Alfvaen (alfvaen) wrote,
Alfvaen
alfvaen

A Crow Short of The Murder

Sometime in 1992 (June 18th, to be precise), I decided that I wanted to keep track of what I read. Actually, I'd had the idea a few times in the past, but I'd bogged down in the format to store it in or something. But in 1992, I had this program called Framework II on my second-hand XT 8088 computer, which had a spreadsheet/database mode, and it seemed like the way to do it. I've kept it up since then, in different formats--after I couldn't run FW2 anymore, I just used a text file, until I put it into Microsoft Access, where it still resides. This list is almost completely dedicated to fiction; for some reason, though I've thought of it many times over the years, I have never gotten around to doing an equivalent list for nonfiction reads, even though I spend close to half my time reading non-fiction these days.

So here's the list of what I read in 1992, for anyone who's interested...

1. Bonnie Jones Reynolds: The Truth About Unicorns (June 17-19, 1992--Library copy)
Somebody had mentioned BJR on rec.arts.sf.written, which I was fairly active in at the time; not this book, but another one, whose title I couldn't find out for years, but I just googled it and now think it was probably "The Confetti Man". Ah, Google, thou source of all knowledge. Wikipedia only mentions her as the wife for ten years or so of Gene Reynolds, best known as the producer of the TV show M*A*S*H, which is another fact I didn't know until today. She also had some sort of Yoga book which was all I could find of hers for years. But anyway, I found this book at the library, and while for some reason the details have faded somewhat, I seem to recall enjoying it. Maybe I should look for "The Confetti Man" somewhere. Amazon seems to have some second-hand copies...

2. L. Frank Baum: The Wizard of Oz (June 19, 1992)
I never read any of the Oz books as a child, and when my wife discovered this lack, she made me try a few of them. I know I read about the first three or four of them, but this seems to be the only one I actually recorded here. Apparently I'm not that assiduous about kids' books, either.

3. Theodore Sturgeon: Caviar (June 20-21, 1992)
A Sturgeon short story collection, cleverly titled, though I couldn't tell you offhand what stories are in it. I also keep track of when I bought books in this database, though anything prior to June 1992 I had to guess. This one I bought back in July 1989, apparently, whch means I wasn't quite three years behind on my reading yet. I didn't always read books in the precise order I bought them, but this was in my "Standard" reading slot. I had a number of slots, which tend to proliferate at the expense of "Standard", which just means "book I've had the longest but haven't read yet". To this day I haven't quite managed to read all the box I owned before June 1992.

4. On Spec Spring 1992 (June 21-22, 1992)
Ah, yes. I used to interfile the magazines I read--such as this one, from Edmonton's finest homegrown SF magazine--with my books. At one point I was subscribed to On Spec and Asimov's SF Magazine, and frequently bought Fantasy & Science Fiction as well. Further down the line, I decided that rather than reading a whole magazine at once, I would just read a story or two between books. And then, a few years ago...I just stopped reading magazines altogether. Maybe one day I'll start again, but the fact is that I'm just more interested in novels than short stories at this point in my life.

5. Janette Oke: Love Comes Softly (June 22, 1992)
When I got married in 1991, I had more books than my wife, so I was interested in the few that she did have. This series superficially resembles the Laura Ingalls Wilder books that I read as a child, but there is a much stronger Christian element. As an atheist, I am simultaneously put off and fascinated by such things, so I gave the first book in this series a try. I found it a decent enough read, not too cloying in the religious elements.

6. Andrew J. Offutt: Evil Is Live Spelled Backwards (June 23, 1992)
Andrew Offutt was one of my favourite authors from the Thieves' World shared-world anthology series, which I read a lot as a teenager, but I'd never heard of him before. Of course, I hadn't heard of most of the Thieves' World authors before either, but anyway, I made a point of picking up any Offutt book I could find in the second-hand bookstores I frequented, and this was one of them. A dystopian SF story, as I recall, rather than his usual Conanesque fantasy, but I don't recall much else about it. In my mind it kind of fades together with Fritz Leiber's Gather, Darkness!

7. James Blish: Black Easter (June 24, 1992--Library copy)
I mostly knew of James Blish for his Star Trek episode collections, and it was years before I bothered to look into his other stuff. I had picked up a copy of "The Day After Judgement" before discovering it was a sequel to an earlier book, "Black Easter", so I looked for that one at the library. Like the last one, it was interesting for being a fantasy novel, about Satanists in the present day, rather than the author's usual SF. Back before fantasy became a separate genre, I suppose it was less comment-worthy for authors to cross over into fantasy from time to time.

