Recent items of interest include this announcement from dreamnnightmare, a/k/a David C. Kopaska-Merkel about a Daily Cabal short story series celebrating their anniversary. Each member of the group will write from a first line provided by me. Heh. Suckers.
Meanwhile, the "what's your LJ handle mean" comment thread has grown huge. Some interesting stuff there, might be worth going back and reading over. (Or adding to, if you have not yet done so.)
The MacBook is down for repair because a year of typing has literally disintegrated the left edge of the case (I tend to rest the left side of my left hand hard just below and to the left of the keyboard). No IM today, if you're used to communicating with me that way. Instead I'll mostly be working on taxes and doing stuff with the_child today.
Reading matter of late:
Field of Fire by James O. Born [ Powell's | Amazon ] — First of a new series from established mystery writer James O. Born. Born is a long time DEA agent now working as a state agent for Florida, and his experience is all over this book. ATF agent Alex Duarte chases a series of labor-related bombings through a shuffling series of bad guys while also battling labyrinthine bureaucracy and interagency wrangles. Great stuff if you like guys-with-guns fiction. (I think I'm going to start reading a lot more mystery and crime in the near future, to lay the groundwork for eventually branching out as a writer — suggestions welcome.) First in a series.
Goblin War [ Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy ] by jimhines — The most recent (and almost certainly not final) installment in the misadventures of Jig the Goblin. I was very taken with the first book in the series, Goblin Quest [ Powell's | Amazon ]. Hines did something I've seen only rarely (Mary Gentle's Grunts! [ Powell's | Amazon ] comes to mind), which is take hero/monster fiction from the monster's perspective. That was in a sense the sustaining gag of the first book. The problem Hines has now is that he's created a likeable (albeit still monstrous) character in Jig, and given Jig a life. Good, funny adventuring ensues in following volumes. Third in a series.
Canticle by kenscholes [ Tor Books, forthcoming ] — The (almost completed) manuscript of Ken's second Named Lands book, due out from Tor after next spring's Lamentation. He's got epic, character-driven fantasy mashed up with high concept litfic. These books are going to have massive fan appeal, while still delighting our writing hearts. A trick I'd sure like to learn someday. I'll give more detailed reviews of both books when the time comes.
The Emperor of Scent [ Powell's | Amazon ] by Chandler Burr — I can't recall who recommended this to me, possibly kenscholes. This is a fascinating work of narrative non-fiction about a new theory of smell, and more to the point, about the eccentric, erratic man who came up with the theory — Luca Turin and Vibrationism. Some really nifty nuts-and-bolts biophysics in here, as well as a close view into the politics of research and scientific publishing.
Next up on the reading list: Blue Highways: A Journey Into America [ Powell's | Amazon ] by William Least Heat-Moon.