I’m done with college, yaaaay!
I validated all the credits I needed (and more) and with good grades (despite playing the Sims and binging TV shows during finals week) so, I’m now free! Well, kind of. I still need to pass my internship defense next September for the internship that I will be starting in March but I will think about that later. At least, I’m done with zoom lectures! 😀
I read quite a bit in January: 8 novels, 2 novellas and 6 short fiction magazine issues. I gave up on one book, Tau Zero by Poul Anderson, but apart from this one I enjoyed everything I read. My average rating this month is 4 stars which is higher than usual!
Novels & Novellas
I read a bit of everything in January with a mix of science-fiction, fantasy, horror and literary fiction. I also read four titles featured in my list of books to read in 2021, I’m off to a good start!
- State Tectonics by Malka Older ★★★★
- Doors of Sleep by Tim Pratt ★★★★
- Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff ★★★★
- The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo ★★★★★
- Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden ★★★★
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin ★★★★ 1/2
- When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo ★★★★★
- Kim Jiyoung, born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo ★★★★
- Winter’s Orbit by Evelina Maxwell ★★★★
- Luster by Raven Leilani ★★★★
Short Fiction Magazines
I am subscribed to four short fiction magazines: Interzone, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld and Apex. I’m always behind on reading issues as they come out so this year, I’m going to do my best to catch-up and read a lot of backlist issues.
I read 38 short stories in January and I will review my favorite stories in an upcoming Short Fiction Sunday post!
- Interzone #280 edited by Andy Cox ★★★★
- Apex Magazine #118 edited by Jason Sizemore ★★★ 1/2
- Lightspeed Magazine #121 edited by John Joseph Adams ★★★ 1/2
- Clarkesworld #166 edited by Neil Clarke ★★★
- Interzone #281 edited by Andy Cox ★★★
- Fiyah Magazine issue 1: Rebirth edited by Justina Ireland & Troy L. Wiggins ★★★★
FAVORITE BOOKS OF January
I read a lot of very good books this month but the highlight of January for me was the Singing Hills Cycle, a duology of fantasy novellas by Nghi Vo. I’m going to review The Empress of Salt and Fortune and When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain so, I am not going to gush about them too much now but, I loved them both!
Each novella in this series is gorgeouslywritten, imaginative and beautiful. I don’t know how Vo managed to pack so many ideas in so few pages but I had a great time with both stories. I hope she will revisit this world in the future but, even if she doesn’t, I just want to read everything she is going to write!
I didn’t have the best time with TV shows this month so this is going to be shorter than usual.
I finished watching the second season of Star Trek TOS, I have already talked about my thoughts and feelings about this season but the short version is that I had a good time with this second season though I won’t watch the third one immediately!
I also watched the second season of You, a Netflix series about a stalker trying to find the love of his life. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first season because the main actress couldn’t act for shit and I was hesitant to watch the second one. However, one of my friends told me it was better than the first and she was right! I loved it and I watched it in three days. 😂 I still can’t believe I was rooting for the stalker during the entire time but I definitely was! Victoria Pedretti, the actress who plays the main female character in this season, is awesome! She definitely knows how to act which is a very good change compared to Elizabeth Lail.
On a completely different note, I watched 13 episodes of True Beauty, a K-drama about a teenage girl who is bullied in high school because of the way she looks. This drama is inspired by the webtoon of the same name and while I like the webtoon, the drama is so much better! The actors are amazing, the pacing and the plot are also way better. It’s a heartwarming show even if it deals with harder topics such as defying social expectations, bullying and suicide. Since I only have three episodes left to watch, I am hopeful the writers are not going to mess it up!
I also started Tale of the Nine Tailed, another K-drama following a gumiho (a nine tailed fox) who is waiting for the reincarnation of the love of his life that he may or may not have murdered centuries ago to protect the world. I have watched 7 episodes but I am going to give up on this one. The actors and the OST are amazing but the story is going in a direction that isn’t working for me and it’s to melodramatic.
As for what I am currently watching, I have just started The Untamed, a Chinese wuxia series about two men fighting off monsters and evil spirits. It’s 50 episodes long so I will probably finish this one in March or April… 😂 Finally, I’m two episodes into Solar Opposites, an animated sitcom produced by one of the co-creators of Rick & Morty. I really like Rick & Morty so I’m curious about this one. It follows aliens who crashed on Earth and they are not huge fans of humans. The episodes I watched were funny but it’s not on the level of Rick & Morty.
I have posted 15 posts in January and half of them had something to do with Vintage Science Fiction Month. I’m happy with the number of reviews I posted but, my favorite post this month was my discussion post about the SF Canon. I can’t believe it took me 5 years to post a discussion post on my blog, I know it’s because I’m always afraid that 1) no one is going to give a damn about my opinion and 2) that I am just going to ramble and say nothing but, I’m happy with how the post turned out and reading the comments on this post was great! 😀
- Reading Updates
- Book Reviews
- The Vela by Yoon Ha Lee, Rivers Solomon, Becky Chambers & S.L. Huang
- Doors of Sleep by Tim Pratt
- State Tectonics by Malka Older
- The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
- The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Tau Zero by Poul Anderson
- 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
February READING PLANS
February is Black History Month so I would like to read more books by black authors this month. Of course, it’s important to read stories by black voices all year round but in February I really want to focus on that!
My TBR is quite ambitious but a lot of the books I want to read are on the shorter side and there are a number of novellas and novelettes on the list. If I don’t read every story mentioned, it’s okay but still, I want to try my best to read as many of them as possible! 😀
How was your month of January? Any plans for February?