Weird year, I keep saying, and they just keep getting weirder. God damn Putin. Needless to say, I have reread a lot of Terry Pratchett, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Jane Austen as reliable staples when the world is too much with me. And Victoria Goddard, of course, but I will get back to that. As usual,
here is a dip into the more salient reads of the year.Ambiguity Machines and other stories -- Vandana SinghDistances -- Vandana Singh
Vandana Singh is one of the finest living science fiction authors, as far as my knowledge stretches. The first of these is a short story collection, the other a novella. Each short story develops a universe of its own, and a new novum based in philosophy, maths, and identity. At times it reminded me of Borges, in the exploration of impossible machines, I like the recurring idea of humanity as one among animals, and the general suspicion of megacorps and geoengineering as a solution to climate change. The enemy is not the other, but the sociopatic capitalist structure, conformity and homogeneity. The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village -- Samuel R. Delany
Samuel Delany is another of my favourite scifi authors. It is always interesting to read a literary biography, and to compare and contrast a bit with published works (the author not being quite so dead as previously reported), and Delany's autobiography is interesting both as an accompaniment to his works and as ...