hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2017: 32-34


32. Erika Lewis, Game of Shadows. Tor, 2017. Copy via publisher.

Read for review. Er. Eeep. WTF.


33. Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin, eds., The Djinn Falls In Love & other stories. Solaris, 2017.

Read for review for Tor.com. Really excellent anthology.


nonfiction


34. Ibn Fadhlan, Ibn Fadhlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North. Penguin Classics, 2012. Translated with an introduction by Paul Lunde and Caroline Stone.

Ibn Fadhlan left an account of his journey from Baghdad to the court of the Bulghar khan in 921 CE. (The account of his return journey doesn't survive.) Full of precise observations and surprisingly little judgment - and a certain amount of what comes across as good-humoured honesty - this is really lovely medieval travel writing. It includes the only eye-witness description of a Viking boat funeral in the lands of the Rus.

Ibn Fadhlan's account takes up a little less than half the book. The remainder is given over to extracts from other Arabic travel writers (or compilers of geographic information) who deal with the far north or with people from the far north, such as Vikings. These are usually far less self-aware and precise than Ibn Fadhlan, but fascinating in their own right.

(I really like the Arabic literature of the medieval period, at least as much of it as I've been able to read in English translation. It'd be really cool to have a good translation of Ibn Hayyan, you know. Or ibn Rusta. Hell, Mas'udi.)
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 109kg

Benchpress: 3x5 at 60kg, 5x5 at 65kg
Squats: 5x5 at 100kg
Leg lifts: 4x10
Overhead press: 4x5 at 20kg
Lat raise: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Bicep curl w/curl bar: 1x5 at 20kg, 4x8 at 20kg
Single leg squats with 8kg/arm weights: 3x5 per leg
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2017: 26-31


26. Thea de Salle King of Bourbon Street. Ebook, 2017.

Explicit romance. Also very funny.


27. Kij Johnson, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe. Tor.com Publishing, 2016.

Read for column. Really good.


28. Ruthanna Emrys, Winter Tide. Tor.com Publishing, 2017.

Read for review. Really excellent.


29. Alex Wells, Hunger Makes The Wolf. Angry Robot, 2017.

Read for review. Really good fun space planetary Western. There's a train job!


30. John Scalzi, The Collapsing Empire. Tor, 2017.

Read for fun and maybe later review. Space opera in Scalzi's trademark breezy voice. Very entertaining popcorn.


31. Joe McDermott, The Fortress At The End Of Time. Tor.com Publishing, 2017.

Read for review. I want that hour of my life back.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 110kg.

Squats: 1x5 @90kg, 4x5 @100kg, 1x5 @90kg.
Benchpress: 1x5 @60kg, 4x5 @65kg, 1x5 @60kg.
Leg lifts: 4x10
Lat raise: 3x10 @6kg/arm
Bicep curl: 1x5 @15kg, 4x5 @20kg

Short enough session, but it's my first day back after being ill.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2017: 18-25


18. Kameron Hurley, The Stars Are Legion. Angry Robot, 2017.

Read for Locus and for column. A fascinatingly squishy space opera, which Hurley has been promoting as LESBIANS IN SPACE (it is). It's less of a mess than her fantasy, and a lot more fun, although Hurley does sometimes confuse brutal for interesting.


19. Jacqueline Carey, Miranda and Caliban. Tor, 2017.

Read for review. A retelling of The Tempest. Honestly, I don't see the point of a novel that spends so much time dwelling on an abusive parent-child relationship that doesn't ever allow the victim of the abuse to get away. NOT my cup of tea.


20. Lara Elena Donnelly, Amberlough. Tor, 2017.

Read for column. Fascism and amoral gay boys in love. Promising debut.


21. Ada Palmer, Seven Surrenders. Tor, 2017.

Read for review. It doesn't quite succeed in living up to the promise of the first volume, which is a shame, but together Too Like The Lightning and Seven Surrenders make a very promising debut.


22. Caitlín R. Kiernan, Agents of Dreamland. Tor.com Publishing, 2017.

Read for review. Creepy Lovecraftian horror novella. Not exactly my jam. Also parasitic mind-controlling fungus.


23. Justine Saracen, The Sniper's Kiss. Bold Strokes Books, 2017.

A romance novel involving women who love women set during WWII. A Russian-speaking American clerk in the Lend-Lease programme and a Russian soldier, later a sniper, encounter each other first during international meetings about the Lend-Lease programme. Later, the American clerk gets into trouble investigating corruption on the Russian end of the Lend-Lease problem and ends up at the front, where she disguises herself as a dead Russian sniper and partners with the live Russian sniper. Saracen has done her research: the WWII setting feels believable. The characters are reasonably well-rounded, the relationships make sense in context, and the writing is better than tolerable. As F/F romances go, it's definitely in the top 10%, particularly for historical ones.

