I’ve been in a posting lull here, for several reasons.  The holidays knocked me off pace, and then work knocked me further off.  I ramped up my involvement with Reading Local Portland, which has been lots of fun, but which has taken most of my available blog-keeping-up-time.  And, like a lost soul in a columbarium, I’m still casting about to find my niche.  Does the world need another blog about reading, writing, and genre literature?  Maybe, maybe not.

And then, of course.  Haiti.  What is there to say, after that?

Well, all I can say about Haiti right now is that we’ve given the most we can give this month, via Mercy Corps.  I humbly suggest that the whole world do the same.  And let’s please hope and pray that this crisis brings about some rational foreign policy, so that Haiti and the Dominican Republic (and many, many other countries) can pull themselves out of their patterns of misery, and start to share in some of the world’s wealth and happiness.

A few links and thoughts, as regards that happiness…

  • Orbit Books has just released Robert Jackson Bennett’s Mr. Shivers, which looks amazing.  Reviewers are comparing it to Stephen King by way of Steinbeck, and to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.  The book’s website is more ambitious and robust than most author websites.  It’s designed like a point-and-click game which is a good thing, in my opinion.  I have a copy on hold, and I’m looking forward to it a lot.
  • Speculative Horizons recently linked to an interesting article suggesting a new genre: The New Weird.  This may be old news to many people, but I find it a handy new term for the kind of book I’m interested in, which is essentially literary fiction with a speculative element.  (See under:  China Mieville, Jeff VanderMeer, et al.  I’d expand to include folks from the mainstream literary side like Audrey Niffenegger, Dan Chaon, Michael Chabon, etc.)
  • Patrick Rothfuss rocks.  (If you haven’t followed this, Rothfuss has raised about $130,000 for Heifer International through a lottery and auction of books and other items.  He’s pledged to match dollars 2 for 1, so his total donation will be closer to $200,000.  Basically, Rothfuss and his co-pledger Subterranean Press are donating almost as much to international aid as Madonna, who just gave $250,000 for Haitian relief.  Not to knock Madge, but don’t you think she can afford to give a little more?)
  • In more sobering news, Kage Baker is extremely ill.  If you’ve ever read and enjoyed her work, now would be a lovely time to send her an email of support.
  • I’ve just finished reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and am partway through Finch.  Both on Kindle.  What’s it like, reading on a Kindle?  It’s sure not like reading from a paper book.  I hope to post more thoughts on this soon.  (One thing I can definitely say is this:  authors, be sure your publishers offer your book on Kindle.  One-click purchasing is a killer app.)
  • Sherlock Holmes (the movie) was delightful.  Daybreakers, less so.

There is, of course, lots more to say–a whole Internet’s full.  But that’s all for now.  Back to the lull, at least for a little while.


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