I'm back! For now. With books!
What are you reading?
Reflections, by Roz Kaveney. I loved the first book in this series -- I'm a big fan of urban fantasy, but I'm sick of reading the same plot over and over again. Kaveney's first book, Rituals, was bizarre and wonderful and so very good at surprising me that I was willing to forgive its flaws. I was very excited to hear that the sequel was out.
What did you just finish reading?
The Melancholy of Mechagirl, by Catherynne M. Valente. This is a collection of her Japan-themed short stories, most of which I had read before. I still loved this book. "Fade to White" breaks my heart and makes me cry. This collection also includes "Silently and Very Fast," which I originally bought as a limited-edition hardcover and then listened to on Clarkesworld. This time, reading it again, I think I actually got it. I want to propose a Valente Test -- the human equivalent of the Turing test. The Valente test is: Upon encountering a mind that is demonstrably _other_, does a human being or human society immediately try to destroy it? If they do, then they fail the Valente test.
I also just finished Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. This book! It's a fun, fast-paced, thought-provoking space opera -- you really can't go wrong. Ancillary Justice asks some really interesting questions about identity, property, morality, civilization, and even gender -- the sort of thing that science fiction is uniquely suited for. There will be a sequel, and the end of the book makes it clear that there will be a sequel... but Ancillary Justice does have an ending. And I love it.
Kameron Hurley has a great post on why you should go read Ancillary Justice. Because you totally should.
What are you going to read next?
I have a few new volumes of manga -- Spice & Wolf and Knights of Sidonia -- so I might tackle them. I have been reading a lot of anthologies lately, and I feel like I ought to take a break -- on the other hand, I've been enjoying the anthologies, so maybe I don't need a break. I have Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor and Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee sitting on my to-read pile... maybe I'll pick up one of those.
I also got some new Audible credits! Yes. I picked Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks and Sleights of Mind by Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde for my next two audiobooks. I can't wait to get started on them.