First I had a dream in which I was writing Ages and one of them was some sort of floating island in a gas giant... I had a child somehow? And we were zooming around in these flying antigravity belt/boat things, but then the dream got all sci-fi and there was a fleet of spaceships surrounding my child and I had to make contact with them and fight through space-opera bureaucracy to gain audience with Someone Important to get my child back. I don't know.

THEN (possibly after hitting the snooze button on my alarm a few times) I dreamed I was at some combination of Mysterium and Readercon, and I had somehow turned my previous dream into a short story I'd written, and it was being published in an anthology (but I was less prominently featured than some other authors, including names of actual Readercon authors and also forumgoers from Mystcommunity). And I was at a release party/book signing/reading because of this. And I was secretly really terrified because the story in the book was my first draft, I had submitted it either without expecting it to be even read, or in anticipation of editor-y help that never came, but it was just published in original form. I kept thinking back to my earlier dream and coming up with criticisms of the pacing, the plot development, the characterization, etc. because, well, I'm not a writer and that dream was in fact not a very well-structured story. But at the same time I was putting on a cheerful face and chatting with some Mysterium types and talking up the possible Myst meetup in the Boston area that I'm trying to organize (which I actually am trying to do on the forums) and and and...

My brain is very strange sometimes.
So many books to read! This is just fiction, and is just the books that I physically have right now (either borrowed or bought).

I am kind of a slow reader and often end up feeling guilty about how few books per time unit I read these days, like I'm letting down the voracious reader I was in middle school/early high school. (In retrospect, I'm not sure what led to the decline in my reading--college certainly dealt the killing blow, but I had slowed down earlier. I guess part of that was just that I had exhausted the supply of interesting sci-fi/fantasy books at the city and school libraries in Grangeville.)

Another component is the feeling that I'm missing a big chunk of the background I ought to have to think about and talk about books, since I feel like book discussions often involve comparisons and the other books that are brought up are usually things I've either not read or read so long ago I don't remember much about them. And then I feel obligated to mentally add them to the buffer, which quickly grows to be unmanageably long.

Anyway, I'm hoping that by actually thinking and talking about how cool the books I'm going to read are, I'll feel excited about them instead of just guilty and avoidant. This stack of books is full of awesome, and I want to focus more on the "oo, shiny!" response when I look at this picture and less on the "ack!"

to-read, 5/31/09

This is not necessarily indicative of the order I'll read these in, just the order they stacked nicest for photographing.

From top to bottom:

The Door Into Fire, by Diane Duane -- purchased at Powell's when I was visiting my parents because of this review

Ship of Magic, by Robin Hobb -- borrowed from Susannah

City of Saints and Madmen, by Jeff VanderMeer -- purchased after reading Palimpsest, because I want more weird stories about cities (Cities are still strange to me. Part of my brain still thinks Lewiston, ID is a reasonably-sized city.)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz -- this looks good! And I encountered the author in my worldbuilding class when I was an undergrad :)

Lilith's Brood, by Octavia Butler -- I've never actually read anything by Octavia Butler and I should fix this.

The Compass Rose, by Ursula Le Guin -- I read this a long time ago, but I'm curious how much more I'll get out of these short stories now. I particularly want to re-read The Eye Altering. Re-reading these stories may or may not start me on a Le Guin re-reading spree. I think that a lot of the political background for the things she's written about will be more familiar to me now than when I was in high school! (Like, uh, feminism for starters.)

The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, collection of short stories by many authors -- This caught my eye in the Porter Square bookstore and looks like a nice sampling-platter of a bunch of neat authors and stories.

Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog, by Ysabeau S. Wilce -- Yes that is the full title. Borrowed from Susannah

The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice, by Cat Valente -- I am utterly completely head-over-heels in love with The Orphan's Tales. Palimpsest was a lovely fling, but this world is so, so much... more. Um, yeah, it is awesome in ways I don't even know how to talk about. *flaps arms wordlessly* This is the second (and final as far as I know) book; I'm maybe a fifth of the way through it. The overarching frame story for the section I'm on right now is drawing me in a little less deeply than the ones about witches and saints in the first book, but it is still very good.

I'm not sure how many of these I'll take with me on the plane/to read in the hotel. (Posting about books is more interesting than packing a suitcase!) Maybe I'll take all of them.
Dear readers,

If any of you can find or write Firefly/Real Genius crossover fanfic involving Kaylee/Jordan, you will win one internet of your choice.

my 3am brain

(Yes that would be gratuitously ridiculous. But it would be so cute! :D)

ETA: I *did* discover but it has no firefly.


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