(I always feel sad judging F/F on these particular merits. But in any given month where I look at six or eight F/F books from Netgalley and at best only half of them are even readable, they are certainly the merits.)


24. Yolanda Wallace, Divided Nation, United Hearts. Bold Strokes Books, 2017.

A romance novel involving women who love women set during the American Civil War. One disguises herself as a man in order to fight for the Union, the other is trying to keep a farm running while her father and brother are fighting for the Confederacy. I finished it: it's not a particularly good novel, but it is an entertaining tropetastic mess.


nonfiction

25. Hubert Wolf, The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent Scandal. Vintage, 2015. Translated from the German by Ruth Martin.

I first heard of this book via Lady Business, where it was spoken of in very complimentary terms. I can confirm that it is extremely solid history writing, clear and thorough and immensely readable: the kind of history where you keep reading in order to find out just what happened next.

Wolf deals with a particular convent scandal, one that took place in the convent of Sant'Ambrogio in Rome and was investigated as a result of a complaint made by the German Catholic Princess Katarina von Hohenzollern to the Holy Office for the Doctrine of the Faith (the office of the Inquisition). Katarina had entered the convent as a postulant and then a novice (after two marriages and a previous unsuccessful attempt to become a nun in a different convent) and came to believe that she was being poisoned by the sisters of Sant'Ambrogio, as a result of her opposition to certain practices she believed were entirely improper.

Wolf draws on several archival sources, including the Inquisition's own files and the testimony of the witnesses and defendants in the case, to illuminate the life of the Hohenzollern princess, the convent, the other nuns, Church politics, and the case itself. False saints, poisonings, political manoeuvring in the Jesuit order, the curia, and the papacy, Solicitatio by priests in confession, sexual assault of novices, female sodomy: this is history mixed with true crime, and Wolf lays it all out in fascinating detail.

Including a good deal of detail on how the Inquisition actually investigated the charges laid before it, which is fascinating in its own right.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 110kg. (Yesterday the doctor's scale had me at 112kg.)

Benchpress: 1x5 at 60kg, 1x5 at 65kg, 4x5 at 70kg, 1x5 at 65kg, 1x5 at 60kg.
Squats: 5x5 at 95kg
Deadlift: 5x5 at 60kg
Bicep curl with bar: 5x5 at 25kg
Military press: 3x8 at 7kg/arm
Lat raise: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Leg lifts: 3x10.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2017: 5-17


5. Jennifer Fulton, Passion Bay. Bold Strokes Books, 2008. Ebook.

Acquired free via Kobo. F/F romance, miscommunications, tropical islands, family secrets. Mediocre.


6. Jennifer Fulton, Dark Dreamer. Bold Strokes Books, 2006. Ebook.

Haunted house. F/F romance. Sexy twins next door, one of whom consults for the FBI because dead people talk to her. Mediocre.


7. Jennifer Fulton, Dark Valentine. Bold Strokes Books, 2007. Ebook.

FF romance. Rape victim has a one-night stand with a criminal defence lawyer. Further contact results in falling in love. But oops! Criminal defence lawyer turns out to be defending her rapist. Pretty decent, I guess.


8. Jennifer Fulton, Dark Garden. Bold Strokes Books, 2009. Ebook.

FF romance. Two descendants of feuding families, secrets, lies, manipulations. Mediocre.


9. Jennifer Fulton, More Than Paradise. Bold Strokes Books, 2007. Ebook.

FF romance. Scientist meets mercenary in Papua New Guinea. Mediocre.


10. Jennifer Fulton, Naked Heart. Bold Strokes Books, 2008. Ebook.

FF romance. Scientist meets spy. Personal betrayals insufficiently addressed. Mediocre.


11. Jennifer Fulton writing as Grace Lennox, Not Single Enough. Bold Strokes Books, 2007. Ebook.

FF romance. Woman who really wants love meets single cop. Mediocre.


12. Jennifer Fulton writing as Grace Lennox, Chance. Bold Strokes Books, 2006. Ebook.

FF romance, ish. Kind of all over the place.


13. L.J. Cohen, Derelict. Interrobang Books, 2014. Ebook, copy courtesy of the author.

Read for column. Space opera, feels YA in tone.


