As it turns out I’ll be departing for Ethiopia on April 15th, if all goes according to plan. That leaves me with very little time to read and blog, but that hasn’t stopped me from planning a few things for the next month and a half. Or two months. Maybe three. We’ll see how things go…
I recently read The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin for The Women of Science Fiction Bookclub, and am hoping to post a review soon. The problem is that it’s such an elegant, complex novel with which I was thoroughly impressed and now I feel pressured to write a review that does it justice (although I’ll no doubt settle for something less than that). What makes it worse is that there are so many things I want to talk about and a hundred lovely little details that I keep discovering, so I’m thinking of breaking up the review into a general one and a few posts on specific themes. Oh how over-ambitious I sound… But enough complaining about the anguish of reviewing brilliant books – at least I had the pleasure of reading it.
The March read for The Women of Science Fiction is The Darkship Thieves (2010) by Sarah Hoyt, which I’ll start reading once my copy arrives. I’ll also be posting my thoughts on a James Tiptree short story (read for the same bookclub) – “And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side”, from the collection Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (2004). Tiptree is my favourite short story writer (sci fi or otherwise) and it’s high time I gave her some special attention.
In the meantime I’m reading Deadlands (2011)by Lily Herne, heralded by the publisher Penguin as “Cape Town’s first zombie novel”. So far it’s putting a fresh spin familiar tropes and, mercifully, it’s a very quick and easy read and thus can find a comfortable spot in my schedule. “Lily Herne” is the pseudonym for South African author Sarah Lotz and her daughter – or at least that’s what think I heard at a genre fiction panel featuring Lotz; someone please correct me if I’m wrong.
I’m on a bit of an SA fiction quest at the moment, so I’ll be reading and reviewing Exhibit A (2009), also by Sarah Lotz. I’ve just read a few pages so far, but it looks promising and I’m delighted at how funny it is.
Then, I’ve decided that it’s time to try out some lesser known South African speculative fiction. Most of the fiction I read is speculative or at least kind of unusual in some way, but to find sci fi, fantasy or horror from my own shores requires a little digging as publishers aren’t all that keen on it. Yet.
First up is the horror novel Shadows (2011) by Joan de la Haye. I’ll be making my anxious way into the insane asylum of Shadows once I’ve gotten a copy from Smashwords. Thanks very much to Dave-Brendon for pointing me in the right direction for this endeavour.
I was inspired to explore SA indie/self-published fiction by the London-based author A.M. Harte, whose collection of zombie love stories – Hungry for You (2011) - I recently reviewed. Next week I’ll be posting an interview with her, which will also feature a new giveaway – Harte is offering the brand new print edition of her collection, so please do join us.
And speaking of giveaways…
It’s about time I reviewed Lauren Beukes’s books Zoo City (2010) and Moxyland (2008). I haven’t done so because I read them both before I started blogging, but that’s not much of an excuse. I also happen to have an extra copy of each book thanks to the generous people over at Angry Robot, and I’ll give these away with my reviews. Beukes is an amazing author and every speculative fiction fan deserves a chance to check out her work. Plus free books rock.
My first ever giveaway of I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore is still running, so head on over there, subscribe and comment to enter.