Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving is over

Yes, turkey and stuffing and family and friends, and taking my son to the bar . . . good times. Now back to the long slog of work and shopping and getting to Christmas, December deadlines and holidays, and the New Year.

I have read 59 books this year, all of them SF/Fantasy. Maybe I'm in a rut. In the laundry room, of a community bookshelf, someone left the Robert A. Heinlein biography (Part 1: the early years), and I'm reading that right now. It's pretty good. Because this volume focuses on his early life, I don't expect to learn much about the details of how he wrote Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land, or even The Puppet Masters (one of the first "adult" SF novels I ever read), but you can start to see some of the incidents and experiences that must have shaped his later writing. I think the biographer overplays Heinlein's influence on the 20th century in his intro, but still: Heinlein was a huge influence on science fiction, and SF has been a big influence on technology and culture (excuse me while I check my smartphone), so maybe he's got a point. Good book, so far. And while it's generally positive (it's an "authorized" biography, after all) it doesn't make Heinlein out to be a saint. Just a guy trying to find his way in the confusing days of the early 20th century.

(Sometimes I remember that I'm living in the 21st century, with access to information from all around the world on a computer I can slip into the side pocket of my cargo pants. Which is maybe more useful to most of us than a moonbase—although I still want that).

Saw the movie Europa Report the other day. Great. Sort of like Gravity with hints of Alien, although, be warned, if you're looking for monsters, you'll wait a long time. Still, it captures the claustrophobia and fear of a long space voyage and the dangers to be encountered when you're a long, long way from home.

Posting two new chapters of Prodigal Prince right now, to make up for the fact that I'm late this week. I try to at least post a new chapter every Sunday, but the holiday weekend got out of control.

And I thank my friends who have been kind enough to read chapters of the new novel I'm working on, The Black Guard. As I think I mentioned before, it's another urban fantasy. With automatic weapons. Gunfights! Explosions! Giant spiders! What more could anyone want? Don't you want to read it? Right now? Please?

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