This week I’m reading volumes 1-3 of The Great Iron War, by Dean F. Wilson, a science fantasy steampunk series in which Earth (or someplace like it) is invaded by outsiders, called “demons” (even though I’m pretty sure that’s not what they are) who come in search of iron. Hence the name of the war.
It’s been a while since I reached into my giant stack of rejection (and a few acceptance) letters, so I figured it was time to totter off to random.org and ask them what letter I should choose. They told me “V”, but I already did the only V in my pile, so I asked them for a different letter and they told me “W”. As it turns out, nearly all my “W” rejections are from Weird Tales, or, as indicated in the scan below, “Worlds of Fantasy and Horror”, which is, uh, not quite as catchy a title as Weird Tales. (The astute reader will not be surprised to learn that this temporary title change involved the legal system.)
This week I’m reading Rebecca, the classic novel by Daphne du Maurier, in which a very young (and apparently nameless) narrator is swept off her feet by the dashing Maxim de Winter, quickly marries him, and goes off to live with him in his vast estate, Manderley, where it seems that―much like in the American South―the past is never really dead, and isn’t even past.
These days, I do nearly all my reading on an e-reader, currently an InkBook Obsidian, but I do on occasion return to the dead tree books of yore. Typically this will be because someone gave or loaned me said dead tree edition. Such was the case with Dune, which, being a door-stopper of a book, I eventually bought in e-form so I wouldn’t have to fight with it when reading at lunch; and such is the case with the Nero Wolfe books, which my father sent to me in a box a while back. I’ve read them all before, but now I’m reading them again, because who doesn’t like to spend some time visiting old friends? The one I’m currently into is Plot it Yourself, in which Wolfe goes up against a con artist with a fondness for pretending that popular novels are plagiarisms of his or her own work, and also for knives.
This week I’m (still) reading MaddAddam, the final installment in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian/post-apocalyptic series that began with Oryx & Crake. Dystopian fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction are not the same thing, of course, but all three books in the MaddAddam trilogy qualify as both because their present-day scenes take place after the destruction of (most of) humanity, while their flashback scenes take place in the dystopian burbclaves that preceded the apocalypse. Hence you get to eat your dystopia and have it too. Or something like that.
This week I’m reading MaddAddam, the third part of Margaret Atwood‘s post-dystopian/post-apocalyptic trilogy that began with Oryx & Crake and continued with The Year of the Flood — although because Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood ran more or less concurrently, perhaps “continued” isn’t quite the right word. Let’s say “was expanded” instead.