Sunday, 15 May 2016

I became a member of the World Science Fiction Society

So, I signed up for membership of WorldCon 75.

I did so the day that the shortlist of Hugo Nominees was released for WorldCon74 (2016), because that shortlist was so hideously stacked by the nominees of the Rabid Puppies slate.

I won't get to vote for the Hugo winners for 2016, because even the supporting membership for WorldCon74 is prohibitively expensive at the current exchange rate.  Besides which, the two categories I was most interested in - Best Fancast and Best Related Work - are complete puppy takeovers, which greatly disappoints me.

(I really, really, really wanted Letters to Tiptree to get on the shortlist, but of course I couldn't vote for them because, not a member.  Next year, I will be nominating!  And Galactic Suburbia will be top of my list for fancast.)

Friday, 13 May 2016

Reading Plaidy - May 2016

More than a year ago I promised to post about my progress with reading through the Plaidy books.  Then I totally failed to post a single thing.  I will rectify that right, now!

Epitaph for Three Women is just not sitting with me.  I have no idea why, because Katherine de Valois! Jeanne d'Arc!  But I think I'm just too eager to get to Margaret of Anjou, and the wars, and I have to admit that I'm disappointed in myself.

I have been variously dipping into a couple of the Georgian books, but not actually finishing them, and during a recent visit to a library that is not the one I work for, I borrowed what is technically the first of the Tudor saga, Uneasy Lies the Head, but which I tend to think of as I'm reading it as the end of the Plantaganet Saga, even though I was trying really, really hard to read them properly in order.  But see above re finding EfTW frustrating.

I've now bought Red Rose of Anjou, but ULtH needs to go back to the library fairly shortly, (actually, I have, just this moment, renewed it online) so unless I decide to be good and go back, yet again, to EfTW, I'll be working my way through the book of the first Tudor king.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Wednesday Reads - 11th May, 2016

What I just finished reading: 
The Tangled Thread - Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.  Book 10 of the Morland Chronicles.

The Emperor - Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.  Book 11 of the Morland Chronicles

What I'm reading now:
The Victory - Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.  I think this one is heading for Nelson's victory at Trafalgar? On, you know, the HMS Victory.

Red Rose, White Rose -  Joanna Hickson.  About Cicely Neville, wife of Richard of York, and mother of Edward IV and Richard III.

Stormbird - Conn Iggulden.  First historical in a long, long while that I've read written by a male author.  First of his Wars of the Roses quartet.

Cecily's King Richard - Sandra Heath Wilson.  Trainwreck reading.  A horrifyingly bad book about the daughters of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, and their apparent sexual obsession with their uncle, Richard III.  No, I do not know WHY I'm still reading this dreck.

Uneasy lies the head - Jean Plaidy.  Because Harrod-Eagles aside, I'm apparently reading across the entire Wars of the Roses period all at once.

What I'll read next:
The Regency - Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.  Book 12 of the Morland Chronicles

Eden Falls - Jane Sanderson.  Final of the Netherwood series.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Morland Chronicles #9, "The Flood-Tide" (and Hamilton)

It's the War of Independence and the Morlands!

One of the things this book is really good at is demonstrating the length of the war, and the uncertainty of it all.  That said, of course it's very much from the British point of view, but that didn't stop me singing "The world turned upside down" at the end of the Battle of Yorktown.

I really wanted this review to be peppered with Hamilton quotes. I've been listening to this musical since the moment the soundtrack was announced and I love it to pieces, but I'm just not creative enough to drop bits and pieces in as easily as I'd like.

That said - Charles' story was poignant.  Calculated to appeal to the British reader, but also very interesting, and something I hadn't so much thought of.  It wasn't only the British who were threatening to kill friends and family...

William's plot may convince me to read Patrick O'Brien and other Age of Sail authors.  I was so sad about poor dear Charlotte, but William has a wonderful story... of guns and ships. And oh, Thomas - you see, this is the problem with writing the review two books later: I forgot Thomas!  Key to the battle of Yorktown, where the world turned upside down, for Charles, for Flora (for the other Charles...)

Next up: the French Revolution and The Tangled Thread - everyone give it up for America's favourite fighting Frenchman!

(Maybe I didn't do so badly on the Hamilton quotes after all.)

Monday, 2 May 2016

Monday night Morlands...

I'm now halfway through book 11, The Emperor.  I haven't yet written my reviews of The Flood-Tide and The Tangled Thread, in part because I feel like they ought to be infused with the lyrics of "Hamilton" and "Les Miserables" respectively (even though we haven't even reached the time period of "Les Miserables" - perhaps I should save those lyrics for then...)

Meanwhile, here are some tweets from the last 200 or so pages of The Tangled Thread:

As for The Emperor: Mary is wonderful, Lucy is wonderful... this particular generations of Morlands are just brilliant.  It almost makes up for the generations of utter sods I've had to put up with.  I kind of want  fic where Lucy and Mary meet Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth...) And Heloise is just delightful, and has been since A Tangled Thread.