State of the Blog and Weekend Links: May 7, 2017

I don’t have much news this week, personal or otherwise. My productivity has been middling–not terrible, but not as good as I’d hoped coming into the week–partly do to depressing news stuff going on and partly due to new upstairs neighbors who are noisier than any upstairs neighbors I’ve ever had in the almost ten years I’ve lived here. Turns out, constant banging and yelling and loud television at all hours of the day and night has the effect of interfering with my sleep and triggering terrible headaches, which are kind of a distraction when I’m trying to write or do other quiet-ish activities.

I watched the first episode of American Gods, which was better than I expected, to be honest, and the new episode of Lucifer was pretty good, but I didn’t have much to say about either of them. “The Bone Orchard” was pretty much just exactly the first two chapters of the book and “Candy Morningstar” was fun but unexceptional.

I’ve been in a little bit of a reading slump for a couple weeks now, which is a bummer, especially as things I want to read start piling up. April was a little slow with new books, but just this week had half a dozen new releases I’d like to get through, and there’s at least two or three more every week between now and July. If I’m honest, I’ll probably end up having to scale back some of my reading plans in the next couple of months, not to read less, but just to prioritize the May and June releases I want to read so I can move on to some July-October ARCs I’ve already got sitting around. There is some very exciting stuff coming out in the back half of 2017, and I don’t want to miss any of it.

Finally, I think once a couple more TV shows I’m watching wrap up, I’ll be starting a new Let’s Read! project. Though I (sadly) never finished Dune last year due to a lot of travel and some other unforeseen stuff, this year I’m determined to get through Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy. I managed to get some Ballantine mass markets from the 70s that are too wonderful not to read. I’m currently taking suggestions on how to split these up into manageable chunks for writing about.

The shortlist for this year’s Clarke Award was announced this week. Once again, I’ve read half of it. I have got to make some time to read The Underground Railroad and After Atlas.

Also posted this week are the nominees for the 2016 Shirley Jackson Award. I’ve read far fewer of these, but horror and dark fantasy have never been my favorite things to read. It’s nice to see The Ballad of Black Tom, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe and The Starlit Wood on there, though.

If you’re interested in comics, the 2017 Eisner Awards finalist list is out, too. I’m not a

Speaking of new releases, Tor.com has got you covered for May:

One of the books that came out on May 2 that I’m looking forward to digging into this week is Robyn Bennis’s The Guns Above. To promote the book, Bennis has been making the rounds of the guest-blogging circuit, and it’s only made me more excited for this title.

There’s a great interview with Mishell Baker over at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog. Baker also revealed the cover this weekend for the next book in her Arcadia Project series: Imposter Syndrome. It’s gorgeous, and I can’t wait to have all of this series on my shelf.

At the Wertzone, the next installment in the Cities of Fantasy series is all about Minas Tirith.

At Tor.com, Sarah Gailey’s piece on the alternate history that makes up American identity is a must-read.

You can now make yourself a Pop! figure avatar.

The first half of the content from the May/June 2017 Uncanny Magazine is up, and there’s so much great stuff in this issue. My recommendations:

Seriously. It’s a great issue of a great magazine, and the material that’s not online yet is just as amazing as what’s already out. I strongly suggest just subscribing to the magazine, and now is a great time to do it, during Uncanny‘s 2017 subscription drive over at Weightless Books. A subscription right now is $2 less than the regular price, and they’ve got some great perks on offer if they hit their milestones.

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