March is the month for making plans

Resolutions and plans made in January are almost always doomed to fail. It’s still the middle of winter – cold, dark and uninspiring – so I decided a long time ago that my personal New Year was 21st March, coinciding rather neatly with the beginning of Spring and therefore much more conducive to the success of new intentions. As the mornings get lighter again and we start to see green shoots poking up out of the ground and promising little buds forming on branches, I feel a lot more awake, alive and raring to go. So, what would I like … Continue reading March is the month for making plans

2020 Progress Report

It’s an understatement to say that 2020 was a weird year, I know. In my own working world we closed our libraries in March not knowing when we were going to reopen. We were redeployed to the phones, calling the elderly and vulnerable first, then contact tracing later on. Right now I’m working shifts in a testing centre. Each lockdown and reopening has me more and more worried that this may be the slow death of libraries. Reading has, therefore, been a very welcome escape, as it has been for so many of us. And while nearly all of my … Continue reading 2020 Progress Report

Vintage SciFi Artists – A Few More Favourites

  This one’s for Bookstooge – it only took the vaguest suggestion that another book cover post might be welcome and, well, here we are. When I was planning my first post about some of my favourite SF cover artists of bygone years I was frustrated not to be able to find more information about some of them. Two, in particular, John Cayea and Anita Siegel, worked for only a very short period of time as cover artists before moving on to other things and so, with so little info to work with, I didn’t include them in that first … Continue reading Vintage SciFi Artists – A Few More Favourites

Vintage SciFi Artists – A Few Favourites

  Vintage SF cover art is in a league of its own. Looking back at some of the paperback covers from the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies is to see the visual language of science fiction being worked out image by image. There’s an experimental feel to a lot of the artwork produced during this period that totally floats my boat and so today, for your viewing pleasure (possibly) and for my own delectation (definitely) I’m sharing a select few of my favourite artists.   Richard Powers 1921-1996 I first came across Richard Powers’ work only last year when I was … Continue reading Vintage SciFi Artists – A Few Favourites

My Library Book Stack; or Accountability’s a B*tch

I have a lot of library books out on loan. Last year I worked hard to keep my library loans down to a reasonable number, for a reasonable amount of time. I tried to create a new, less compulsive habit. And then … well, and then COVID-19 became a thing, we went into Lockdown #1 and I panic-borrowed all the books because books might make for lumpy security blankets, but they’re great for building tall walls around yourself to defend against reality. And so my bad borrowing habit has returned with a vengeance. About half of the books in this … Continue reading My Library Book Stack; or Accountability’s a B*tch

Fun for Monday: 6 Degrees of SFnal Separation

Another year, another SciFi Month, another Monday … it must be time for another round of six degrees! I was sitting on the fence about doing this tag again this year, but imyril tipped me over the edge by getting SF giant Peter F(rigging) Hamilton to play – I mean, how am I supposed to resist that?! This tag was inspired by Kate over at Books are My Favourite and Best, but had its dial tweaked round to sci-fi by imyril for SciFi Month 2019. It is an addictive, frustrating, ultimately satisfying tag/game that can be played again and again, … Continue reading Fun for Monday: 6 Degrees of SFnal Separation

We are go for SciFi Month!

  It’s SciFi Month! Squeeee-eeeeeee! I don’t normally do this announcing-my-plans stuff because I am really not that organised (and I don’t often have a plan!), but I feel like squeeing today. So, this is what you can expect from me this November: Item one: There are going to be thoughts on Ian McDonald’s Luna trilogy. Maybe some feelings too. You have been warned.       Item two: Maryam the Curious SFF Reader and I will share our buddy-read discussion about Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh. I am particularly excited about this because I had an … Continue reading We are go for SciFi Month!

Fun for Monday: Halloween Book Covers Tag

This is an original tag created by Kristen over at Moonlight and Metaphors that I was particularly attracted to because Kristen’s rules are so relaxed: “It’s really simple. All you have to do is find a book cover for each topic! It can be covers you love, books you’ve read, random covers – there are no rules. You can put your own spin on things. Do what you want 🙂 Just have fun…” Yay! Can do! I am so hijacking this tag to talk about some of my favourite cover artists! (Whilst keeping it spooktastic, of course).   Skull/Skeleton/Bones This … Continue reading Fun for Monday: Halloween Book Covers Tag

Fun for Monday: Halloween Creatures Tag

I saw this tag done by the Orang-utan Librarian back in 2018 (before I was brave enough to do tags – can you imagine?!) Created by Anthony of Keep Reading Forward, I thought it’d be a fun one to do today to celebrate the start of the Wyrd and Wonder mini event Spooktastic Reads … Hurrah! Hurray! Let’s get spoopy!     Witch: A magical character or book At the risk of being repetitive and thus boring, the only answer I can give here is Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown and its sequel The True Queen. They’re magical books, with … Continue reading Fun for Monday: Halloween Creatures Tag

Books with a body count

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a placid library employee who enjoys long walks in nearby woodlands, crunching through autumn leaves and wearing big woolly jumpers. I’ve no particular desire to stumble across a real dead body while on a walk (and it’s always at the back of my mind that that could happen – you know what they say about dog-walkers and joggers being the ones who find the bodies, right?), but in my reading life, if there are going to be bodies, I want lots of ‘em! Authors can just be so darned creative when it comes to killings … Continue reading Books with a body count