Am I the only one who routinely forgets that February only has twenty-eight days?
I mean, it’s the same thing every year. You’d think that after going through it twenty-three separate times I’d have gotten the hang of it by now. I blame that old rhyme they taught us in grade school:
Thirty days has September,
April, June, and November,
All the rest have thirty-one,
Except for February, which has twenty-eight.
I literally believed I had mis-remembered the final line, but it turns out that it’s just terrible. It doesn’t rhyme, doesn’t match the meter; no wonder it refuses to stick in my head. Basically, all of this is a long-winded excuse for the fact that I accomplished basically none of my goals for the month of February. But those last three days, man. I really could have read another four books, written another 6,000 words, done a month’s worth of Spanish practice and finished two more short stories, if I’d just had the whole thirty-one. Honestly.
Yep, I am absolutely willing to attribute all my problems and failings to cosmological inconveniences. Works wonders for peace of mind. But despite being an era of steadfastly procrastinating on my goals, the past month did yield some exciting new writing releases.
Have you ever thought that Sleeping Beauty could use more epic spaceship battles? More crackin’ wise? More lesbians? If so, April 11 will be a good day for you, because my novella In Ageless Sleep will be hitting the e-shelves! And if not, well—I may be biased, but I think you might just love it all the same.
You can pre-order your copy (on sale until release!) right here.
Mal is a spy, a misanthrope, and a coward; growing up in the brutal Reaches has taught her that honor is a quality best left to the dead. Her latest mission: to hijack a cryo-ship carrying the brilliant daughter of the Sovereign King, and deliver her straight into enemy hands.
But when a vital component of the ship’s cryostasis system malfunctions, the only person who can keep the unconscious passengers alive is the woman Mal was sent to kidnap. Alone together on a ship of silent sleepers, Mal must remember that she and Aurora are enemies—or risk them becoming something much more dangerous.
My full review of Nathan Leslie’s story anthology Root and Shoot was recently released on TLR’s website. The collection was absolutely worth a read; I tend to prefer my realistic fiction with a splash of genre elements, and Leslie struck the perfect balance between the strange and the familiar. So vivid, so strange, and so unlike anything I had ever read.
“If real life is stranger than fiction, Nathan Leslie’s new collection Root and Shoot is the splendid exception. Vivid, bizarre, and hilarious, each individual piece of short fiction forms a mosaic of the everyday and the extraordinary. From a man adrift after a recent divorce and hired to commit arson, to a woman who gives birth to a spoon, each of these stories contains characters that you couldn’t forget if you tried.”
This was a good month for derivative work. The theme of Havok’s contest was “literary mutations,” taking classic stories and adding a genre twist—my own take was Jane Eyre with 100% more werewolves (and 90% more Bertha). You can find the magazine in print or digitally here on Magcloud.
“With fire, they said. It must be done with fire.
So I took the candle to the drapery. I am not a fool—I am not mad. Oh yes, I have heard what they say. My husband speaks the words like bedtime tales to a child. He ought to tell them like ghost stories. But my poor Mr. Rochester was always so squeamish.”
And that’s it for recent fiction updates! In other news, I built a bed out of scratch last month. But more on that later; I have to finish the kitchen unit and the bookshelf first. Until then, let’s conclude with the usual stack o’ books I read last month, and call it a night.
- The Brief History of the Dead – Kevin Brockmeier
- The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror (2008)
- Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
- The Broken Kingdoms – N.K. Jemisin
- Authority – Jeff Vandermeer
Still a few short of my monthly goal, but I’ll plead out on the fact that most of these are pretty hefty. And, you know, the whole 28 days thing… alright, alright, I’ll give it a rest. But between a historical lesbian crime drama, and the sequels to a couple of my favorite books, I’m feeling good about February’s literary menu.
Now, onward to March, and the next terrible mnemonic! March showers… or whatever.