In December of 2009, I resolved to read at least 54 books that were either a: works of science fiction by female authors, or b: not in English. In January, I moved to Vancouver, B.C., with Nalo Hopkinson’s Skin Folk and François Bégaudeau’s Entre les murs in my carry-on.
Three months have gone by. A very successful three months: I am a quarter of the way into the project, and just short of a quarter of the way toward that goal. Sometimes I read a book in a day or two, and I certainly don’t always remember all the details. So I’m starting this blog as a way of having something to show for my year of reading other than a list on Goodreads and the fading memory of a year’s exploration of dozens of speculative worlds. This is what I read, and this is what I thought, in 2010.
I don’t expect a large readership. There are hundreds of book review blogs out there, many of which are by better writers with more stick-to-it-iveness than I. This is a book club of one, in which books are selected and read by one, and then discussed by one, at length, and then (always happily) at greater length with anyone who cares to comment. I am, in effect, talking to myself. You are welcome to join in the conversation, but don’t be upset by the fact that I am the kind of person who actively seeks out spoilers and will reveal any detail of the novel I feel is necessary to make my point. Most of the people I know are voracious SF readers. I am writing this blog on the assumption that you, my reader, have read the book I’m writing about.
This project is an education. I’ve been involved in media fandom for a long time, and most of my close friends are passionate SF readers. I’ve always wanted to attend a WorldCon, but haven’t because I didn’t feel I had enough knowledge to have anything to contribute to the discussion. Don’t get me wrong; I never felt that I would be unwelcome. I just wasn’t comfortable with the idea of traveling, and meeting new people, and sitting in on panels and learning, and thinking “wow! wow! wow!’ and “You are all so great!” and having nothing at all of my own to say.
If I am successful in this project, you bet I’m going to WorldCon.
This blog will mostly be about SF by women and books in French, German, or Spanish. If you have a favourite book that fits into those categories, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a comment and I may add it to my list. I take recommendations very seriously, and much of what I have read so far has been suggested by friends, or highly praised in reviews. My partner summarizes SF novels in the shower. This is how I know my life is nearly perfect.
So, I write. I have opinions. Sometimes I get irrationally angry about verbs. And I’m going to read 54 books within specific parameters by December 31, 2010. Are you with me?