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:

Two Interviews

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Two interviews are just out this week:

Over at SF Signal I answer questions posed by book reviewer and writer Anthony Vicino. Topics covered include the contrasts between indie and traditional publishing, military science fiction, and Going Dark. I think this is one of my better interviews. I hope you check it out!

And at the B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog you’ll find the Don’t-Mess-With-Texas interview, titled “Mission Complete: Discussing The Red Trilogy with Linda Nagata”. Here Andrew Liptak asks questions about all three books in the series, and what I’m doing next.

SF Signal: Mind Meld

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Every week, SF Signal poses a question to a collection of writers. We answer separately, and the results are posted on Wednesdays. This week I got to participate. The subject: How has reading science fiction and fantasy changed you as a person or changed your life?

The other authors who answered this week’s question are Myke Cole, Evie Manieri, Gillian Polack, James Patrick Kelly, Howard Andrew Jones, Michael J Martinez, Ken Scholes, E.J. Swift, and Abhinav Jain.

Find this week’s Mind Meld here: How Science Fiction Changed Our Lives

My First “Mind Meld”

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

SF Signal is a website devoted to covering the science fiction and fantasy field, with articles, book reviews, and other contributions from people across the genre.

Each week features a piece called “Mind Meld” in which several writers, editors, fans, or others active in the field are asked to respond to a question. No one gets to see the other answers until publication day.

Today was my first time participating in Mind Meld.

The question:

Q: As a reader and as a writer, how do you feel about the practice of revising books after they have been published (or at least have reached the ARC stage)? How much revision goes into your writing process? (How clean are your drafts)?

Find everyone’s answer here at SF Signal.