I’ve never really been a listy person. You know what I mean by listy people. At least I hope you do; if you think I’m talking about people who always walk about with their bodies a good few degrees out of the perpendicular then perhaps we should start again.
I still tried to keep them out of my private life though. It’s not that I don’t like goals, so much as often as not I felt they were constricting rather than motivating. You might well argue that this just means I was picking the wrong goals. And you’d be right. Now I’ve got kids and almost no time for myself, effectively prioritizing what little time I do have is pretty much essential. This blog, in point of fact, was born and continues to exist largely as a proof-of-principle regarding imposing a bit of structure on my free time, hence the slightly slavish adherence to the thrice weekly posting schedule at the frequent expense of quality control. I’d apologize but it’s my blog and frankly it’s more important that it works for me than for you. Means to an end, again.
So lists, and list-like challenges: not really my thing but they serve a purpose, and a purpose that’s increasingly important to me. Which brings me, kinda sorta, to this year’s SF Experience, which is quite explicitly Not a Challenge. Hosted by the fragrant and charming Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings it’s basically just an excuse to make some connections with new people about a shared interest, and that’s far more interesting that trying to do X amount of things in Y amount of time. In that spirit I thought I’d share some of my loose, tentative plans with anyone who’s interested.
Firstly, there’s that Culture re-read I mentioned. The tragic death of Iain M Banks lends the whole enterprise an elegiac air which is not what I’d have wished for, because I think any sense of gravitas would be wholly inappropriate, don’t you? Anyway, I’ll be working through the Culture books in order of publication, one a month, which means come January I’ll kick-off with Consider Phlebas.
More generally, the physical and digital piles of books waiting to be read have reached frankly ridiculous heights. That’s not a metaphor. So in terms of SF the next couple of months may involve one, none, or more of the following –
iD – Madeline Ashby
We See a Different Frontier – Fabio Fernandes, Djibril al-Ayad (eds)
Seoul Survivors – Naomi Foyle
Empty Space – M. John Harrison
The Uninvited – Liz Jensen
The Boys from Brazil – Ira Levin
The Best of All Possible Worlds – Karen Lord
Usurper of the Sun – Housuke Nojiri
2312 – Kim Stanley Robinson
We – Yevgeny Zamyatin
After overindulging last year it’s unlikely I’ll get round to them all within the timeframe of the SF Experience (until the end of January, since you ask). The idea of wrapping up the Kefahuchi Tract trilogy that got started last time around has a neat circularity to it, so I’ll probably get to Empty Space at some point, but other than that I’ll read stuff as the mood takes me. As ever though I’m open to recommendations and suggestions.