14. Kate Elliott, The Poisoned Blade. Little Brown, 2016.

Read for column. Second book in trilogy, REALLY GOOD, I saved it for when I needed to read it most. Excellent stuff.


15. Sarah Fine, The Imposter Queen. McElderry Books, 2016.

Read for column. Solid fantasy novel, YA.


16. Jean Johnson, First Salik War: The Terrans. Ace, 2015.

Read for column. Ridiculous space opera. Fun.


Nonfiction


17. Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander. Penguin Books, 1971. Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt.

A fairly elderly (over fifty years old) translation of Arrian's account of the campaigns of Alexander. Straightforward, with interesting anecdotes.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 110kg

Benchpress: 1x5 at 60kg, 1x5 at 65kg, 3x5 at 70kg, 1x4 at 70kg, 1x5 at 65kg, 1x5 at 60kg.
Leg lifts: 3x10
Back squat: 5x5 at 95kg
Lat raise: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Overhead press: 4x5 at 20kg
Bicep curl with bar: 2x5 at 25kg, 3x5 at 20kg
Deadlift: 5x5 at 50kg.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2017: 1-4


1. Carrie Vaughn, Martians Abroad. Tor, 2017. Copy via Tor.com.

Read for review for Tor.com. Meh?


2. April Daniels, Dreadnought. Diversion Books, 2017. Copy via Tor.com.

Read for review for Tor.com. This is great! I like it LOTS.


3. Erica Cameron, Assassins: Nemesis. Triton/Riptide, 2017. Copy via Netgalley.

Okay. This is the sequel to Assassins: Discord which had QUEER FEMALE TEENAGE ASSASSINS in it, running thriller plot across the US. It wasn't the tightest or most sensible of plots, but it knew what kind of queer pulp it wanted to be, all right?

Nemesis moves to a couple of secondary/briefly-mentioned characters from Discord: Blake, the intersex teenage child of a murdered FBI agent, and Daelan, a nice geek-boy teenage vigilante bodyguard from a family of bodyguard-assassins. Boundaries! Murder! Saving each others' lives and maybe the world! Happy queer folks! Deliciously entertaining plot-relevant angst!

If you ever wanted queer vigilante teenage Jason Bourne, this is the book (this is the series) for you.


4. Ellen Kushner et al, Tremontaine Season One. Serial Box 2016/Saga Press 2017. Digital access via Serial Box.

Read for review for Locus. I like it. It feels like the best sort of fanfic.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 110kg

Benchpress 1x5 @60kg, 3x5 @70kg, 1x5 @72.5kg, 1x5 @65kg
Back squat: 1x5 @90kg, 3x5 @95kg, 1x5 @90kg
Leg lifts: 3x10
Overhead press: 4x5 @20kg
Lat raise: 3x10 @8kg/arm
Bicep curl with bar: 5x5 @20kg
Deadlift: 5x5 @50kg
Stretching.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 110kg

Benchpress: 1x5 @60kg, 1x5 @65kg, 3x5 @67.5kg, 1x5 @60kg
Back squats: 5x5 @90kg
Front squats: 3x5 @25kg
Overhead press: 4x5 @20kg
Bicep curl w/bar: 1x5 @20kg, 4x5 @25kg
Lat raise: 3x10 @8kg/arm
Deadlift: 3x8 @40kg
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2016: 184-190


184. Max Gladstone et al, Bookburners Season 1. Serial Box, 2016.

Read for review for Locus.


185. Laura Anne Gilman, The Cold Eye. Saga, 2017. Copy courtesy of the publisher.

Read for review for Tor.com. I have meh feelings. It is a very slow book.


186. Ellen Klages, Passing Strange. Tor.com Publishing, 2017. Copy courtesy of the publisher.

Wow. This is really good.


187. Ann Aptaker, Genuine Gold. Bold Strokes Books, 2017. E-ARC via Netgalley.

A novel of lesbians and crime in 1950s New York. Entertaining, if peculiar.


188. Gun Brooke, Exodus: Escape. Bold Strokes Books, 2017. E-ARC via Netgalley.

Terrible FF science fiction romance. Readable, I guess.


189. Ali Vali, The Devil's Due. Bold Strokes Books, 2017. E-ARC via Netgalley.

A novel of crime families and lesbians, set in post-Katrina New Orleans. Entertaining, if also peculiar.


