Alcestis Art Austin Books Genre Historical fiction Readings

New year round-up

I’m back from a conference and trying to get myself together. This takes more effort than you’d expect, when in the wake of cross-country trips and one of the Worst Migraines of All Time. Ugh. But I’m slowly making progress, and part of that progress involves posting some reminders here about recent and upcoming news.

Thing 1: I will be leading a discussion of Alcestis for the Blanton Museum of Art Book Club in Austin on January 20. (Tiny sidenote: I’m not actually a graduate of the Michener Program, as that link suggests — my creative writing master’s degree is from the UT English department. I am, however, replacing Ted Hughes as the subject of this book club meeting. No, I am not ever going to get tired of mentioning that.) This discussion is linked to the Robert Wilson Alceste print exhibition currently running at the Blanton. I believe we’ll start at 7 pm, but I’ll try to get confirmation of that this week and will update here. If you’re in the Austin area and want to talk about the book, about misbehaving gods, about historical fiction and adaptation — come by and chat!

Thing 2: Many thanks to the fabulous Karen Healey for including Alcestis in her list of favorite books of the year! (Karen’s novel Guardian of the Dead is awaiting me on my Kindle, to be read on my next trip — since I really can’t justify too much pleasure reading when I’m not traveling, this month.)

Thing 3: The delightful Hipster Book Club people asked me to contribute a top 5 list for their end-of-the-year collection. Go to page 2 of that index and you can enjoy my ramblings about my favorite works of the year featuring post-apocalyptic themes. (My original list was chock full of links, but apparently those got lost somewhere along the way. Ah well.)

Thing 4: I feel weird about doing this, but as I’ve seen a number of other writers mention their Hugo/Nebula eligibility lately — Alcestis is eligible for nomination in the fantasy novel category for both the Nebula Awards (for SFWA members) and the Hugos (if you’re a WSFS member).  I’m not sure if I’m Campbell-eligible this year, but I’ll let you know when I find out.

And a link to conclude: a short NPR piece on who really wrote the first detective novel. The tone of the piece is a little strange — oddly disparaging about mystery-novel clichés, considering that they weren’t clichés when the first one was written — but the information is interesting.

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