Sunday, 31 January 2021

"Until you stalk and overrun, you can't devour anyone"*

 Thanks to Mago's unintentional prodding, I've come up with a list of books I've read over the last year or two. Well, most of them, anyway.  And I've just discovered that the last time I did a proper Books post was in September 2018!  Although I can't remember everything I've read since then (I'm sure it's not a lot), I did find one book in my Kindle that I must have read just after that last book post:

Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers

Anyway, on to 2019 (the month and year in brackets after the title and author is aproximately when I read each book):

Available Light (Star Trek: The Next Generation), by Dayton Ward (April 2019) - Oh, dear...  What a disappointment.  I'm over all the political fallout rubbish that features in half of this novel, and the "adventurous" other half was just dull.  Worf was great, though!

Prime Directive (Star Trek: The Original Series), by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens (April 2019) - This old novel (my fourth or fifth re-read) is still wonderful, though.

Exploring Calvin and Hobbes: An Exhibition Catalogue, by Bill Watterson (May 2019) - the last (but hopefully not least) Calvin and Hobbes book I bought.  But not the last one I read...

The Captain's Oath (Star Trek: The Original Series), by Christopher L Bennett (June 2019) - Christopher L Bennett is one of my favourite Trek authors, and this Original Series novel is one of my favourite of that era.
Witch Hat Atelier (vol.1), by Kamome Shirahama (June 2019) - A rather delightfully illustrated graphic novel that I'm going to have to read again as I've forgotten what happens.

The Way to the Stars (Star Trek: Discovery), by Una McCormack (August 2019) - A really lovely novel about some formative experiences in Tilly's early life.

To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers (August 2019) - Not a Wayfarer's novel, but just as good!

Six Months, Three Days, by Charlie Jane Anders (August 2019) - An engaging novelette.  From Wikipedia: Doug and Judy are both precognitive: Doug can see "the future", and Judy can see "many possible futures". They fall in love, even though they both know that their relationship will last exactly six months and three days and end very badly.
Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz - Started but not finished in September 2019 as it didn't really engage with me (or I with it?).
Only Create Daughters, by Nickolas Fish (with foreword by Pauline Lal)


The Higher Frontier (Star Trek: The Original Series), by Christopher L Bennett (March 2020) - I was at once excited and reticent to read this novel concerning human telepathy (amongst other things) in the Star Trek universe.  Excited because the subject (which I'm fascinated with) hadn't really been touched upon before, and reticent because I remember reading somewhere that Christopher was not a fan of human telepathy (or telepathy in general, I think) and I thought his excellent knowledge and grasp of science might dull the mystery of it somewhat.
 Unfortunately for me, the reasons for my reticence were correct.  Although well written, logical and scientifically plausible as always, the story and explanation for human telepathy were very disappointing.

Holding the Wrong Hand, by Simone Thelius (March 2020) 
A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking (April 2020) - It was slow going as I was concentrating hard in order to understand everything, and then I got just past the "Trousers of Time", or thereabouts, and it stuck its tongue out at me (😛) and left me for dust! I still finished it, though - mainly due to Hawking's engaging (and humorous) writing style.
Delilah Smythe's Gateaux from the Black Lagoon.  To be honest, I preferred the solicitation cover...  Oh, and to make the horror complete, free with it was her Complete Cookery Cock-ups DVD. 
Foundation, by Isaac Asimov (started but not finished, April 2020)
Stoneskin, by K B Spangler (September 2020) - This novel is about witches in the future.  Kind of...
Babel-17, by Samuel Delany (October 2020) - I could tell this was a product of its time (written in the mid-1960s) as it's so unavoidably "retro-future", and it's weird but I enjoyed it.
Calvin & Hobbes: Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons, by Bill Watterson (November 2020) - I really must re-read more C&H very soon.
* Title from page 66 - wise words from Hobbes.

Help the Witch, by Tom Cox - I'd been reading this book of short stories on and off for about a year, finally finishing it in December.  Very creative with some lovely humour.  I think it was one that Dinah had recommended?

Wyrd Sisters, by Terry Pratchett - I re-read this Discworld novel about the Ramtops witches - Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and "wet hen" Magrat Garlick - thanks to Emmet Asher-Perrin's Terry Pratchett Book Club over at
Maskerade, by Terry Pratchett - More of those Ramtops witches.  This time with new witch Agnes Nitt who replaces Magrat Garlick (as Magrat is now Queen).
Witches Abroad, by Terry Pratchett - I should have read this one before Maskerade (I got the order muddled up).
Practical Demonkeeping, by Christopher Moore - A novel I borrowed off Indescribable last year, and have only just got around to reading.
Heroes, by Stephen Fry - I started this gift from my sister, Indescribable, but probably won't finish it as I don't enjoy Stephen Fry's writing.  He retells some Greek myths and legends, but they're very spare and the attempts at humour just fall flat (for me, anyway).

 Right.  That's one of the drafts published.  Only 15 more to go...
P.S. Try and ignore the giant astronaut and narrowboat on my sideboard (although, do read the linked post).  Dinah thought it'd be "fun" to reblog something from a Wordpress blog again...


  1. I read - erm - the BBC and Guardian websites, The Daily Mash (of course) and Dangerous Minds mostly... Jx

    PS I went though a "Sci-Fi" phase in my teens, consuming Michael Moorcock [oo-er, missus] and John Wyndham along the way, but Isaac Asimov was just incomprehensible babble as I recall.

