Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Links and Recommendations

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

As if you don’t already have enough distractions…

I failed to post here at my blog for almost the entire month of February, so I’m making up for it with a flurry of posts in early March. (If posting regularly is the key to building a blog readership, well, that explains a lot.)

Recommended Audiobooks

Hyperion by Dan SimmonsHyperion and The Fall of Hyperion
by Dan Simmons:
These are science fiction classics that I loved back when they were originally published, and they are just as amazing today. Instead of re-reading, I listened to the audiobooks and was extremely impressed by the production. I’ve been listening to audiobooks for only about nine months, and early on I got into the habit of listening at a slightly faster than normal speed, usually 1.25x, unless I really wasn’t enjoying a book and then I would shift to 1.5x. But with these books I downshifted to 1.0x because every word is worth hearing. Truly amazing writing, characters, and world building. I’ll be moving on to the next book in the set, Endymion, before too long.

Annihilation by Jeff VandermeerThe Southern Reach Trilogy
by Jeff Vandermeer:
Audible had all three volumes of the Southern Reach trilogy — Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance — in an omnibus edition, available for a ridiculously low one credit, so I decided it was high time I familiarized myself with these much-acclaimed novels. I’m not entirely sure what I expected of the Southern Reach, but I was surprised at what I found. These are “literary” novels. They engage with fine language and description and, especially in the first two books, there is much time spent exploring the odd and troubled pasts of the main characters. At times I found it slow going, and early on I tweeted this:

What kept me going was the truly amazing writing, and a wonderful cast of narrators. As above, I slowed this one down to 1.0x speed, to catch every word, and as the story proceeded, I began to feel I was drawn into a spell of words and insight. I also felt that the quality of my own writing was improving as I continued to listen — a very nice side effect!

Of the three volumes, the third was my favorite. I found it the most engrossing, as some of the mysteries are being worked out. Some reader reviews complained that the ending was too abrupt, but I didn’t find it so. Highly recommended.


• In midFebruary SF Signal published a piece by James Wallace Harris called Staying on the Cutting Edge of Science Fiction. I found it to be an interesting look at how the idea of what constitutes “cutting edge” technology shifts over time and how technologically based science fiction responds to that, especially since this is a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. James suggests that writers wanting to “extrapolate about the impact of real scientific knowledge … can’t let older science fiction cloud their vision.” I think this is a very important point. The post was surrounded by controversy though, because none of the books cited as examples were written by women. I wish it had been different and that the post had included a more varied list of examples. Nevertheless, I thought it was an interesting perspective.

• Yesterday Charles Stross published a very entertaining and thought-provoking piece called Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera, in which are listed several hundred “already seen it” tropes from science fiction. To my mind, this list is asking a similar question to that above: what’s new? and what’s left to explore in a literary sense?

• And finally, just for fun… this was making the rounds a few weeks ago, but if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out, and know that we are doomed:

Links & Last Calls

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Women in Science Fiction StorybundleI’m just back from the mainland and much is going on. Here are two time sensitive happenings. (Act now! Deadlines are imminent!) is hosting a sweepstakes. They’re giving away five copies of The Red. Comment on the post to enter. Sweepstakes ends 12:00 PM ET on August 26th. Open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec).

The Women in Science Fiction Storybundle ends on August 27. This is a chance to buy a lot of ebooks for not much money, including my novel Memory. Follow the link for details.

The Red - Saga EditionAnd here are some links to posts of mine around the web:

At the Women In Science Fiction blog, run by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, I talk about my novel Memory. This is in relation to the Storybundle.

At John Scalzi’s blog Whatever I have a Big Idea post in which I talk about both The Red and its sequel The Trials.

At, I have a post titled Wired Soldiers: The Technology Behind The Red.

At Charles Stross’s blog, Judith Tarr, Nicola Griffith, and I have each posted on women in science fiction, looking at things from different perspective. Here are links to all three posts.
Where Have All the Women Gone? by Judith Tarr
Data, books, and bias by Nicola Griffith
Chilling Effects by Linda Nagata

And finally, one more review of The Red, this one at LitStack Review.

The Long Week

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

It’s been a tragic, crazy week. Not for me personally — life has gone on here in my island sanctuary much as usual — but like the rest of the US and many other parts of the world I’ve watched the surreal unfolding of events in Boston and the tragedy in Texas, and it’s still April 20th of course, a notorious day in itself. Let’s hope it passes quietly.

As I mentioned earlier in the month, I was privileged to guest blog over at the website of Charles Stross. Charlie has many active and interesting commenters, and if you’re not already following his blog, you might want to start. Here are links to my posts, if you’re interested:

4/9: Why I Do Self-Publish

4/14: The Fumes of Mordor & Other World Building Models

4/18: The Curious Experience of Middle Age

Charlie’s Diary

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

I have the great good fortune of guest-blogging this week over at Charlie’s Diary, the blog of top SF writer Charles Stross.

Not long ago, Charlie did a blog post on why he doesn’t self-publish. I asked if he’d be okay with me doing a counter post on why I do self-publish and he thought it was a good idea. Follow this link to view the post, and if you’re not already following Charlie’s blog, check out the fascinating array of topics he covers.