State of the Blog and Weekend Links: July 23, 2017

If you’ve been following this blog for very long, you probably know that this year–especially the last couple months—I have struggled to keep up with, well, pretty much everything. A series of life setbacks and a serious bout of depression have caused me to shut down in a way that I’m not proud of, and my work here has definitely suffered. I’m hoping that this past week is the nadir of this shit, though I obviously can’t be certain. I’m feeling better right now, and my daughter is out of town this week so I should have plenty of time to try and rebuild some kind of routine, which will, ideally, stick long enough to snap me out of the funk I’ve been in.

That said, expect some changes here at SF Bluestocking. Something I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to do (and that has been pretty much nothing but a source of guilt and shame for some time now) has been to write a lengthy review of everything I read. Inevitably, I end up with a backlog of stuff that I don’t have that much to say about but that I nonetheless feel awful for not writing anything about. From now on, long book reviews here will appear strictly as inspiration strikes. However, I will be replacing them with weekly (at least) posts with short takes on what I’ve been reading and what I’m excited about. I also expect to start doing more news posts. Soon, I hope to have posts on each week’s notable new book releases, movie trailers, new show buzz, and so on.

Mostly, though, I’m planning to focus more on things like the Gormenghast project. That kind of literary criticism and analysis is what I enjoy doing most, and trying to do too many other things has only hurt my productivity in that area. I’ll still be writing about Game of Thrones and about whatever books and movies and so on strike my fancy, but I will be focusing more, from here on out, on revisiting more classic and influential works. I’m also planning to spend more time writing more general essays on topics related to SFF, and I’m looking to get back into writing fiction, though that likely won’t appear here on the blog. In general, you can expect a somewhat less regimented but theoretically much more productive SF Bluestocking going forward. I think these are going to be good changes for me and for the blog, and I hope to be able to roll out even more changes later in (or at least before the end of) the year.

My favorite new release this week was Cassandra Khaw’s Book Smugglers novella, Bearly a Lady. It’s a delightfully sharp and funny bit of paranormal romance, and I highly recommend just buying it outright, but if you aren’t convinced you can read about Khaw’s Big Idea at Whatever and learn more about her inspirations and influences at the Book Smugglers.

Ken Liu joined Fran Wilde and Aliette de Bodard in a new episode of Cooking the Books.

I don’t know if you know this yet, but I love Ada Palmer, so I was thrilled to see this interview with her in the Sandusky Register.

The Prey of Gods author Nicky Drayden was interviewed at Read to Write Stories.

Kay Kenyon wrote about her Favorite Bit of At the Table of Wolves.

Alison Tam wrote about the queer utopia she’d like to live in over at Queership.

The Millions asked if historical fiction can be feminist.

The Manchester Review collected 21 stories of African speculative fiction that are free to read online.

Sarah Gailey’s is the only explanation of the 13th Doctor casting that anyone should need.

You want to read Mari Ness’s “The Witch in the Tower.”

I’m pretty excited about Atomic Blonde, but I CAN NOT WAIT to watch it as a double feature someday with Proud Mary:

I don’t know how historically accurate this is going to be, but I am moderately interested in Professor Marston & the Wonder Women:

I love Guillermo de Toro, and The Shape of Water looks gorgeous:

I haven’t been paying a TON of attention yet to the stuff being shown at SDCC, but I did watch the new Star Trek: Discovery trailer. I have a lot of questions about it, and I’m pretty apprehensive about just how much it doesn’t feel like Star Trek and instead feels like it’s influenced by more “prestige” programming, and not necessarily in a good way. Still, I’m cautiously optimistic about it.


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