February 2021 book blog

And so, on to February, when I finished Adrian Tchaikovsky’s ‘Echoes of the Fall’ trilogy by binge reading ‘The Hyena and The Hawk’. This series pushed all my buttons, strong female characters, children estranged from their parents, shape shifters, and a band of unlikely friends. Reading it was like eating a three tier box of my favourite chocolates. I suppose that ‘Shadows of the Apt’ is now on my 2021 Christmas list.

Moving from ‘Echoes of the Fall’ to a re-read of Joanna Russ might seem like an odd move, but it was February, it was lockdown, and I was missing friends and family. Tchaikovsky’s books were distracting, but Joanna Russ books are old friends, and if I can’t have a cuppa with a human friend, then at least I can curl up with couple of paperbacks that I bought when I was young … either from Grassroots in Manchester, or News From Nowhere in Liverpool, I can’t exactly remember, but I do remember the thrill of discovering the Women’s Press Science Fiction imprint. Both books were published by The Women’s Press in the mid 1980s, but weren’t new to me, I’d read them in previous editions from my local library. Reading them again was both comforting and disturbing, in that whilst it’s nice to remember my younger self reading the same books, nothing has really changed since they were written, and the fight goes on. I think ‘Picnic on Paradise’ is a brilliant short novel.

From the nineteen sixties to the twenty twenties, from Russ to Fahey, and there’s joy to be had in knowing that the torch is still burning. Fahey’s collection of body horror stories, ‘I Spit Myself Out’ addresses several of my own obsessions … twins, interfaces, and loss.

Looking back on February, I really did indulge myself, I didn’t try anything new, I had a wonderful time reading a great fantasy trilogy, two old friends, and a fantastic new collection of short stories from my anthology sister Tracy Fahey.

Then, right at the end of the month, I returned to Rotherweird …

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