Book sixteen of 2019: Slan, by A.E. van Vogt. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1941 Retro Hugo Best Novel 📚

Definitely dated, esp. regarding views of women, odd extrapolation of tech (a very 40s world, but with ray guns & antigravity ships), but I’ve read far worse from this era. Fans are slans! 😏

Book fifteen of 2019: The Book of Merlyn, by T.H. White. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📚

A curious coda to TOaFK, mostly serving as an argument against humankind’s warlike tendencies. Not critical to finish Arthur’s story, IMHO.

Book fourteen of 2019: Assignment: Eternity, by Greg Cox. ⭐️⭐️ 📚

An average Trek romp, marred by the author trying too hard to drop “clever” references to other Trek and pop culture events, and (worse) using a PNW indigenous people’s name for the name of a planet (Duwamish).

2019 Seattle Snowpocalypse, Sunday Update

Ventured out from the homestead to make the trek over ice and snow to the local mercantile for provisions. Though the skies were clear, ‘twas still bitterly cold, as the winter sun brought no warmth. The footing was treacherous, but no spills were taken; scavengers were seen, but we gave them a wide berth. Some supply runs had made it through, so we were able to procure most of what we had hoped for. Loaded our purchases onto our backs, safely made the journey home, and have settled back in to warm ourselves by the fire once more.

(Walked down the road to Fred Meyer on a pretty day. Saw a few crows. The store shelves were only decimated (in the proper sense), but not entirely wiped out anymore, and what we bought easily fit into our lightweight, pocketable IKEA backpacks. Back home, the fake electric fireplace is on, and warm drinks will likely be made soon.)

2019 Philip K. Dick Award Rankings

As I’ve done for the past few years, I’ve read all of the nominated works for this year’s Philip K. Dick Award. Following is my ranking, from least favorite to my favorite and pick for the award (which, if history is any guide, means that it won’t be the winner, so my apologies in advance…), along with my brief comments.

Much like the first in this series, there are a lot of interesting ideas, in this case about stories, narratives, and our relationships with them…yet it simply didn’t resonate with me at all.

Some of these are funny, many of them are disquieting and leave the reader a little uneasy. I didn’t dislike it, though I’m not sure I can really say that I liked it, either.

  • 84K by Claire North (Orbit)

Set in a distressingly plausible near-future dystopic Britain, the unrelenting dreariness was difficult for me. As with post-apocalyptic fiction, I’m not a big fan; I prefer more hope in my futurism.

Neat near-future exploration of interpersonal connections and intimacy, through the lens of research into the sexual habits of bonobo apes.

A short, sweet tale of soldiers in love, time travel, the unraveling of their story, and the love of books. I very much enjoyed this one.

One of the best collections I’ve read in a long time. Fascinating, sometimes haunting stories, not a dud in the bunch, and a definite pleasure throughout.

Good luck to all the authors! I look forward to seeing as many as can attend at the award ceremony at Norwescon 42 in just a couple months!

Book thirteen of 2019: 84K, by Claire North. #PKDickAward nominee. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Set in a distressingly plausible near-future dystopic Britain, the unrelenting dreariness was difficult for me. As with post-apocalyptic fiction, I’m not a big fan; I prefer more hope in my futurism.

Seattle Snowpocalypse 2019 Saturday morning update: Went out for a short walk to enjoy the scenery and scoff at the people driving too fast for conditions. That’s enough outside for us for a while!