190. Cari Hunter, A Quiet Death. Bold Strokes Books, 2017. E-ARC via Netgalley.

The more of Hunter's novels I read, the more I like her work. This one is a fairly gruesome crime novel with murder and sex trafficking, but it's solid crime novel.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Benchpress: 3x5 @60kg, 4x5 @65kg
Leg raises: 4x10
Lat raise: 3x10 @8kg/arm
Military press: 3x10 @5kg/arm
Bicep curl with bar: 5x5 @20kg
Deadlift: 5x5 @40kg
Back squats: 5x5 @90kg
Front squats: 3x5 @40kg
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
"Against Death"

Stare Death in the eye when he follows you home,
Spit in his face and call him by his name.
For all we will do for Death is die:
We are not his partisans, and
we are not his spies
(the password and the plans of our city,
comrades, shall not by me be betrayed).
This is a fight song.
This is the rhythm in my bones.

Here: I hear their footsteps on the porch
I hear their whispers by the door
these are the ghosts who've stared him down before.
Stand up one says, and hold the line,
All must die, but let it be another day
do not wait for death, do not take him by the hand:
make him wait for you a little longer
make him work for every grain of sand.

Carve back a fragment from the dark,
a brick in the wall of love and memory
and let us stand, let us stand
if not forever, then as long as we may.




Some inspiration from Edna St. Vincent Millay.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
1. Events outside the house:

a) Gym, Wednesday

b) Meeting friends, Wednesday

c) cycling at least once


d) Gym, Friday - fail because weasels.


2. Review work with deadlines:

a) DUSK OR DARK OR DAWN OR DAY, Seanan McGuire, for Tor.com, January 10. - 700 words approx

b) THE COLD EYE, Laura Anne Gilman, for Tor.com, January 10. - 700 words approx.

c) WINDWITCH, Susan Dennard, for Tor.com, January 10.

The following are optional this to-do list:

d) PASSING STRANGE, Ellen Klages, Patreon, January 15. - 700 words approx

e) MARTIANS ABROAD, Carrie Vaughn, for Tor.com, January 17.

f) TREMONTAINE S1, for Locus, January 20.

g) BOOKBURNERS S1, for Locus, January 20.

h) DREADNOUGHT, April Daniels, for Tor.com, January 24.

i) 2xSWM column, Tor.com.

j) rewrite on OF FIRE AND STARS piece.


3. Politics:

a) Read county council service delivery plan

b) write letter re: homelessness

c) write TDs about moral imperative to support refugees

d) write TDs about green energy vs. carbon bubble

e) figure out how to join the Irish Council for Civil Liberties


4. Emails:

a) Email CT

b) Email EH

c) Sort out business of SBW email.

d) Message JC re: meeting in Jan.

e) check in with FM re: thing.



5. Internet business:

a) update booklog if applicable

b) write blog post - politics? ROGUE ONE?



6. Miscellaneous/household:

a) laundry!

b) healthy fooding?

c) paperwork re: unemployed now
- acquired

d) tax paperwork

e) laundry again.


7. Personal academic renaissance

a) Latin, chapters 1-3 of Wheelock.

b) Greek, some pieces of the Shield of Heracles.





List of things to review

For Locus:

March 20:
Winter Tide, Ruthanna Emrys

January 20:
Tremontaine S1
Bookburners S1

For Tor.com
January 10:
Dennard, Susan, Windwitch
Gilman, Laura Anne, The Cold Eye
McGuire, Seanan, Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day

January 17:
Vaughn, Carrie, Martians Abroad

January 24:
Daniels, April, Dreadnought

February 1:
Palmer, Ada, Seven Surrenders

February 14:
Carey, Jacqueline, Miranda and Caliban

February 28:
Lewis, Erika, Game of Shadows

March 14:
Murad & Shurin, eds, The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories




Politics links:

CoCo Meetings; CoCo Data; CoCo Councillors; CoCo Committees




Further dates:

Social Group Open Mic Night: 1900 Wednesday 11 January

Dáil returns 1400 Tuesday 17 January

ARC Open Meeting: 1900 Wednesday 18 January

LGBTQ+ Book Club: 1830 Thursday 26 January (HUNTRESS)
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2016: 171-183


171. Kris Ripper, The Butch and the Beautiful. Riptide, 2016.

Forgettable lesbian romance.


172. Charles Stross, Empire Games. Tor, 2017. Copy provided by publisher.

Read for review for Locus. Tight thriller.


173-174. Ana Mardoll, Poison Kiss and Survival Rout. Indie, 2015-2016. Electronic copy of Survival Rout provided by author.

Pretty solid queer poly urban fantasy/trapped in fairyland portal fantasy novels. Read for column. Recommended, mostly.