    1. "Foundation" seems terribly intensive - especially as the text is very small, the paper very thin, and the pages very many. I don't think I'm going to finish it anytime soon.

      I didn't get into reading sci-fi until my mid-late teens, if I recall correctly - and even then it was mainly just Star Trek novels. Before that there was quite a lot of Enid Blyton...

    2. I had a vast collection of Enid Blyton books, and Just William ones. From there I progressed to CS Lewis, Roger Lancelyn Green and eventually, via the Dr Who novelisations, to sci-fi. Jx

  2. Sorry I have lost the plot due to the giant astronaut and canal boat on the sideboard. Crikey, my ribs haven’t recovered from a Nevada and nirvana mix up on Friday.
    I am still reading the book I started in January 2020! I know, shocking! My concentration levels have reached an all time low.
    I also had the vast collection of Enid Blyton, and Just William books, and I also progressed to C.S Lewis, but then I moved on to Watership Down.

    1. I've never read any Just William, but I did move onto C S Lewis just like you did (The Magician's Nephew is my favourite and the most memorable - I don't really like Narnia, Aslan, or those annoying brats). I haven't read Watership Down, though - seeing the film when I was extremely young and more impressionable than I am now put me right off! I bought the DVD years ago, but I'm too scared to take it out of the cellophane wrapper!

  3. Dinah is not really sorry! (Well, it's not as bad as the last time.)
    Books? Currently, a grab-bag from the library. Mostly just things to put me to sleep! I never really got into Sci-Fi.just read "The Sheep Stell" non-fiction by a woman who fancied being a farmer.In remote places. Alone most of the time.(Had to go and look for her name -Janet White) Some old Poirot stories and latter-day American cops-and-robbers.
    I've come to the conclusion that most authors need better editors!
    Best reads, from my point of view William Least Heat Moon's non-fiction travels."Blue Highways" saw him covering most of continental US on older roads.Followed that one with his account of crossing East To West by boat."River Horse."Several others, but I forget them so they probably weren't very good!
    And, having taken Christopher Matthews' A.A.Milne parodies off my shelf, I'm going through those (and the original Christopher Robins) again. No Enid Blytons.But lashings of fizzy drinks :-)

    1. Janet Weiss?! "Brad!" "Janet!" "Doctor Scott!" "Rocky!" "Huh?"

      Sorry, it was the first thing that popped into my mind. Perhaps I need some of those fizzy drinks?

      Or, maybe I've had enough...?

  4. YIKES! What did I read last year? I've been moving books from a chair to a shelf (finally), so I'm not sure what I finished or what I started! Once the lockdown started here, I just couldn't seem to really concentrate! BUT, right now I'm reading Dark Water by Eric Larson about the last sailing of the Lusitania. xoxo

    1. You've been taking books off a chair?!? Ms Scarlet will give you such a telling off!

  5. So many Star Trek books, so little time.

    I've been reading Dorothy L. Sayers' mystery novels.

    1. You might be relieved to hear that I've gone off Star Trek novels over the past year or so. In fact, upon checking up there, I've just realised that I only read one last year!

  6. Is Star Trek your only love when it comes to space operas? Star Trek:TNG helped me through a deep state of depression many years ago and for that I will always be grateful. One could take comfort in knowing Jean Luc Picard would make it right by the end of the episode. My Sci-Fi love is a diversified portfolio now, Battlestar Galactica (reboot circa 2004), The Expanse, and Firefly + Serenity (movie). One of my favorite books as a fan and a writer that I keep as a reference is, "Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly" It's a wonderful reminder about the art of world-building and it's a very entertaining read!

    1. Oh, no, Melanie - but Star Trek is my oldest love (and the only one that I've bought/read books about). I also love all those that you mentioned - and Farscape!
      I've been pondering a re-watch of the BG reboot, but there's always something new on telly that I have to watch first. I'm also about due a rewatch of Serenity, and I need to catch up on the 2nd & 3rd (or is it 3rd & 4th?) seasons of The Expanse.

  7. For better or worse, at least re-watching Firefly doesn't take too long. I'm a lot Zoe Walsh. If I had to pick a fictional character that best represents me, she'd be it. Which fictional character would best represent you?

    Ah yes, Farscape! We started re-watching that last year. I love Claudia Black! She voices many of my favorite female video game characters, particularly Morrigan in the Dragon Age series. I didn't remember all the sexual innuendos in Farscape, so watching it with my almost 11yo son was a bit awkward at times, but we'll have to have those conversations eventually anyways.

    1. Well, yes, sadly that's true about a Firefly re-watch.

      Hmmm.. Which fictional character, eh? I think a combination of Simon Tam, Doctor Bashir from DS9, and Magrat Garlick from Pterry Pratchett's Discworld. (I don't have any medical background at all, despite those choices)

      I'd really like to get Farscape on DVD, but it's soooo expensive! One day...

    2. Interesting, with Jake's ass over here on the right I was expecting a more flamboyant character. :) It'll be fun getting to know you through your blog and comments.

    3. Oh, um, I meant Ruby Rhod and Lwaxana Troi, daughter of the Fifth House, holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. Who are you?!?

  8. You can't beat a Discworld Witches.
    Speaking of beating no mention of any porn?

    1. I'm going to give up on Stephen Fry's Heroes and read the next Ramtops Witches book, Lords and Ladies, instead.

      As for porn? Well, Holding the Wrong Hand gets a bit racy occasionally...


Tickle my fancy, why don't you?