby event did well for its first outing and I look forward to next year! Watch out for a wrap post this weekend.