I finally started reading The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. The Sandman leans more towards horror but I enjoy the character back stories, dream mythos and the philosophical meanderings. My library has every volume except volume 5, so I might pause my graphic novel marathon to focus on review books this month. Speaking of graphic novels, I did review Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan in April.
I also read two novellas: The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu and Picnic on Paradise by Joanna Russ. I love how Joanna Russ writes witty dialogue but the plot meandered a bit so I felt disconnected from some characters in this novella. I liked the bits where Alyx vents in her own language because her frustration around their different ways of speaking rang true. Alyx’s confrontation with Iris towards the end also explored different cultural attitudes around beauty and aging from a time-traveler’s point of view.
I skipped buying sushi one afternoon and bought The Beatricied by Kate Elliott. I have nothing but respect for Beatrice, the orator, in this short epic poem/retelling of the Aeneid. I love how this playful retelling calls out the romanticisation of Roman empire. (The accompanying essay – An Ending I Like Better – explores this aspect too). I miss reading Cat & Bee’s adventures, so it was nice to briefly return to their world.
I read The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. Simon the librarian makes a lot of mistakes but he’s goes through a rough time in terms of his mental state and pursuing goals. Endings with just enough hope are gifts in this story. This one also made me miss my Tarot cards. I also read Shadow Study and Night Study by Maria V. Snyder because there was an author signing. I like that we get more of Valek’s perspective on the presence of family in these sequels.
In April, I’ve also supported some SFF crowdfunding campaigns:
- Rosarium Publishing: The Next Level -A wonderful publisher of diversity. I’ve reviewed The SEA is Ours and Stories for Chip from Rosarium in the past.
- Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk & Eco-Speculation.