8. Roger Zelazny: The Guns of Avalon (June 24-26, 1992)
When I first ventured into the adult section of the public library, I started at the A's, looking for authors I knew, or, failing that, looking for the distinct dark green bindings of the Gregg Press science fiction reprint series. One day, noticing that I always stopped before getting to the end of the alphabet because I had enough books, I started in the Z's, and quickly found an omnibus of Zelazny's Amber series. Later I began picking up the series' individual volumes in paperback, and reread them. I remember being surprised with how much was resolved in this one, that I thought happened later in the series. I still think that most of what I remember from the Amber books is from the first two.

9. Gordon Korman: This Can't Be Happening At MacDonald Hall! (June 27, 1992)
Another of Nicole's favourite authors that I hadn't encountered before meeting her was Gordon Korman. I was first introduced to the excellent A Semester In The Life of A Garbage Bag, a hilarious teen novel; I quickly worked my way through his other teen novels, Son of Interflux and Don't Care High, and then read some of his "Bruno & Boots" books. Apparently I didn't read them in order, because I'd already read several of them by the time I read this one, the first in the series. I find his McDonald Hall books okay, but not as good as his best. But then, I seem to recall that Korman was a teenager himself when he wrote this one...

10. Lin Carter, ed.: Flashing Swords! #4 (June 28, 1992)
Another "standard" slot book, an anthology of fantasy stories edited by Lin Carter, one of heroic fantasy's greatest supporters. I read some of his World's End books at an early age, and I still have a soft spot for them, but my tastes have changed a lot since then. I seem to recall that the Flashing Swords! anthology series was intended for new stories featuring various well-known fantasy authors' best-known characters, but I couldn't tell you who was in this one.

11. Sir Thomas Mallory: The Morte Darthur (June 29-July 5, 1992)
This one took me a while, close to a week, which was an eternity by my reading speed at the time. I don't recall if it was just turgid prose that was the problem, or if there was something distracting me, or what. Still, I don't regret having read it--as a semi-authoritative work on the Arthurian mythos, it's a good background.

12. Fantasy & Science Fiction October 1989 (July 5-9, 1992)
For a magazine, this also took me a few days. I wonder if the short fiction was beginning to pall even then? Or was this a double-sized issue? I'm also not sure whether I was that far behind in my F&SF reading, or if I just bought it second-hand. Either is possible.

13. L.M. Montgomery: The Blue Castle (July 9-11, 1992)
I must have just had a lot of time to read back in June, because three days becomes more the norm for a while. This is another childhood favourite of hers that Nicole got me to read. I still haven't read any of the Anne of Green Gables books, but this one was pretty good.

14. David J. Lake: The Right Hand of Dextra (July 12-14, 1992)
I swear I don't remember much about this book; I hope I got rid of it. I think I may have first run across it in some book a former roommate of mine had, with illustrations of various alien species, some of which were from this book, but the plot did not stick with me. I think the title had to do with alien life whose molecules were right-handed instead of left-handed, but that's all I remember.

15. Andre Norton: Witch World (July 15-17, 1992)
When I was a kid, Andre Norton was one of my favourite authors. I went through most of her stuff that was in kids' section of the library, including the Witch World series, though I read it in an odd order. When I went back to reread Witch World, I was surprised to find out how bad it really was. It really killed most of my desire to reread the rest of the series. Some of the books, like The Crystal Gryphon, were much better, but the main series, I may just leave alone.

16. Joel Rosenberg: D'Shai (July 17-18, 1992--Library copy)
Was this my first Joel Rosenberg book? I guess it must be. I probably grabbed this book off the paperback rack, but I don't know whether, at that point, that Joel Rosenberg was a Canadian author, or at least a Canadian citizen who was eligible for Aurora Award nominations. Probably--I was mad about the Auroras back then, and I'd read anything if it was Canadian. Luckily for me, Joel Rosenberg's stuff was really good. This book was essentially a fantasy mystery story. Probably time to reread it again, because I've forgotten most of it...

17. Eileen Kernaghan: Journey To Aprilioth (July 19-22, 1992)
This book I know for a fact that I read because the author was Canadian. I saw her on a panel at ConText '89, and had never heard of her, but I bought all three of her books (at the time). This was probably the one I enjoyed the most, an odyssey through Bronze Age Europe, from the British Isles to the Middle East.

18. K.W. Jeter: Dr. Adder (July 22-23, 1992--Library copy)
Don't know if I'd heard of this guy before grabbing this book at the library, though it was possible someone had mentioned him on rec.arts.sf.written or Fidonet or something. Anyway, this book was a great example of proto-cyberpunk. I was never that heavily into cyberpunk, but this book was pretty cool.

19. Barry N. Malzberg: Overlay (July 24, 1992)
I'd probably picked this book more or less at random second-hand, as an author I hadn't seen before. I didn't care for it too much--too low-key, nothing but a bunch of losers who liked to bet on horse racing, with some alien force trying to manipulate them, but precious little really happens until the very end. Don't think I've read Malzberg since.

