September 2023 Reading

Another good reading month is coming to a close. In September I read four science fiction novels, and with a day left I am about 40% through #5. I suspect that that fifth will have to wait until October to get fished, but I have a good start!

Can’t remember if I mentioned this, but I sent a fan email to Alan Dean Foster and he sent me back a two line reply. I was geeking out. It was cool.

Anyway, I started with the next two standalone by Alan Dean Foster, set in his Humanx Commonwealth universe. Both were good. Then I read Robert Silverberg’s To Open the Sky, which is kind of classic Silverberg stuff and quite enjoyable. Finished the month with #20 in the Dumarest of Terra saga, by British SF author E.C. Tubb.

I am now reading Blood Music, the 1985 novel by Greg Bear. This is the first SF novel I’ve read in a while that isn’t space-oriented. I’m about 40% into it, and it’s good.

The reading is mostly being accomplished in the evenings from 8pm-10pm. There have been a couple of nights where I read my minimum-allowable-amount of 5%. As I continue this practice I’m finding that


Back on the Board

There is a hidden joke in this post. If you get it, you are a nerd.

This past Sunday afternoon it was only 90 F, and it was a nice day, so I finally got back out to skate. Simple stuff on a big board. I’m rusty, but the bigger problem is that after a summer of no skating due to the infernal heat I’m in bad condition. However, I know that a few sessions and my legs will feel strong again and everything will be fine.  I mean, I’ll still be a little too fat, but it will take a while to correct that.

It felt good to be back on the board. I think I had a certain amount of anxiety about it. I always do when I’ve not skated for a long time. As I skated I could feel the summer isolation depression melting away. This winter I’m going to have to start going to a skatepark at least one evening during the week just to have a lighted place to ride. Not crazy about that, but that’s how it is.

When I watch this clip on full-screen it’s not as horrifying as I thought. The song is Elephant Talk, by King Crimson, from their album Discipline. I like it!

Back on the board from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.

Reading n stuff

Finished reading my 15th novel of the year today at lunch.

I know I keep harping on this, but it feels good. It feels like an accomplishment. While I do have a 20-book goal for the year, I’m not just trying to race through these novels. There is no point in that. I’m reading at an enjoyable, casual speed and really immersing myself in them. It is the consistency of ready at least 5% of a novel every day this is creating the success because it is becoming 1) something I look forward to and 2) a habit.

Tonight I’m starting a novel by SF author Robert Silverberg. I’ve read a number of his novels and they have been enjoyable. While I knew of him already, a few years ago I read his short story The Iron Star in this anthology of space opera and military SF. I was kinda blown away by the emotional and ethical impact of this story and it made me a fan. Silverberg, like many of his generation of authors, really started writing in the SF magazines and went through a formative period in which he wrote a hell of a lot of stuff. The material I’ve read is from his “mature author” era. His work from this period can be a bit more cerebral than some of the adventure space opera stuff I’ve been reading a lot of lately. It will be a good shift for me.