January was an odd month. It was the month that I decided to stop indulging myself with other people’s books, and to get my own second and third novels finished and sent to the copy editor. It was also the month that my dad died, suddenly. His death was peaceful, at home, and hopefully as easy on him as a death can be. He was 82, almost 83, and in January we had a small celebration on his birthday in his home. And then we tidied up the financial loose ends, looked after mum, looked after ourselves, and waited for the funeral. I didn’t get any writing done at all.
Before all that happened, I read the third and final part of NK Jemisin’s ‘The Broken Earth’ trilogy. ‘The Stone Sky’ wrapped the trilogy up perfectly, Jemisin had set up an immense challenge for herself in book 3, which she more than met. I loved it. Then I moved on to a much awaited treat. I promised myself it would be the last book for a while. I’d bought Pat Cadigan’s Alien 3 as a Christmas gift for my husband, and he obligingly made it the first of the pile of new books to read. As soon as he’d put it down, I picked it up. Cadigan’s novelisation of William Gibson’s screenplay is a very enjoyable romp in Xenomorph town. Yeah, anywhere can become Xenomorph town, given human stupidity, human greed, and just the slightest infusion of the tiniest little Xenomorph. It’s very Aliens centred, Hicks has survived the Sulaco, and is leading the resistance. It’s fun, I recommend it.
Then I went for a bit of guilt reading. I bought Dan Simmons ‘The Terror’ as a Christmas or birthday gift for my husband a few years ago, and it’s been gathering dust ever since. That shouldn’t happen to a book. I’ve been reading it for a few weeks now, and it’s pretty good as a grief book. The characters aren’t a bit sympathetic, the monster is vague, and it’s very easy to put down after a few pages. Lady Silence, the mutilated woman who has been taken in by the crew of The Terror, does intrigue me though, I hope we find out a lot more about her. In case the TV series has passed you by, The Terror tells the story of a doomed Arctic expedition, of two ships and their crews trapped in the ice for years on end, and a mysterious creature that is hunting the crew members. I’ll probably still be reading it in March, so there may not be a February book blog.
Right, I’m going back to my own writing. See you on the other side.