20. Nicole Luiken: Sacrifice (July 25-26, 1992)
Something else I used to do, but don't really anymore, is put my wife's manuscripts into my reading list. This was probably not the first draft, but the first she'd let me read, and far from the last.

21. Gabriel García Márquez: Chronicle of A Death Foretold (July 26, 1992)
This was a book I borrowed from my friend Julia. I'd already read Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, probably because of Gilberto Hernandez mentioning it in Love & Rockets, and I liked it, so I borrowed this one, which was really quite short, and it was good too.

22. C.J. Cherryh: Merchanter's Luck (July 26-28, 1992)
I had read several Cherryh books by this point, but was nowhere near catching up. (As of today--still not caught up, though it's possible I may be closer.) This book is fairly slim, especially by today's standards, but is still one of my favourites of hers, about a down-on-his-luck merchanter, running a hyperspace transport ship, whose luck manages to turn around when he gets involved with a woman from a larger merchanter family.

23. M.J. Engh: Wheel of The Winds (July 29-August 2, 1992)
M.J. Engh was an author I'd read a story or two by, but after she was a panelist at ConText '91, and I found out about her novels, I picked up two of them, this one and Arslan. This novel was pretty cool, about a large planet with a globe-encircling river and a strong current that made it very difficult to go upstream against. The characters in the book, traveling on the river, have to circumnavigate the entire world on the river, not once but twice.

24. Fritz Leiber: The Big Time (August 3, 1992)
Like, I imagine, many people of the D&D generation, I started reading Fritz Leiber with Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser, because of the "Nehwon Mythos" section in the Deities & Demigods book. They had those all in the library when I was growing up, but after I finished them I would sometimes try one of his other books, like this one. Later I got my own copy, and this would be my reread of that copy. I enjoyed it more on the reread than I had in my younger days, doubtless, more able to appreciate its intricacies and unity of time and space.

25. Robert Lynn Asprin: M.Y.T.H. Inc. In Action (August 3-4, 1992--library copy)
I own a copy of this book now, so I'm not sure why I read this one from the library...I wouldn't have thought it would be in hardcover, my usual reason. When I first encountered the Myth books I bought the first four in one week (if not on the same day) and devoured them accordingly. This was the last new book that I read in the series for ten years, and I seem to recall there was a big hiatus in their publication which was only resolved a few years before Asprin's death.

26. Piers Anthony: Question Quest (August 4-5, 1992)
I also devoured a lot of Piers Anthony when I was younger. This book, the fifteenth in the Xanth series, was the last in the series that I bought, and one of the last Anthony books that I bought, period. It's possible I've never even been back to reread it. I haven't read, or reread, a lot of Anthony in the years since, and accordingly I have been gratified to see his formerly dominating portion of shelf space dwindle over time.

27. Vernor Vinge: True Names (August 5-6, 1992--library copy)
I think that this was not the True Names And Other Dangers collection, but an actual separate printing (and binding) of the "True Names" novella itself. I don't remember much about it, apart from the premise that a hacker's "true name" or real identity was just as dangerous to let his adversaries know as a wizard's true name is in some magic systems.

28. John Varley: Millennium (August 6-7, 1992)
Picked this book up new after reading Varley's Titan trilogy, and also, I believe, after watching the movie with Kris Kristofferson and Cheryl Ladd. The book and movie are pretty close, actually--even Cheryl Ladd's casting reflects the fact that, being from the future, she is supposed to be stunningly beautiful like everyone else--and it's a pretty decent read, if not as dense or interesting as the Titan books or many other of Varley's novels.

29. K.W. Jeter: Infernal Devices (August 7-10, 1992--library copy)
The other Jeter book I've read, also from the library; this one seemed to preconfigure the whole "steampunk" genre, though it took a decade or so for that genre to grow past this and the Gibson/Sterling book The Difference Engine, which I had already read by this point. Also includes a bit of Lovecraft, as I recall, for spice.

30. Henry David Thoreau: Walden And Other Writings (August 10-22, 1992)
These days, I would never have read a book like this in my main "fiction" stream, the one that I've been tracking assiduously, since it's patently not fiction, but philosophy/pastoral/travelogue. I think I had gotten this as a birthday or Christmas gift from somebody, anyway, and decided to give it a try. I made it all the way through, and I still have it to this day, but at the time, close to two weeks was an extraordinarily long time to be reading any book, especially one so comparatively slim. (Les Misérables, for instance, took that long, but that was more understandable.)