175. Isabel Yap, Hurricane Heels. Book Smugglers Publishing, 2016. Electronic copy provided by publisher.

Really awesome mosaic novel/set of linked novellas. REALLY AWESOME. Read for column. I want a paper copy.


176. Lauren Gallagher, Stuck Landing. Riptide, 2016.

Lesbian romance. AWFUL. Plot arc is basically "viewpoint character is a biphobic ass, learns to overcome biphobia in order to give love a chance," and feels like it is written for the male gaze. I dunno, like. As a person who is attracted to women but who is not a lesbian, I kept reading because it was a trainwreck but seriously FUCK OFF.


177. Lindsay Smith and Max Gladstone, et al, The Witch Who Came In From The Cold. Serial Box, 2016. Courtesy of the publisher.

AMAZING. GO READ IT. GO READ IT NOW. Hopefully will cover it in a column in the new year.


178. Seanan McGuire, Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day. Tor.com Publishing, 2017.





Also read in draft [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], and [redacted] novels this year, which brings the yearly total up to 183. (Maybe I will even cheat and count them again next year, when I can maybe admit to their titles.)
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in 110kg

Benchpress: 3x5 @60kg, 4x5 @65kg
Leg lifts: 3x10
Overhead press: 4x6 @20kg
Bicep curl (bar): 5x5 @20kg
Deadlift: 5x5 @40kg
Lat raise: 3x10 @8kg/arm
Front squat: 3x5 @40kg
hawkwing_lb: (No dumping dead bodies)
1. Events outside the house:

a) gym, Wednesday

b) gym, Thursday - skipped because blood

c) holiday mandatory social events, Sunday

d) meet JC, Friday.



2. Review work with deadlines:

a) TREMONTAINE S1. for Locus (January 20)

b) apologise to Tor.com for THE MOUNTAIN OF KEPT MEMORY

c) WINTER TIDE for Locus (January 20)

d) SEVEN SURRENDERS for Tor.com (February)

e) column for Tor.com (January 2) - 650 words

f) Write and pitch piece on GIRL MANS UP to Autostraddle (asap) - pitched pitch not full submission.

g) Check list of titles expected to review.


3. Politics:

a) investigate powers of county council - CoCo Meetings; CoCo Data; CoCo Councillors; CoCo Committees.

b) get date when Dáil returns 1400 Tuesday January 17 2017.

c) write TDs about moral imperative to support refugees

d) write TDs about green energy vs. carbon bubble

e) figure out how to join the Irish Council for Civil Liberties

f) figure out which TDs hold constituency clinics and where. Lab TD does. FG TD does. Would have to write and inquire of the others. (Note: January task.)


4. Emails:

a) Contact JB.

b) FW


c) FM re: thing


5. Internet business:

a) update booklog if applicable

b) write blog post (politics)

c) sort out Patreon - for now

d) research consulting editor/proofreading rates - details in word file


6. Miscellaneous/household:

a) finish giftmas gifts - wrap

b) laundry

c) bed linen!

d) foodstuffs

e) ROGUE ONE again with AOR

f) laundry again if applicable
- NA


7. Personal academic renaissance

a) paper abstract for Byzantine SF conference

b) book proposal maybe

c) Latin for personal satisfaction




List of things to review

For Locus:

March 20:
Winter Tide, Ruthanna Emrys

January 20:
Tremontaine S1
Bookburners S1

For Tor.com
January 10:
Dennard, Susan, Windwitch
Gilman, Laura Anne, The Cold Eye
McGuire, Seanan, Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day

January 17:
Vaughn, Carrie, Martians Abroad

January 24:
Daniels, April, Dreadnought

February 1:
Palmer, Ada, Seven Surrenders

February 14:
Carey, Jacqueline, Miranda and Caliban

February 28:
Lewis, Erika, Game of Shadows

March 14:
Murad & Shurin, eds, The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2016: 169-170


169. Alex Bledsoe, Gather Her Round. Tor, 2017. ARC via publisher.

Read for review for Locus. Pretty damn good.


170. Greg Rucka (et alia, Dragon Age: Magekiller. Dark Horse, 2016.

A delightful graphic novel set during the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition. It is surprisingly sweet for a piece of work with so much blood and death and demons in. (Also I liked the half-unseen romance bit. LOVELY.)
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 110kg

Benchpress: 1x5 @60kg, 4x5 @65kg
Leg lifts: 4x10
Front squats: 5x5 @20kg
Bicep curl: 5x5 @20kg (bar)
Deadlift: 3x8 @20kg

Bike machine: 5km in 12:50, resistance 6.

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