What I’m Reading

Shards of Honor (1986), Barrayar (1991), Lois McMaster Bujold

…collected as Cordelia’s Honor (1996). Why yes, I hadn’t read any of the Vorkosigan books till now, and now I’m kicking myself. Shards of Honor centres around my weakness, Sensible Middle-Aged People Romance; Barrayar is political intrigue that builds to some truly badass action. Disability is very much present and important, which I’m not used to seeing in fiction.

The Gaslight Dogs, Karin Lowachee (2010)

A young Aniw spiritwalker is taken captive by the colonist-descended Ciracusans, who hope to use her powers in their nascent war against the overseas nation of Sairland (Britain to their America). From part of a review that I may or may not finish or publish, this book is “a rarity: a novel featuring a frontier setting and an indigenous protagonist, thoughtfully exploring a side of colonialism that is generally invisibilized.” I’d classify it as Weird North. My only gripe is that it feels more like half of a longer work truncated for publication rather than a complete novel with a cliffhanger ending.

What I’m Reading

The Apocalypse Door, James D. Macdonald (2002)

Just plain fun. A hardboiled spoof featuring Knights Templar secret agents and the Special Action Executive of the Poor Clares (who “tend toward the simple life: knives, garrotes, and gunfire”). Gore, explosions, car chases, exorcisms, time travel, and a lot of Last Rites.

Nova Swing, M. John Harrison (2006)

Not half as good as the transcendent Light, but still worth it for Harrison’s extravagant prose. Atmospheric, hallucinogenic noir; various characters (some from Light) meander, cross paths, solve crimes, and drink a lot in the city of Saudade, which borders on the mysterious “event site”. Also, there are cats.