• Reading

    The Award Winners Reading Quest

    by It’s been a while since I talked about it, but I’m on a long-term quest to read all of the novel award winners of the major English-language speculative fiction awards. I started with the Hugos, the Nebulas, the Word Fantasy Awards, and the Auroras (Canadian, for those less familiar), and I began with that first Hugo winner back in 1953, The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester. Since I started the quest in 2016, these have made up about half of my fiction reading and I’m into the mid-1990s now. This year, I’ve added in the British SF Association Awards. When those start to get caught up to where I’m…

  • Reading

    Fantasy vs Science Fiction

    by I’m worried I’m losing my taste for Fantasy. There was a time when my fiction reading was a fairly even split between SF and Fantasy. ‘Fairly even’ as in SF probably edged out Fantasy, but it was likely on the order of 55-45. If I look at my reading notes from the last four or five years, the ratio is more like 80-20, and this year has pushed that further so that of the 51 fiction books I’ve read so far this year, only 7 of them qualify as fitting into the Fantasy genre. While I’m not sure it’s fair to talk about the World Fantasy Award winners in…

  • Reading,  Studying

    English Is Weird

    by Okay, so that’s not really news to anyone, but if you study it in detail, you start to discover just how weird. To borrow a quote: “English is not a language, it’s three languages wearing a trench coat pretending to be one.” – Gugulethu Mhlungu According to articles and studies I’ve been reading lately, English pulls about 82% of its vocabulary and most of its structures from Latin, French, and earlier Germanic Languages (Old English, Old Norse, etc). The rest comes from Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and a whole lot of things that are based on language of origin for trade goods (coffee comes from Arabic via Dutch,…

  • Martial Arts,  Reading

    Reading Formats and Martial Arts Books

    by When it comes to fiction, I’ll generally consume it in whatever medium is convenient: traditional paper, ebook, audio, hypertext. It’s all good, it’s all valid, it’s all fun. But when it comes to non-fiction, and especially to my martial arts reading, I have a vast preference for paper, which isn’t to say I don’t do a lot of reading online, but when it comes to heavier or longer stuff, I’d really rather hold it in my hand or put it on the table or desk in front of me. Because I highlight stuff, make notes, mark stuff for additional research, and circle or underline things for emphasis so things…

  • Reading,  Writing

    Genre Preferences

    by I don’t intend to argue (or even give) definitions in this post, but as I look at the world of fiction, there are 11 genres. Yes, if you include sub-genres and genre-mixings you can get that number an awful lot higher, but I’m just looking at the broad buckets here. And I’m going to express preferences. Remembering that your preferences are not mine, you should disagree as much as you like. Those preferences and favourites, both for reading and writing, will become apparent in the short comments that follow. I will say in advance that I have a strong preference for speculative genres and frequently only read in most…

  • Reading

    I’m Not Reading As Much As I Have Been

    by Reading has been part of my daily routine forever. Over breakfast, before bed, standing in line at the grocery store. And while I’ve gone through periods in my life where I wasn’t reading as much due to commitments and responsibilities and children’s activities, it’s never gone away. But I haven’t been reading much lately. At least, not fiction. At the beginning of the shutdown, and even before, my fiction reading had spiked. Between my last day of work and the 18th of May, I read 12 books and I’ve got several more in progress, all at least half-read, that I mostly haven’t touched in the last two weeks. It’s…

  • Life,  Reading

    Out of Habit?

    by There are a number of things that I wonder if I just do out of habit. The thing that I’m thinking of this morning is reading X-Men comics. Online subscriptions are a thing, not that I couldn’t get other ways I want to, but I’m getting closer and closer to being caught up to the present. I think, right now, what I’m reading is near the middle of 2017, so I’m not even a year and a half in the past now. It’s taken me a number of years to get from the beginning to here, with easy, essentially unlimited access, and there have been a lot of great…

  • Reading

    2018 Reading Goals

    by In the last few years, I’ve stepped up my reading. There was a time in my life when I read as many as 150 books per year. Those days are gone, consigned to my life before children and real career, and probably won’t come back unless I ever manage to retire (which isn’t in the cards for a lot of members of my generation). But I do have a little more time, and there are options beyond paper these days, so I should be able consume more books than I did when the kids were smaller. In 2017 my official count is 88. My Goodreads count is a little…

  • Reading

    2017 Reading Summary

    by But if 2017 was a weak writing year, it was a strong one for reading. Paper, electronic, audio, I consumed a lot of written words this year. Without going into a lot of detail, because there will be plenty when the 2017 Reading Journey file is done, my category break outs are mostly pretty favourable. Historical Award Winners: 17, and 4 DNFs Last Year’s Award Winners: 6, and 1 DNF Spec Fic Breadth: 7 Other Fiction: 40, and 2 DNFs Martial Arts: 4 Non Fiction: 16 Which I make a total of 90 books. Add to that several hundred pieces of short fiction (including almost a million words of…

  • Reading,  Review

    No More Book Reviews

    by At least not here. Well, not one at a time. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the book reviews I’m posting here are more or less just taking up space. If you really want to know what I’m reading or have just read, you can hit me up on Goodreads, or even just wait until the beginning of the year. Why then, you ask? Well, I keep all of my book reviews in a single file for easy access, and have done that for the last couple of years. I’m going to turn these into a pdf (probably) for each year since I started keeping track and…