11APR24 / accessions

Folks, I’m gonna be abandoning the pretentious thing I’ve been doing with these posts—you know, the whole “the department” and “the institution” routine—because it was never particularly funny, and it’s a strain on the basic purpose of these posts, which is to just be like “hey, look what I got myself to read!”

Cue half a hundred people quietly muttering “thank fuck for that”… and it’s on with the show.

Noon and Beard’s Gogmagog: Noon is the reason I write, really, so that’s reason enough—though in truth I’ve not kept up with his more recent stuff. As for Beard, I don’t know that I know of anything he’s done before this? But I’ve seen a few fairly glowing reviews, and the blurb from Adam Roberts is pretty fulsome…

McAuley’s Beyond the Burn Line: McAuley is, to my mind, one of the great undersung authors of British sf, consistently knocking out inventive and strange stuff from the late 90s onward, but somehow never seeming to get a period of being the big kahuna, you know? But he’s still quietly cranking them out, a signature combination of fairly hard sf conceits with a grown-up’s conception of social dynamics and characters you actually care about. This one’s a far-future look-back at the Anthropocene, as I understand it, which is the sort of thing that both the reader and the writer in me are interested in at the moment.

Hill’s Lamb: Matt Hill is a friend and a friend-of-the-show—hi, Matt, if you’re reading this one!—but we became friends after I read his early (and very bleak) novel The Folded Man, so I’m gonna say with confidence I’d have picked this up anyway. The blurb suggests that moss is the thematic in this book; I didn’t think I could possibly be more creeped out by wasps until I read The Breach, so I guess there’s fifty/fifty odds of my becoming low-key terrified of the leeward side of large rocks after I finish this one.

Link’s Book of Love: I know I’ve read some of Link’s short stories—enough to know that I concur with the general assumption that she’s a master of the form—but I got out of the habit of following the short fiction markets, and honestly the hit-to-miss ratio of anthologies and magazines (particularly in the ongoing hegemon of Tea-wave and Squeecore) means I’m not keen to return to them. But the prospect of Kelly Link at novel length, that’s too interesting to turn down… and the large-format paperbacks are so much easier on my rapidly degenerating eyesight!

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