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.
I started the month in Chicago, where the Chicago River was reverse-engineered in the 19th century to flow out of Lake Michigan rather than into it. (Lake Michigan is roughly twice the surface area of Belgium.)
I was there of course for the 2022 Worldcon, at which I was once again part of the Hugo team.
The major point of drama surrounded the Hugo Awards Study Committee, which had been founded on my proposal in 2017, but which had unfortunately become dominated by a small self-appointed clique in 2021 and 2022 to the point that I successfully called for it to be abolished at the Chicago WSFS Business Meeting. This had been brewing for months, culminating when the people running the committee submitted constitutional amendments to the Business Meeting in the committee’s name, despite a previous consensus that they would not. There seemed to be no desire for course correction on the part of those concerned, and they certainly failed to persuade the Business Meeting to let them have another go. A shame; I had thought it was a good idea in principle, but it turned out not to work in practice.
The next week, Liz Truss became Prime Minister, and Queen Elizabeth II died.
The week after that, Anne graduated summa cum laude from her theology degree in Leuven.
We then went to a reunion in Clare College Cambridge, where we had met and married thirty years and more ago.
On the day of the Queen’s funeral, I went on my own quest to find my grandmother’s grave:
That evening I met up with three old friends from grammar school in Belfast who all now work in London.
I ended the month in England again, at a Glasgow 2024 Worldcon planning meeting; photos in the October update.
I read twenty books that month. When I first posted this list I disguised the Arthur C. Clarke Award submissions with Greek letters; the shortlist is now out and the winner will be announced next week, so there is no longer any need to be coy about what books I read when.
Non-fiction 6 (YTD 76)
Political Animals, by Bev Laing
Matt Smith: The Biography, by Emily Herbert
Doctor Who (1996), by Paul Driscoll
The Dæmons, by Matt Barber
Richard of Cornwall: The English King of Germany, by Darren Baker
Argo: How the Cia and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History, by Antonio J. Mendez and Matt Baglio
Non-genre 1 (YTD 14)
Mr Britling Sees It Through, by H.G. Wells
SF 8 (YTD 77)
The Traders’ War, by Charles Stross
Brasyl, by Ian McDonald
Jocasta, by Brian Aldiss
Black Man, by Richard Morgan
Braking Day, by Adam Oyebanji
The Fish, by Joanne Stubbs
Speaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card
Poster Girl, by Veronica Roth
Doctor Who 3 (YTD 26)
Fear of the Web, by Alyson Leeds
Doctor Who – The Movie, by Gary Russell
Doctor Who and the Dæmons, by Barry Letts
Comics 1 (YTD 14)
A Matter of Life and Death, by George Mann, Emma Vieceli and Hi Fi
5,700 pages (YTD 55,500)
6/19 (YTD 84/211) by non-male writers (Laing, Herbert, Stubbs, Roth, Leeds, Vieceli)
2/19 (YTD 27/211) by a non-white writer (Mendez, Oyebanji)
Mr Britling Sees It Through was a real revelation for me, hugely enjoyed it. You can get it here.
The new biography of Richard of Cornwall was very disappointing, but you can get it here.