Extraordinary Destiny

I think about the mirror
In the corner of my room;
How it cracks and bends and breaks
Each shining clone.

The warp that runs right through it
Tells a tale of last and wit,
Though I know the face is
No more than my own.

But despite its varied limits
And the crack upon its face,
I would trust its broken echo
With my life;

For if ever I should stumble
Cross a pool of only charm
I would wonder how it lasts
Through toil and strife.

The State of the Thing

Hello everyone! How are you enjoying June? In Vancouver so far our first 40-ish hours have been half a day of sunny heat, half a day of grey-ish heat, and a long thunderstorm. So, about the usual.

I’m going to try to post 30 poems and 30 short stories in June to warm up for this year’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Who knows how close I’ll come, with the way my schedule goes, but I’ll at least get most of it up. It probably won’t be a daily thing, but I’ll figure out at least an outline of a posting schedule. Wish me luck!

In other news, my novel is coming along very nicely. Today I made a hard-line accountability bet/deal trade with my best friend to get it out by the last day of August or else suffer the consequences, so there will be something to read of it very soon.

Supermassive

My mother was a black hole,

Supermassive,

A star collapsed on itself

Built into something greater.

She existed at the center of everything

Terrible and lovely,

Shaping our tiny slice of the galaxy

In whatever way she saw fit.

I can see, now, that she could  not help but implode

Time and again,

Restructuring  herself each time with stolen bits of the lives around her.

This is the nature of everyday, ordinary lives,

Even if nature abhors a vacuum.

 

Drift

I went to the dock

Yesterday,

The one where we met.

 

It had gone to seed:

Cold and wet,

Nearly forgotten.

 

I could fix it up

Probably,

Replace the dead boards.

 

But that might ruin it,

this memory;

The thought of your smile.

 

You might look at me

and see air

drifting and empty.

 

I look at you and

see the sun

shining through the rot.

 

New Month, New Me

Hello, and welcome to the official spring-time!

I’ve been considering what to do with this now that I have very efficiently skulked away for a few months for school/general life. I enjoy writing reviews, and will certainly try to keep them up now that I have a bit of free time, but it occurs to me that as April is home to both NaPoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo, this is a fantastic chance to start posting actual work I’d like to share. If nothing else, the threat of others potentially seeing my progress is always good incentive to push me past procrastination.

So, starting later on today, I will be publishing at least one poem a day on here, as well as possibly snippets of my sci-fi/mystery literary child as it grows. Hopefully they won’t be too unpolished, but no promises.

If you are doing either challenge as well, come friend me! Or just link me to your blog, I’m always happy to suffer through the April/November writing trenches with others regardless of whether you’re officially participating or not.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckle

I picked this book up after it had been suggested to me by a classmate yesterday, and it was absolutely worth the read. The protagonist of this book, Breq, was once a starship AI. However, she is now tethered to a human body and is out to discover what has caused this to happen to her, and perhaps get her revenge.

This book shapes the world around the protagonist, which is what I tend to prefer in a sci-fi story, provided it’s done correctly. This is definitely the case here; on top of the usual questions of morals and ethics during a life of war, the narrative made some truly interesting points by integrating them seamlessly into the plot.

Admittedly, I enjoyed the second half of the book much more than the first which dragged in places. The joy of discovering the world through Breq was there, but it was much less pronounced earlier on. However, I did still enjoy it, and the book picked up beautifully halfway through.

Rating: 8/10

Goodreads

Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold

Everything and everyone on Artemis was bioengineered, made to be the perfect addition to the guests on the pleasure planet. 

Centuries later, humanity has lost the majority of the advanced technology it once possessed. Artemis has faded away into a fable until a young archeologist finds hints that send him out into the universe. His quest to find the lost world strands him on Artemis.  Joined by the Huntress Adara and her psych-linked companion, the puma Sand Shadow, Dane’s quest will lead him to discover the planet’s secrets, and perhaps find the key to saving humanity

I’m not sure who did the cover for Artemis Awakening, but they absolutely deserve a bonus for being the entire reason I picked up this book in the first place.

The text itself is also interesting, although nowhere near as eye-catching. It is certainly interesting, and the premise is fantastic, but it feels more like part of a larger book that has been ripped into bits than a standalone story. Adara was by far the more interesting protagonist, which is nice to see a female protagonist being given a great deal of depth, but did leave me wishing that the archeologist, Griffen was given something more interesting to do than wait around for things to fix themselves. Hopefully this will be solved by the next book.

This was a fun read, but I would suggest borrowing rather than buying a copy.

Rating: 6/10

Goodreads

1636: The Devil’s Opera by Eric Flint and David Carrico

With the king of Sweden suffering a brain injury from the war with Poland, the allegiance between the time-displaced people of 20th century West Virginia and the people of 1636 is threatened by the new Swedish chancellor’s thirst for blood. With a plot for murder whispered about everywhere in the capital, a small child, a boxing champion, and two out-of-luck policemen may be all that stands in the way of civil war.

This book was very enjoyable, although not quite what I was expecting when I picked it up. More than a straightforward murder mystery, it also incorporates a rather touching coming-of-age story into the narrative.

I had never really picked up the Ring of Fire series before this point, although I had heard of it. I enjoyed the writing and the story here enough that I may have to consider reading a few closer to the beginning of the run, if only so that I can understand what the characters are going through. The book makes perfect sense on its own, but I would love to understand how far the characters have come.

The book admittedly starts out quite slowly, but if you can manage to make it through the first fifty pages or so, the story becomes enthralling.

Rating: 7/10

Goodreads

The Clown Service by Guy Adams

Toby Greene, hapless agent of the British Intelligence Service, has been reassigned to work at the mysterious Section 37. 

Led by the inscrutable August Shining, Toby finds quickly himself dealing with issues ranging from the trouble of requisitioning a desk to dealing with UFO sightings, ghosts and various supernatural creatures.

However, all of that is tossed to the side when Toby and Shining discover that a supposedly long dead Soviet agent has surfaced once more,  armed with a crowd of zombie-esque minions. 

This book is enormously fun. A number of the characters come across as fairly one-note for the most part, but the premise is so ridiculous that it manages to make that up for itself. The book is very nicely paced, and the tone manages to find that spot between light and dark that allows a narrative to examine surprisingly creepy concepts while still coming across as breezy rather than terrifying.

It reminded me quite a bit of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, for better or for worse. If you enjoy silly stories about spies fighting off hoards of zombies while throwing off quips, I recommend you pick at least this first book for a winter beach read.

Rating: 6/10

Goodreads