WWW Wednesday 3-13-13

by Laura Anne Gilman

WWW Wednesday. This meme is from shouldbereading.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

• What are you currently reading?

THE BEDLAM DETECTIVE, by Stephen Gallagher. It’s advertised as a mystery, but it’s really a period novel about a man working as a special investigator to the Masters of Lunacy (basically, judging wealthy peers who may be too crazy to manage their estates, in 1912 England).  The case – involving the death of two young girls, and how it might be connected to another series of assaults years ago – is complicated by the social mores of both time periods, and the trauma that accompanied the earlier attacks,  as well as the possible madness or sanity of the main suspect.

I seem to be drawn to this sort of book, as much about the time and place (and voice) as the crime.

The author’s site is here, if you want more details
• What did you recently finish reading?

I’ve been pretty bad about finishing books, even ones I’m utterly in love with, just because there’s so much writing and editing to be done – and now, with warmer weather, the desire to be OUTSIDE. So there’s a lot of “almost-not-quite-done” books on my bedside table.  *blushes*  But I recently finished Julie Czerneda’s A TURN OF LIGHT, which was a lovely (if at 800 pages, long) read about love and sacrifice and the blindness that sometimes accompanies both of those things.  Julie’s better known as an SF writer, but I think her first entry into Second World Fantasy is a genuine success.

Julie’s site

• What do you think you’ll read next?

A lot of technical manuals about [redacted] and [redacted], for the WiP….. but I swear by everything holy that I WILL finish INK by Amanda Sun, and HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH DEMONS by Graham Joyce….



What about you? What have you been reading lately? Put the link to your WWW Wednesday entry in comments, or just tell us!


About Laura Anne Gilman

Laura Anne is a recovering editor-turned-novelist, with an Endeavor Award, a Nebula nomination, another Endeavor award nomination and a Washington State Book Award nomination under her belt. Her most recent series is the award-winning "Devil's West" trilogy, starting with SILVER ON THE ROAD, and her same-universe story collection, WEST WINDS' FOOL, AND OTHER STORIES OF THE DEVIL'S WEST. The novella GABRIEL'S ROAD was published by Book View Cafe on April 30th, 2019. Her Patreon, featuring original fiction, writing advice, and original Rants, is at https://www.patreon.com/LAGilman Learn more at www.lauraannegilman.net, where you can sign up for her quarterly newsletter.


WWW Wednesday 3-13-13 — 10 Comments

  1. I finally finished Les Miserables, and I’m so glad that I’m done. Hugo has a habit of going off on tangents. Long, multi-chaptered tangents. In the course of the book, he writes essays on the difference between an uprising (good) and an insurrection (bad), what all the common people were doing to prepare for the uprising, the construction and history of a prison ship, the nature of goodness, a chapters-long description of a wine shop, the proprietor, the proprietor’s wife, and the menu, numerous essays on the power, purity and celestial nature of romantic love, a sixty-eight page dissertation on the troop movements at Waterloo, six chapters on the history of the Paris sewers and the influence of excrement on civilization, the founding, history and activities of a convent, as well as a debate about whether people should withdraw to a convent if it’s their choice, a chaptered article on the etymology of the slang of the Parisian underworld, a biographical sketch of Louis-Philippe, an essay on the nature of the gamin, how science and education will fix all social problems, and why dying in a revolution like the one in the book ensures progress (because God will not let those who died die for nothing). And I’m sure I’ve left some essays out.

    I swear that he was more interested in his essays than he was in his story. Oh, there was a story in there somewhere, but it got overwhelmed by all of the above. The man was in dire need of a blog where he could make all of these pointless posts–and an editor to cut them out of the manuscript.

    I also finished reading Isaac Asimov’s The Caves of Steel, the first of his Baley-Olivaw mysteries. Elijah Baley is an agoraphobic human detective from Earth, Daneel Olivaw is a humanoid robot and, as the meme goes, “they fight crime!” They really do, though it takes a while for Lije to get past his multiple issues with Daneel, for he has a very common (for his time and place) prejudice towards robots and does not initially trust Daneel at all. It takes him a long time to even start getting past those issues, which felt honest. Finally, it had a twist at the end that I didn’t expect. I quite liked it, and I’d like to read the sequel, The Naked Sun, next.

    Currently, I’m reading Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen by Mary Sharratt. Hildegard was a visionary, lyricist-composer, playwright, student of botany, student of medicine, poet, author of a number of nonfiction books, including one on physical and mental illness (and which deals extensively with sex), theologian (her three major works were based on her visions). I’ve admired her for years, but Sharratt brings her to life as a passionate, intelligent woman who cared fiercely about what was just and what would help people. I’m going to have to look for more books by Sharratt, I can see that.

    Next up–The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.

    • I loved those essays on the language of the convent, contrasted with the underworld slang. And did you notice the bit about the eventual fate of Robespierre’s elephant?

      • I liked the one about the slang, but it really didn’t have any place in the story. The convent tangent was okay but went on for far too long. The elephant didn’t bother me too much because Hugo didn’t go on about it for five or six chapters.

        I’m sorry, but I really did not love the essays. To me, they just got in the way of the story–to the point where I tended to forget what had happened before the last essay got started.

  2. The Bedlam Detective is right up my alley and I’d never heard of it before. Again, this is why I love WWW Wednesdays!

  3. I am reading Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland because I just finished Mark of the Demon and liked it enough to keep going. I got the MOD at the library in paperback but I find that reading on Kindle is so much easier so when I was half way through, I bought it on Kindle to finish! I just finished Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs. If this wasn’t the best of this super good series it was at the top. Next up will be either Bad Blood by Dana Stabenow, House Rules by Chloe Neill or Blacklight Blue by Peter May. Nice to have so many good choices!

  4. I get stuck in the middle of books too but then it makes me a little crazy and I become obsessed with finishing them, or at least one or two 😉 In fact I know I have a couple by my bed that I have completely ignored for months now…poor things. I should really at least dust those off and put them back on my shelves…

  5. Pingback: Friday Finds [March 15, 2013] | Book View Cafe Blog