Much of this I read on the planes or while waiting to meet up with someone or another.
Mary Gentle: 1610, A Hawk in Silver, and Scholars and Soldiers. The last had Casaubon in it. I adore Casaubon. Everyone has characters they like disproportionately, I think, and Casaubon is one of mine. 1610 was like a Renaissance Prelude to Foundation. With more sex. Lots more sex. (Because that would be hard, hmm?) None of them ate my head like Ash did. All were very much worth my time. I'm swiftly running out of unread Mary Gentle, especially of the stuff commonly available. Eep.
Pat Murphy: Wild Angel. I am not as keen on the conceit of this series as some people are, notably Zed. I think Pat Murphy is a better writer than Mary Maxwell, and Max Merriwell may be a better writer than Pat Murphy, and since both Mary Maxwell and Max Merriwell are Pat Murphy (and are also each other), I can't work out what this means except that it's vaguely alarming to me that it should work like that. I'll still read the third book in the series, but I hope it's better. I know she was consciously messing with a specific style, but...meh. Sometimes knowing the author's goal doesn't make me care.
Robin Hobb: Ship of Magic and (currently reading) Mad Ship. Big Fat Fantasy novels that do not feel to me like they have been extruded. Hobb's Assassin series was recommended to me to restore my faith in high fantasy awhile back. It worked, and I've been reading more high fantasy again, though I will never (ever ever) get to my junior high levels, and that's all for the best for everyone. The liveships are just a nifty conceit to me. More liveships. More. I made a go at Ship of Magic about a year ago and couldn't get into it -- there was a clunkiness to the writing that was off-putting. I don't know if it was exhaustion that got me past that or if I'm at a different place in my own writing, where I can see that clunkiness but not have to clutch my head about it. She's done better than the prose in these books, especially when she was someone else. But they're fun.
Terry Pratchett: Soul Music. Reread. Listened to Buddy Holly. Wished I had the Blues Brothers soundtrack to add to the playlist. Giggled.
Sigrid Undset: The Bridal Wreath. I am a bad, bad Scando: my books are not all relentlessly depressing. I'd say it's probably the bit of non-Scando on Mom's side, except that I think that's English-Welsh border area, and they are not known for the good cheer of their mythology and literature so far as I've ever heard. Kings slaying each other with something or another freaky related to maidens' laps involved! Coal miners dying! Alcoholic poets! La la la la la! So anyway, I fear they will take away my Scandichick card for having some happyish endings occasionally. On the up side, this may result in a newfound ability to produce modest amounts of melanin. Hmm. On with the happy endings, then! The hell of it with The Bridal Wreath is that the miserable ending is that everybody is happily married off to the person of their choice. I can't wait to see the wretched conclusion to the next book, "In which everyone has a nice bit of chocolate." Medieval Norway had enough miseries without deciding that marrying the person you wanted to marry was one of them. Also, this edition was translated by an evangelical rationalist, at whom I gnash my teeth.
Sarah Zettel: In Camelot's Shadow. I really liked Fool's War. Really, really I did. Truly. But this: meh. Meh, I say.
Zoran Zivkovic: The Fourth Circle. The ending did not cohere at all well for me. It all fell apart. Also, do you want to read about Stephen Hawking's rape? No? Me neither.
Also, I sat down and looked at what I have in front of me for solo writing work and in what order I'd like to do it. I had thirteen things and promptly finished one, hurrah for me, so an even dozen it is. Beyond that, priorities are likely to get muddy.
1. Rock sprite story (from elisem earrings called, "'Oh, yeah?' said the rock sprite.")
2. Sampo draft.
3. "Singing Them Back" (from elisem necklace of same title)
4. "Blood Man Calls the Whale" (provisional title): my modern Saami fantasy story -- as long as I've talked to the appropriate people about this one.
5. Thermionic Night edits
6. Zodiac House typing and organization from longhand
7. Analog-ish story, no provisional title yet
8. contract work research (it's not due until 12/31)
9. porphyrin necklace story (it's a disease, is what)
10. Sampo edits
11. contract work composition
12. "Even Without Deceit" -- which is half-written anyway -- in the series with "MacArthur Station" and "Glass Wind" and "Rest Stop"
In addition to that, I want to reread the start timprov has on the rewrite of "Mad Skillz" and see what I can do from there. And when we're done working on "Mad Skillz," or possibly before, we'll poke at The True Tale of Carter Hall, maybe maybe. We'll see.
All this is assuming that I don't hear from anybody who currently has novels of mine (or even short stories) and wants me to do something with them. That part is not under my control. I focus on what is.
You would think that meant I'd have the rock sprite story open and the longhand bits typed and so on. Heh. No. Working on Sampo. This brain, she is a perverse beastie.
Edited to add: Yarg, and then I forgot about the Kalevala retelling for the children's mag. I knew I was forgetting at least one thing. (Head if not attached etc.) Better put that around 7 1/2. Silly brain.