I'm sorry that I have not been able to post at least once a week. Under external pressures, my reading went way down. I then traveled to Reno, Nevada to attend Renovation, this years' SF worldcon. To enable bringing lots of books to get signed, I drove--a total of 16.5 hours round-trip. Here's a list of the authors that I ended up getting signatures (to ME!) from:
M.J. Locke (Laura Mixon)
Lois McMaster Bujold
I'd taken some other books too, but scheduling and simply hauling books from the not-next-door hotel to the convention center got to be too much. I didn't buy anything in the dealer's room, but did support the 2013 San Antonio bid, which won. I also bought a supporting membership in the 2014 bid (to be voted upon next year) for London. I decided to go to Renovation relatively late so the next-door hotel was booked and I ended up in the Peppermill. It had rather overwrought ornamentation and tons of faux-Greco-Roman paintings on every wall.
Some friends drove in from the Bay area and took me to a buffet at the Silver Legacy downtown on Saturday. That was very nice and calming as I'd had a rather fraught day. I decided to bug out the following day (one day early). As it was, I missed a fire that closed part of my route on Monday.
I listened to audiobooks while driving. I don't otherwise and always listen to ones where I've already read the books. On the way up I listened to most of Laurie R. King's The God of the Hive
in preparation for the release of Pirate King
next month. On the way back, I listed to about half of Memory
by Lois McMaster Bujold. Upon return, I finished Memory and am now about two-thirds through Civil Campaign
. These are such fun and sometimes heart-stopping books. Memory
is one of my favorite LMB books.
I did manage to finish Moira J. Moore
's Heroes at Odds
, the sixth book in the Lee and Taro series. This series is set on a colony world. The people know they came from elsewhere and that the early settlers had much more technology than they have currently. A bit like McCaffrey's Pern, hidden dangers made the colony backslide. In this case, the world has a great number of disasters--earthquakes, tsunamis, great storms, and so on. Somehow, it was discovered that certain people could channel or mitigate the disasters (sources) and that other people could protect the minds and bodies of the sources while they're channeling (shields). Lee is a shield who is bonded to Taro, a source. In this book, they are still stationed at his ancestral home which is now being run by a cousin. Taro's mother is causing problems, a neighbor is causing the cousin problems, there are manmade disasters (fires), and then Lee's mother and brothers arrive. It turns out that Lee's parents had signed a contract with another family for Lee to marry their son when both came of age. Technically, the contract should be void because Lee then became a shield, but the other family has fallen on hard times and wants the connection to Lee's family.
Meanwhile Lee is still investigating 'casting'--spells that take weird ingredients, chants, etc. although she's trying to investigate their use rationally.
I'm not sure that I like the addition of casting to the series. I thought there was enough going on with shield/source issues and political crises of the earlier books. Hopefully, Moore does have a goal in mind. Definitely not a good book to start with and most of the books have built upon the earlier ones. Definitely start with Resenting the Hero
I also managed to read book 10 of Phil and Kaja Foglio's Girl Genius, Agatha H and the Guardian Muse
. Good, funny steampunk although I felt that there was not much forward movement in this book. The Foglios won the Hugo award for best graphic novel again this year and immediately announced that they would not accept a nomination next year. Good for them!