May 30th, 2018


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No Time to Spare, by Ursula Le Guin; and Sleeping with Monsters, by Liz Bourke (2018 Hugo finalists)

Two more Hugo finalists for Best Related Work - both of them books of essays and blog posts, originally published online.

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, by Ursula K. Le Guin

Second paragraph of third chapter:
One of the things people often find when they get there [old age] is that younger people don’t want to hear about it. So honest conversation concerning geezerhood takes place mostly among geezers.
I was delighted last year when Ursula Le Guin won the Hugo for Best Related Work on my watch, and sent a lovely acceptance speech. I hadn't anticipated that she would be up for it again this year; I was, of course, aware that her time might be running short, as alas it proved to be. These pieces are not as deep as those in Words Are My Matter, but they are just as wise; much less about literature than about age, experience, politics, and some lovely short pieces about her cat. There is a particularly good piece about anger. It's a short book, but it will linger with me for a long time. You can get it here.

Sleeping with Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy, by Liz Bourke

Second paragraph of third chapter:
So, Angel of Destruction. Together with The Devil and Deep Space (2002), the next novel in the Jurisdiction sequence, it marks a significant change within Matthews’ Jurisdiction universe. Previously, we’ve seen our protagonist, Andrej Koscuisko, act against the Bench only in —relatively —small ways, and only when in emotional extremis. Angel of Destruction and The Devil and Deep Space show characters acting against their unforgiving government in ways that are far more broadly subversive —and which have everything to do with prioritizing humaneness and justice over the rigid, inflexible, and inhumane rule of law and its application.
(Adapted from here.)
Most of the pieces collected here are book reviews, previously posted on Strange Horizons,, etc; and all of the books reviewed are by women, which makes an important point but unfortunately means we miss this piece. This is all good material and certainly points me to a few authors who I should try out once I have escaped from the slopes of Mount Hugo. You can get it here.

That just leaves the Harlan Ellison book to go; I'll publish my rankings in this category when I have read it.