25 April 2017

The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2013

The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 201324. The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2013 by Rich Horton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


A bit hard to rate with around 33 diverse short stories, some OK, some I liked, some I really liked, and 1 I disliked enough I didn't finish it. Your mileage will vary based on your tastes, I suspect.

If I had edited this volume, I would've made a slimmer selection. Therefore I suggest if a story isn't grabbing you, feel free to skip to the next one. (I could've saved myself some time on a few that way.)

Not my usual sort of read, but I won a copy from Worldbuilder's annual fundraiser for Heifer International during which they have a huge lottery of books/games and other cool sundries you can win to encourage donations.

I read stories off and on over the course of a year.

Here are some of the stories I rather liked:
The Black Feminist's Guide To Science Fiction Film Editing
Scrap Dragon
The Castle That Jack Built
Twenty-Two And You
Two Houses
The Weight Of History, The Lightness Of The Future


10 years ago on TTaT: Slow Seven

22 April 2017

The Legend of Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Origins

The Legend of Wonder Woman (2015-) Vol. 1: Origins23. The Legend of Wonder Woman (2015-) Vol. 1: Origins by Renae DeLiz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


An excellent origin story for Wonder Woman. Feels faithful to the original with some key tweaks that actually make it make more sense. Though it's set during World War 2, it has a contemporary feel in some aspects which makes it an enjoyable read with a bit more diversity.

I like that we actually get to see her growing up on Themyscira first and interacting with other Amazons. Diana is an evolving, growing person in this book rather than a somewhat removed ideal as she can appear in some stories.

The art is beautiful.

Highly recommended.

ETA: Bummed to discover there won't be a volume 2. Still a very worthwhile read on its own.


10 years ago on TTaT: Tiebreaker

19 April 2017

Vita Nuova: Italian Text With Facing English Translation

Vita Nuova22. Vita Nuova by Dante Alighieri

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Piangere! Sospirare! There's a great deal of weeping & sighing involved, but I enjoyed the Italian.

I thought this was going to be a book of poetry, and thus better read in the original Italian. And there are poems but there's also a great deal of prose and commentary on the sonnets by the narrator.

Dante's writing is very long-winded. He is the king of semi-colons and run-on sentences.

So for the content, I give it a 2. However this particular version, Vita Nuova: Italian Text With Facing English Translation by Dino S. Cervigni and Edward Vasta is the way to go if you want to read the original text and your Italian is rusty.

His Italian is archaic, so there's also that. I didn't read all the additional commentary that's in this volume.

It did rekindle my affection for Italian. I'd like to read something easier in Italian, some (relatively) current light fiction, maybe a YA novel, or even kid's books if you have any suggestions.


10 years ago on TTaT: Yeah, I watch Smallville

14 April 2017

Life of Art SitRep #374 Varied Purple and White Stripes

Shot 54 photographs and 3 videos of water. Culled 43 photos, 1 video, and rated the remaining. Got really brutal in my second pass remembering other abstract water photographs that I have which I prefer more.

Worked on my archive a bit adding images to my 2016 portfolio through May of last year.

Created Varied Purple and White Stripes products for an assortment of home decor, mobile device cases, wrapping supplies, stationery, and other items:

Check out the rest of the collection of Varied Purple and White Stripes products.

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Varied Purple and White Stripes pattern (posts next Tuesday).

Updated links and LOA files.

Added new purple stripes designs to Purple Geometric Gift Wrap Supplies collection:

How was your week?


12 years ago on TTaT: tip du jour-how to obtain a free credit report*

07 April 2017

Life of Art SitRep #373 A Moment to Celebrate

This week I celebrated 12 years of blogging here at Taller Than Average Tales with a post of highlights from each year.

Shot 12 photographs, culled 6, rated rest.

Edited a llama and sheep photograph in Lightroom, but didn't like it well enough yet to add it to blogiversary post or elsewhere.

Rocklawn Arts blogged Popular #Resist Pins, Bumper Stickers, T-Shirts, and more highlighting the top selling protest items from the past 30 days.

Added new auto twitter feed for Distinctive iPhone 7 Wood Cases collection. See them all here now:

Updated links, LOA for end of month.

