I just learned that Ursula Le Guin has died at the age of 88. She was one of the shining lights of science fiction and fantasy, and will be missed. From The Dispossed to The Left Hand of Darkness to her Earth sea series, and essays on writing and other subjects, she brought a sharp mind and a way with words that were unparalleled. She will be missed, but leaves a great legacy, which I will be enjoying throughout the rest of the year.
Beyond The Empire is the third book in a trilogy, and it’s just as good as the first two. I recommend the whole series, basically because you won’t know what’s going on in this one without reading the other two. You won’t be disappointed if you like space opera, military SF, or grand sweeping stories. I actually anticipated each book, luckily she writes faster than George RR Martin. Now I’m anticipating the new series with Hail and crew The Farian Wars, release date not announced. 🙁
Gunrunner-turned-Empress Hail Bristol was dragged back to her home planet to take her rightful place in the palace. Her sisters and parents have been murdered, and the Indranan Empire is reeling from both treasonous plots and foreign invasion.
Now, on the run from enemies on all fronts, Hail prepares to fight a full-scale war for her throne and her people, even as she struggles with the immense weight of the legacy thrust upon her. With the aid of a motley crew of allies old and new, she must return home to face off with the same powerful enemies who killed her family and aim to destroy everything and everyone she loves. Untangling a legacy of lies and restoring peace to Indrana will require an empress’s wrath and a gunrunner’s justice….
You can get the whole series on Kindle here: The Indranan War (3 Book Series)
The description below pretty much says it. Except that Dillard can really turn a phrase.
In this collection of short essays, Annie Dillard—the author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and An American Childhood—illuminates the dedication, absurdity, and daring that characterize the existence of a writer. A moving account of Dillard’s own experience, The Writing Life offers deep insight into one of the most mysterious professions.
A nice book of essays from Le Guin. Taken from her blog. The first section on aging is basically worth the price of the book.
On cultural perceptions of fantasy: “The direction of escape is toward freedom. So what is ‘escapism’ an accusation of?”
Ursula K. Le Guin has taken readers to imaginary worlds for decades. Now she’s in the last great frontier of life, old age, and exploring new literary territory: the blog, a forum where her voice—sharp, witty, as compassionate as it is critical—shines. No Time to Spare collects the best of Ursula’s online writing, presenting perfectly crystallized dispatches on what matters to her now, her concerns with this world, and her unceasing wonder…
Ink portrait of MLK for Martin Luther King Day. 6×4 inches Ink on watercolor paper.
Jay Defeo worked on the massive painting, The Rose, for 8 years. When it was removed from her apartment, it basically went into storage for almost 30 years, before being restored and conserved by the Whitney museum.The artist never got to see her most famous piece hanging in a museum like she wanted. This book of essays, and photos, gives a good overview of The Rose’s and Jay Defeo’s place in art history.
Drawing from today. Kinda how I feel. Click on it for a pretty pop-up view.
This is not a book, it’s a TOME. It’s 12x14x2 inches and you could kill a cat with it. I read Finch’s Chuck Close: Life before this, so there’s a lot that is already covered, but this book is worth it for the giant pictures, and more detail on process. This is the 2010 edition, there is a newer one that updates to 2014 (I think), but there doesn’t seem to be that much more in it, just a few more pages.
This is a great Artist’s memoir, with nice art, and text that ties in history with biography and travel. It’s a fast read also.