February 2023 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging at the end of October 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family developments as well as the books I read in that month. I’ve found it a pleasantly cathartic process, especially in recent circumstances. If you want to look back at previous entries, they are all tagged under bookblog nostalgia.

The highlight of February this year was my visit to Gallifrey One in Los Angeles again:

With a side excursion to Hollywood afterwards:

More locally we went to a fantastic exhibition of alabaster sculpture in Leuven:

And visited by my sister and her daughter, we re-enacted the gestures of the statues in the forest.

I read 28 books that month, though a number were Clarke nominees where I read only 50 pages either because I didn’t think they were very good or because I didn’t think they were science fiction, or both.

Non-fiction 4 (YTD 13)
The Number Mysteries: A Mathematical Odyssey Through Everyday Life, by Marcus Du Sautoy
Timelash, by Phil Pascoe
Listen, by Dewi Small
Elizabeth I and Ireland, ed. Brendan Kane and Valerie McGowan-Doyle

Non-genre 1 (YTD 3)
Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov

SF 19 (YTD 41)
To Paradise, by Hanya Yanagihara
The Women Could Fly, by Megan Giddings (did not finish)
How High We Go in the Dark, by Sequoia Nagamatsu
Roadside Picnic, by Arkadii and Boris Strugatsky
The Furrows, by Namwali Serpell
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Wild Cards: Deuces Down, ed. John J. Miller
Vagabonds!, by Eloghosa Osunde (did not finish)
Fevered Star, by Rebecca Roanhorse (did not finish)
Until the Last of Me, by Sylvain Neuvel(did not finish)
Glory, by NoViolet Bulawayo (did not finish)
The Leviathan, by Rosie Andrews (did not finish)
Peculiar Lives, by Philip Purser Hallard
Eyes of the Void, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Metronome, by Tom Watson
Leech, by Hiron Ennes (did not finish)
Harpan’s Worlds: Worlds Apart, by Terry Jackman (did not finish)
Tales from Planet Earth, by Arthur C Clarke
Oval, by Elvia Wilk

Doctor Who 3 (YTD 8)
Doctor Who: The Eaters of Light, by Rona Munro
Lucy Wilson & the Bledoe Cadets, by Tim Gambrell
Doctor Who: Timelash, by Glen McCoy

Comics 1 (YTD 5)
Agent Provocateur, by Gary Russell et al

6,100 pages (YTD 16,000)
12/28 (YTD 29/73) by non-male writers (McGowan-Doyle, Giddings, Nagamatsu, Serpell, Moreno-Garcia, Osunde, Roanhorse, Bulawayo, Andrews, Ennes, Munro, Wilk)
9/28 (YTD 14/73) by a non-white writer (Yanagihara, Giddings, Nagamatsu, Serpell, Moreno-Garcia, Osunde, Roanhorse, Bulawayo, McCoy)

The best of these were two of the Clarke submissions, Metronome, by Tom Watson (which we eventually shortlisted; get it here) and The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (a Hugo finalist; get it here). I’ll draw a veil over the worst of them.

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