Authors I Lose Track Of

Why isn’t there a unified “new book release” or “new release by author” tracking system? This is the future! We can print food! I just want to know when my favorites release new books and can have the instant gratification of clicking “buy” and having it on my Nook. But alas, even the great behemoth Amazon hasn’t developed this system, let alone the lowly EPUB format providers. As such, I find I drop in and out of my obsession with various authors, though they remain spectacular, and as soon as I do learn about their newest books I snap them up.

Some of those authors include:

N.K. Jemisin
Malinda Lo
Mira Grant (aka the horror genre alter ego of Seanan McGuire – I had NO idea until I looked Mira Grant up for this post)
Kate Elliott
Jacqueline Carey (though I was very lukewarm on the first book in her urban fantasy series – more thoughts on that later)
Laini Taylor
Kristin Cashore
Lauren Beukes
John Scalzi
Patrick Ness
Scott Westerfeld

Read This Week: Monstrous Violence

Read this week: Zoo City by by Lauren Beukes

Up next: All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

 cover_zoocity cover_allyouneediskill

Zoo City makes a case for how a fantastic narrative voice can really elevate a story to the next level. Lauren Beukes has an amazing talent for world building, piecing out the differences between the universe of Zoo City and the history of the real world that we know in captivating and digestible nuggets. She also does it in such a way that what seems like flavor turns out to be pivotal, and what seems like a grand foreshadowing is not so much plot-relevant as character-relevant. It’s also full of horrific if appropriate violence, and I maybe should’ve picked up a palette cleanser instead of going straight to All You Need is Kill. Ooooh well.

Read This Week: Monstrous Violence

Read this week: Zoo City by by Lauren Beukes

Up next: All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

 cover_zoocity cover_allyouneediskill

Zoo City makes a case for how a fantastic narrative voice can really elevate a story to the next level. Lauren Beukes has an amazing talent for world building, piecing out the differences between the universe of Zoo City and the history of the real world that we know in captivating and digestible nuggets. She also does it in such a way that what seems like flavor turns out to be pivotal, and what seems like a grand foreshadowing is not so much plot-relevant as character-relevant. It’s also full of horrific if appropriate violence, and I maybe should’ve picked up a palette cleanser instead of going straight to All You Need is Kill. Ooooh well.

Intellectual Consumerism and All The Things I’m Glad I Got Over

Sociological Images had a great post in early February on the performance of intelligence: not actually being smart one way or the other, but cultivating a lifestyle that makes you “look” smart. Oh man, I have been there. I had such an admiration crush on two girls I went to high school with, L and S, because they seemed the height of cool. No brand name purses or ultra cool hairstyles were involved; rather, they read poetry, and acted, and were into sophisticated, artistic, intellectual things. Knowing both of them and the beyond nerdy high school we all went to, I have no doubt they genuinely enjoyed foreign art films and dense philosophy books, and more power to them. To me though, wanting to be their kind of cool, their kind of smart and sophisticated, I needed to train myself to read (and the harder task – enjoy) Beat poets and study French pop culture.

I never quite got around to it, probably because I had other nerdy interests that, despite making me not at all sophisticated intellectual cool, were just a lot more fun to me. I played video games and wrote fanfiction and made up my own little original stories and sketched pictures of dragons and watched anime. (Neeeerd.) But still the idea persisted that if only I owned a copy of 101 Great Works of Poetry or understood Shakespeare or went to the opera, and most importantly if I could have these esoteric conversations with people to “prove” my intelligence, I would be my ideal self, a self that everyone in their right mind admired.

Now the only reason I don’t over-advertise watching anime is because there are a lot of white, Japan-fetishizing racists that I don’t want to associate with. But if you want to talk about how ridiculously delightful The Flash on CW is, I’m there. If you’ve got a YA or fantasy/sci-fi book recommendation (I’m reading Zoo City right now – highly recommended), send it my way. If you also enjoyed the hell out of the latest Shadowrun or share my passion for wrecking shit ADC style on Leagues, I’m with you. I also don’t really care if you think all that stuff’s silly. It can be not for you, you can genuinely enjoy Shakespeare (I’m getting marginally more appreciation for him, myself, now that I realize only reading the plays and not watching them is a bad way to appreciate inherently performative works), you can like opera (still not for me), you can be super into independent French filmmakers–but I don’t call your stuff silly, and I don’t think it’s bad or wrong even if it isn’t a quantitative measure of Real Intelligence and Culture, so leave my stuff alone too.

Intellectual Consumerism and All The Things I’m Glad I Got Over

Sociological Images had a great post in early February on the performance of intelligence: not actually being smart one way or the other, but cultivating a lifestyle that makes you “look” smart. Oh man, I have been there. I had such an admiration crush on two girls I went to high school with, L and S, because they seemed the height of cool. No brand name purses or ultra cool hairstyles were involved; rather, they read poetry, and acted, and were into sophisticated, artistic, intellectual things. Knowing both of them and the beyond nerdy high school we all went to, I have no doubt they genuinely enjoyed foreign art films and dense philosophy books, and more power to them. To me though, wanting to be their kind of cool, their kind of smart and sophisticated, I needed to train myself to read (and the harder task – enjoy) Beat poets and study French pop culture.

I never quite got around to it, probably because I had other nerdy interests that, despite making me not at all sophisticated intellectual cool, were just a lot more fun to me. I played video games and wrote fanfiction and made up my own little original stories and sketched pictures of dragons and watched anime. (Neeeerd.) But still the idea persisted that if only I owned a copy of 101 Great Works of Poetry or understood Shakespeare or went to the opera, and most importantly if I could have these esoteric conversations with people to “prove” my intelligence, I would be my ideal self, a self that everyone in their right mind admired.

Now the only reason I don’t over-advertise watching anime is because there are a lot of white, Japan-fetishizing racists that I don’t want to associate with. But if you want to talk about how ridiculously delightful The Flash on CW is, I’m there. If you’ve got a YA or fantasy/sci-fi book recommendation (I’m reading Zoo City right now – highly recommended), send it my way. If you also enjoyed the hell out of the latest Shadowrun or share my passion for wrecking shit ADC style on Leagues, I’m with you. I also don’t really care if you think all that stuff’s silly. It can be not for you, you can genuinely enjoy Shakespeare (I’m getting marginally more appreciation for him, myself, now that I realize only reading the plays and not watching them is a bad way to appreciate inherently performative works), you can like opera (still not for me), you can be super into independent French filmmakers–but I don’t call your stuff silly, and I don’t think it’s bad or wrong even if it isn’t a quantitative measure of Real Intelligence and Culture, so leave my stuff alone too.