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Showing posts from December, 2012

2012, A Year in (Not) Reading

Friends, I have a sad confession to make: in 2012, I read all of 31 books.  That's... pretty damn low, for me.  It's roughly half the books I read last year, or the year before.  It's probably the fewest books I've read in any year in the last decade, and certainly since I started keeping track.  There are any number of reasons for this sudden drop: early in the year, the stress of scrambling for mortgages and the other busywork of buying an apartment made mindless, or at least less demanding, entertainment like film and TV a lot more appealing than reading, and moving into my own place has meant that where last year I used public transport infrequently, now I hardly use it at all, which has cut into those dead parts of the day that are just perfect for disappearing into a good book.  But the truth is that reading, like anything else, is a habit, and that once broken--replaced with the kind of activities that take less out of you at the end of a long day, such as TV or…

It's Showtime! Thoughts on Dexter and Homeland

This time last year, it seemed like Homeland and Dexter couldn't have more different trajectories.  Dexter was coming off a plodding, padded sixth season that had devolved into the butt of a sad joke, full of nonsensical plot twists, increasingly boring subplots involving the show's perennially underserved secondary characters, and an growing sense that no one involved with the show knew what to do with its central character.  Homeland, on the other hand, had just concluded a triumphant, impossibly assured first season that not only established its two lead characters, bipolar CIA analyst Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and POW-turned-terrorist Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), as complex, nuanced avatars of mingled heroism and villainy, but delivered a fast-paced, pulse-pounding story about terror and anti-terror that nevertheless managed to remain rooted in mundane reality rather than flying off into 24-style action-adventure fantasy.  And yet, going into their second and sixth …

On Molly Gloss and "The Grinnell Method"

Over at io9, I have a piece about Molly Gloss and her story "The Grinnell Method," published at Strange Horizons in September.  As I write there, Gloss is a writer whose style and preoccupations should make her a perfect fit for fans of, among other authors, Karen Joy Fowler, and "The Grinnell Method" in particular reminds me a great deal of Fowler's "What I Didn't See."  Which is to say that it's an excellent story, and that I hope to see it getting more attention as we move into award season.  Click over to io9 to see why.