January Chi Series, Featuring Sherry Peters, E. C. Bell, and Lindsay Kitson

In all the excitement over Athena’s Daughters 2 (which is going strong, and creeping closer to the hardcover stretch goal, so if you want a hardcover, head over and back it) I haven’t gotten to posting about the January Chiseries event.

It’s a group that organizes readings by local authors. They’ve invited me to read at the January event on the 7th at Mcnally Robinson book store at Grant Park. I sent out invites like nuts on facebook, but it’s a free event, open to the public, so if you’re in Winnipeg on January 7th, come by at 7pm to hear me and my fellow writers Sherry Peters and E. C. Bell do readings. I’m really excited about it, so I hope to see lots of people there!

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On the resolution to read more female authors: recommendations welcome

I have  a huge to-be-read list. I don’t have the actual books; I mostly buy the book once I’m ready to read it, and I’ll do that even more now that I have the new Sony e-reader I got for christmas. The fact that I can buy a book anywhere I have wifi, means that it’s easy enough to buy a book that I don’t feel the need to stock up on books to be ready when I finish one.

Anyway, I want to make sure I get myself caught up on what’s going on with awesome female authors these days. It seems, when I go to grab a book, it always seems to be the male authors that I pick up. I’m not sure if that’s because the male author is more hyped, or the covers tend to be more action oriented, and covers of books by female authors seem like they’re going to be about catty women, or what it is. Even though I know that there are lots of awesome female writers out there. I don’t really know why this happens.

Anyway, I want to change my own habits, because, as I said, there’s a bunch of authors I’ve been wanting to read, so I have a list so far:

  • Who Fear’s Death, by Nnedi Okorafor
  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
  • Something by Holly Lisle
  • Something by Elizabeth Bear
  • Shadow Magic, by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett
  • His Majesty’s Dragon, by Naomi Novik
  • The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin

Honestly, that would likely get me most of the way through the year – I don’t read fast these days, I’m too busy writing. But if anyone has suggestions on others that should be on this list*, please make them. I’d like to catch some of the new rising stars in fantasy and science fiction.

(I picked up Who Fears Death, though, on christmas day, and sadly it did not last into 2012, as I devoured it obsessively and finished it on new years eve while at a party, because omg, I can’t think about anything but this story and there’s only 20 pages left….)

*Keeping in mind I hate superheroes, and don’t read sword and sorcery or urban fantasy. Epic fantasy is a possibility, but tends to go to the bottom of the pile in favour of shorter, more succinct books.

Lamenting the Death of Print or Why I Don’t Have an E-book Reader

There’s been a lot of talk about the death of print and the rise of electronic books. Many say that authors need to get with the times and go electronic, and then others say they like the feel of a book in their hands, and will never buy an e-book reader, and the people like them will keep print alive, if only on a smaller scale.

I keep saying I’d love to have an e-book reader, because it would make buying books easier, and if I got the sony one, I could do copyedits on my fiction on it. Someday when the credit card is paid off, I’ll get one.

Then I read this post, from Seanan Mcguire: http://seanan-mcguire.livejournal.com/390067.html

And there it is. That’s why I don’t have an e-book reader. I can’t bloody well afford one.

The library was my place, right from an early age. My dad took me regularly – it must have been every two weeks, because that’s how long you were allowed to keep a book back then. I went through books like nobody’s business, right from the time I learned to read, which was pretty young – my dad read to my brother and I regularly, and he would point at each word as he read it, so that I started to pick up patterns pretty fast. I would read anything I could get my hands on. When I’d read all the children’s books in the house, he must have started taking me to the library when he saw me reading the backs of cereal boxes for the lack of anything to read on the table.

When I graduated from picture books to chapter books, it was to Thornton Burgess, and his books about forest animals. When I got to longer books, it was because I was in love with horses (what teenage girl isn’t? (well, except for my mother…)) and got into the Black Stallion series, and Marguerite Henry and her Chincoteague ponies. I read every book in the library that had a horse or a unicorn on the front.

When I got into science fiction, that was how it happened to. It was “A Swiftly Tilting Planet” by Madeleine L’engle, and I went back to read the first books in the trilogy first, because I’m neurotic that way. But it had a unicorn on the front, with bonus wings, and I had to read it.

So then I started cleaning out the library of their science fiction and fantasy, eventually moving over to the adult section. This would have been thousands of dollars worth of books, easily. I would go through one a week at least. Lets see, one book a week, for a year, at, say 10$ a book, we’ll be conservative, even though a lot of those we probably 30$ hardcovers, would be around 500$ a year. And I’m not even counting the non-fiction I took out. Which tends to be more expensive. I educated myself on all kinds of things, just browsing the racks to find interesting things.

It’s like a bookstore! Only free!

We do need libraries, and our libraries need funding. As the gap between the poor and the wealthy widens, opportunities disappear. Libraries have always been a haven for enlightenment, and when public schools are losing funding, and teachers are overwhelmed with class sizes, students with the desire should always have the option to initiate their own learning opportunities.

(as the concepts of intellectual property and information ownership and the rights of the poor to access them creep into the setting of my next novel….)