Made monthly backups.

Have you backed up lately?


12 years ago on TTaT: Phoenix Rising

05 April 2017

Extrovert continued

Almost two weeks ago, I met a friendly, very attractive extrovert named Katie.

Two days after that encounter, my Mom was at the library and Katie made a point of telling her that it was really nice to meet me.

Which might seem like something... but when my Mom casually described seeing her interact with other people, it seemed like she's just an outgoing, friendly, chatty person with everyone. I've never actually seen her interact with anyone else so I have no other reference points. Mom actually finds it a little off-putting which says to me that she's finally lived up in the Northeast too long where gregariousness is unusual.

Today I had some books and CDs to return and a book to pick up from the library. Before I went in I was looking at the patches of skin between my thumbs and forefingers, red and a bit rough from hand-washing. Why didn't I use more lotion? I found myself wanting to look a bit better: a better hair day, less tired looking, skin a bit more clear. Normally, I don't care which shows but is kind of the point because I'm not trying to draw attention to myself. This is atypical territory for me.

Katie smiled and said hey when I walked in. Apparently I looked good enough. I did notice she didn't greet my by name although she recognized me.

"Hey," I replied, stopping by the book return to unload the stack I'd carried in. I didn't use her name either because I didn't have a good fix in my mind on her face and wanted to be sure it was her first. Yup, *very* good looking.

"I didn't think I'd ever see you again," she said, turning to grab my reserve book from the shelf behind her.

"I'm actually going to look for a couple things upstairs," I said to stop her from checking out the book. "I'll be back."

"Maybe I'll read it then. Looks like fun." She was holding a Wonder Woman graphic novel I'd requested.

I smiled and headed up the front stairs. The CDs I was looking for had been moved to the back of the building, so once I found them, I came down the back stairs and headed for the front.

I passed a woman tutoring a young man in French. He said something and then she corrected him, "Soixante-treize" and then in accented English, "Seventy-three." I recognized it before she translated it.

Passing through an archway to the main desk, I saw Katie leaning over flipping through a large book. I didn't think it was mine at first since it was a sizable hardcover, but then she closed the cover and I saw that it was.

"Any good?" I asked with a smile.

"I don't know. I've never read anything like this. I was just looking at the pictures." She pulled a slip out and started typing in my library card's number.

"Oh, I've got my card if that's easier," I said, pulling it out of my wallet.

"Quick on the draw," she said. I thought she meant me but she didn't seem to need my card, so I put it back. She must've meant herself.

"These too?" she asked.

"Yes."

She checked out the two CDs I'd gotten. "Oh, I love Glen Miller," she said. "I haven't listened to him in a long time."

"Good stuff," I said. She likes big band jazz, thumbs up.

Katie handed me my items and said, "It was really good to see you again, Claire."

"It was good to see you again too, Katie."

I was smiling when I walked outside but mostly suppressed it because I didn't want to talk about it with the people waiting in the car. I may have to pick up my own books more often, I thought to myself.

We went for a bit of a ride and I replayed the encounter in my head. Why didn't I say something when she said, "I didn't think I'd ever see you again"? I let my mind wander and daydreamed how things might proceed.

It wasn't long before I was bumping up against my own red flags, things which if I learned of them in another person I'd consider deal breakers but which I myself possess. Some could be fixed in theory but there are a couple things I can't fix which I don't want to talk about. Why even bother? I thought to myself, my mood somewhat dampened.

It comes down to what you feel worthy of.

Hmm.

She did seem happy to see me again.


I still don't have a read on what kind of interest she may have in me. When I read what I've written, it seems obvious, but it doesn't feel obvious in person. And as far as I know, she chats with everyone this way.

During a break from writing this I had the hilarious idea that she could be somewhere else on the interwebs writing from her point of view trying to suss out my potential interest. She has the advantage though: she knows my full name and I post by it. (Hey, Katie.) Oh my god, how mortifying would that be?

Even if her interest is platonic, it's still nice when someone who gives you a good vibe shows interest in you.


11 years ago on TTaT: Nickerblog's Mystery Hotel