NPR Asks YOU to Vote for Your Top 10 SF/F Books

Have you seen NPR’s Survey? They are trying to compile a list of the top 10 SF/F books. You can help by voting for your top 10.

And I gotta say, it’s hard narrowing that list down to only 10 you like. There’s the “I haven’t read it” factor, which means I’ll be kicking myself in a few months when I’ve read more books. And of course, there’s the “but this book is good in this way, and this other book is good in this way.

Well, here’s my top 10. This was a painful list to compile, and yes, it’s not every good book on the list. But these are the books that have spoken to me as I’ve read them, and have really meant something. Here they are, in no particular order.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
The Sandman Series by Neil Gaiman
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart
The Newsflesh Trilogy by Myra Grant
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake
Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress

That list cost me. I had to leave behind favorites like Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and The Mists of Avalon. I could do this regret thing all day.

Well, what about you? Which 10 books would you choose? And yes, you only get 10.


Links Around the World

Starting with…a couple of gems this morning from Ferrett Steinmetz

In Case You Want to See the Upside of Hard Work

Advice to Newly Minted Clarionites


Jim Hines muses on Agents as Publishers


Chuck Wendig’s explains that as far as careers go, most writers are doing it wrong.


Shrinking Violet Promotions talks about the art of revision.




…And the writer’s group posts its first set of email goals. Which already has the affect of making me feel more accountable. Sort of like.

Look! Writer One is going to have her novel finished before she travels this weekend. And Writer Two is recording a story she’s reading for PodCastle. Writer Three is making Con arrangements. Writer Four is epublishing his book…and on and on.

I don’t want to be the lame writer who didn’t meet her goal of getting part of her novel out to the reading group this coming Friday, or not starting on the next part of said novel.

This might actually work.

Write on my wonderful friends. You are most excellent.

Treading Water Through a Long Weekend

One anime convention later, and the effects of my vacation are undone. 🙂

I spent the weekend helping my friends put on the last Natsukashii Seminar at AnimeIowa. It’s very much time for our time there to sunset. Five years ago when I conceived of offering panels on old school anime and its culture, it seemed like a way to keep anime fans aware of anime roots. Two years in I realized that while our group of friends were having fun, anime fans really weren’t interested in roots. Three years later, helping another friend run the Seminar, I believe that what we have to offer is considered a bit arcane, and what anime offers us is stuff we’re not interested in. Bryon and I decided this would be our last year, regardless of what the rest of our friends decided, but well in advance of this convention, they too decided the Seminar was finished.

It was a working weekend. Fun was had, it’s not that, but when you are doing something that you no longer really enjoy, it is a drain, not rejuvenating. Top that off with not being in the right environment to write this weekend, and I find myself feeling like I’ve been working this weekend. Not a rewarding, virtuous kind of work. The kind of work that keeps me from doing what I wanted to do, and makes me feel like I’m behind on things. Feh. It is a problem of mine, this doing things for other people.


You do remember my expertise hours? Currently, I sit at 354 for the year. I should be at 360 this week, but I can assure you, I will catch up. Maybe not for the next three weeks, because I’m working 8-4 for the college, and it’s challenging right now to find 12.

It’s a bit like writing through mud at the moment. Here’s a really interesting post from someone who’s sort of in the same place, for sort of the same reasons. I’ll get there. I have a group of readers who are going to be helpful in getting me interested in getting the work out there, and some writer friends who are going to help me with goal setting, but on this very tired Monday after a convention that drained, my optimism lags just a tad.

Anyway, hang in there. The hot summer is almost behind us. July, a busy mistress, is over, and I look forward to a return to routine and some writing time during the week in about 3 weeks. Meanwhile, I keep the faith. At the bookstore yesterday, looking through books, I discovered that there still wasn’t anyone doing what I’m doing. Lots of other stuff. Some of it unique, but yes, I have something to offer that’s different. And while that doesn’t guarantee it will ever see the light of day, I take comfort in being a bit different in voice.

Work, it is calling.