Plus an author interview I did for a student publication a few months back has surfaced on the internet. I hugely enjoyed chatting with Dustin and I’m really tickled by how random the resulting write-up has been.
And here’s the Facebook event for January’s AWARE/Etiquette Roundtable.
The last month has been illness, on and off. And reading, of course: revisiting Are You My Mother? (I liked it better this time, knowing in advance it would be more abstractly intellectual, less of a sucker punch of passion than Fun Home); tumbling through House of Leaves (my feelings are broadly similar to those in this Guardian review); now alternating between Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow and Marjane Satrapi’s Embroideries.
Only last year, though it feels a lifetime away, I had a review in The F Word of SF collection The Other Half of the Sky (edited by Athena Andreadis and co-edited by Kay Holt). I especially enjoyed Aliette de Bodard’s The Waiting Stars,
which most effectively of the 16 stories fuses worldbuilding, characterisation, thematic depth and plot. The Dai Viet Empire’s ships are Minds, at once space vessels and members of large, close-knit families. Some, captured by the Galactics, are left derelict – necessitating a daring liberatory raid. For their part, the (recognisably white Anglophone) Galactics view the production of Minds with horror and attempt to ‘rescue’ so-called Dai Viet “refugees” through violent assimilation into Galactic society. De Bodard’s portrait of one refugee’s conflicting attachments and mixed identifications – a sense of self literally spread across stars – powerfully echoes the experience of postcolonial cultural displacement. It certainly resonates deeply with me as someone born and bred Anglophone in a former British colony.
I’ve been delighted to find that it’s now available for free on the author’s website. Away with you, shoo, go read.
I have a review of O Thiam Chin’s Love, or Something Like Love in the latest issue of QLRS.
It runs its hands over death, cruelty, madness, grief; and while its touch is generally a smooth one, and in places sensitive, I came away feeling that too often the stories had held something back, or moved at too approximate a level, only ruffling the surfaces of their intended themes… The most successful parts of the collection step back a little from attempts at life-and-death grandeur to tell more domestic but stronger, more complete, stories.
My promise that this blog will eventually be a tad less relentlessly self-absorbed must wait a bit longer to be fulfilled, because Epigram has just posted some very lovely pictures of last Thursday’s book launch at BooksActually. It was loads of fun! But don’t worry if you missed it, because a little bird tells me that another event is on the cards… watch this space for details.