Eric’s been reading science fiction and, when Eric reads science fiction, we end up having many discussions about science. Some of his thoughts on Andy Weir’s The Martian found their way on his blog and into ebook form. I spent a good week of January formatting The Martian Engineer’s Notebook, Volume 1 and puzzling through Draft2Digital and the wonders of ebook formatting using Calibre. The Martian Engineer’s Notebook is available for free at all the major places, like Amazon.
What Else Did I Read
Some short story highlights:
“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer
When a search engine algorithm gains consciousness, it decides to be quietly beneficial to humans. (Quietly, because it’s seen our science fiction movies…) All it would like in return is more cat pictures on the internet. This is a sweet, funny tale of an AI undergoing a career crisis.
“Paladin of the Lost Hour” By Harlan Ellison
Someone was looking for short story recommendations on Reddit and this is my go-to suggestion. I was just surprised that it was available online at Ellison Webderland. Ellison is very vocal about (not) giving away fiction. It’s one of my favorite stories, ever.
“The Vanishing Man” by Allen Upward
“The Vanishing Man” was originally published in 1904 in The Royal Magazine. I learned of its existence while reading a 1905 issue of The Sphinx, a magazine for magicians. Isn’t it funny that it was probably easier for me, 115 years later, to read about “The Vanishing Man” in The Sphinx and then track down a copy than it probably was for a reader in 1905? I love the world I live in. It’s not a very good story. The premise is that Sir Forrester Hervey is a professional guest. He gets paid to go to parties, to fill in. In this case, a mistake sends him to fill in for a magician meant to entertain at a children’s party. Hilarity ensues, especially since Hervey decides that the bullet catch is a good amateur trick.
Other Life Stuff
Suffered with a pretty nasty cold for the first week of January. When it hit the “coughing while I’m trying to sleep” phase, I decided to buy some NyQuil. Now, I’ve really never used NyQuil before. I’m more of an AlkaSeltzer Cold/generic cough syrup kinda gal. Turns out, NyQuil and I don’t get along. I ended up fainting a couple of times which was a little scary.
Ended up being a pretty busy month in VOTS-land, though I didn’t end up playing as much as I would have liked. I had signed up for women’s winter league, but only played one game out of four. Granted, our last one (this past week) was rained out. Speaking of rain, for the second time in three years, New Year Fest (our local big tournament) was rained out. This is after a 30 year run of beautiful weather for it. I had decided I wasn’t going to play, but I was looking forward to helping out and watching a few games. On the plus side, I wasn’t totally worn out on Sunday for Super Bowl festivities.
Spring league starts this week after a pretty quick setup and draft. Our field situation wasn’t ideal which led to some delays. But we’re up and going.