31. Michel Jeury: Chronolysis (August 22-23, 1992--library copy)
Another library book, a French author (France French, not Québecois), and I think time travel was involved, but I haven't retained that much about the actual plot. Earlier, I had read some books like Tales From The Planet Earth and was interested in European SF; not that much these days.

32. IASFM November 1989 (August 23-25, 1992)
I had a subscription to Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (later "Asimov's") for years, and, as I said, I was still scheduling those magazine reads inamongst the books. This issue looks like it was dominated by the novella "No Spot of Ground" by Walter Jon Williams, which is one of the pointless alternate history stories that often bug me, where Edgar Allan Poe was a general in the American Civil War. Ho-hum.

33. Charlotte Brontë: Villette (August 26-31, 1992--library copy)
Somebody on FidoNet, probably Pamela Dean, had recommended this as a better book than "Jane Eyre", so I gave it a try, and pretty much agreed. I should reread it again sometime.

34. Timothy Findley: Not Wanted On The Voyage (August 31-September 2, 1992)
Borrowed this one from a friend, but I think I later did get my own copy. It's a pretty good book, one of those "not quite fantasy" books set in a mythological milieu and written by a more literary authors, about Noah's Ark.

35. John Updike: Rabbit, Run (September 3-10--library copy)
Read a little bit of Updike (somebody had lent me a copy of Roger's Version, because it had a computer guy in it), and I kept hearing about the Rabbit series, so I thought I'd start with this one. So, I read it. Don't think I've gotten around to any more Updike since.

36. Robert A. Heinlein: The Past Through Tomorrow (September 10-16)
Heinlein was another author I had read only sporadically, but I'd picked this one up in the bookstore as it promised to encompass much of his future history. It actually includes two collections, with most of his classic SF stories, and the novel Methuselah's Children, so it was quite complete. Before then I'd really only read a scattering of his books, so this gave me a clearer picture of another side of his work.

37. Mary Stewart: Stormy Petrel (September 16-17--library copy)
My wife had gotten me into reading Mary Stewart, an author I'd never really heard of, and since Dick Francis, Dean Koontz, and Alistair MacLean had all proved out, I tried her too. The first one I tried, Madam, Will You Talk? was quite good, so I grabbed this one at the library. Unfortunately, as a later book, it's not quite up to her earlier standards.

38. Sheri S. Tepper: Raising The Stones (September 18-24)
I'd enjoyed Tepper's True Game series, and read most of her novels since then, but this may be my favourite, though at some level it's probably a little questionable. As I recall it, people start worshipping these "gods", which may be nothing more than some kind of telepathic alien fungus, and they spread it as far as they can, but considering only severely unlikeable characters hate them, they can't help but seem like a good thing. Oddly, one of Tepper's less strident books.

39. Dean R. Koontz: After The Last Race (September 24-25--library copy)
Dean Koontz's books tend to be...well, somewhere in the horror/thriller/science fiction/fantasy realm. But this book, another library grab, is just a plain mainstream crime novel. Some criminals get together to try to rob a racetrack, so I guess this is a heist novel, but we get POV from the security guy, who is a bit of a loser, and in general this is a book where nobody is particularly likeable. Not one of his brighter moments, but it's an early book so I suppose it's forgivable.

40. Lin Carter: Zanthodon (September 25-26)
Lin Carter's World's End series was one that I read a lot as a kid too, though it took me some time to find all the books. Similarly, my library had Zanthodon, but not the first book in the series, so when I eventually found that one, I had to reread my copy of Zanthodon as well.

41. Damon Runyon: The Bloodhounds of Broadway (September 26-30--library copy)
Spider Robinson did a story, whose name escapes me, about a Damon Runyon character who goes through a time machine, which was the first time I'd heard of Damon Runyon. Or so I thought, because later, it turned out that he wrote this little story named "Guys & Dolls", which was later turned into a famous musical which I'd seen and heard multiple times. Anyway, I looked him up at the library and got this collection of his stories, which did not include "Guys & Dolls", and read and enjoyed it a fair bit--though it's possible the stories were getting a little samey toward the end.

42. Alan Dean Foster: For Love of Mother-Not (September 30-October 2)
I've never been quite sure what to do with Alan Dean Foster. I read his Star Trek Log books as a kid alongside James Blish's Star Trek books, though I didn't realize at first that Foster's were from the animated series. The Spellsinger series was fitfully interesting. But the Flinx books just perplexed me, mostly in just trying to figure out where to start with them. Generally, in these cases, I start with the prequels--despite the fact that this didn't work for most series--so I'd already been through Nor Crystal Tears before I got to this one. This book still didn't do much for me, though.

43. Nicole Luiken: Running On Instinct (October 3-6)
Another one of my wife's manuscripts, which did get published, a few years later. Though I still miss some of the characters from early drafts...

44. Evelyn Waugh: The Loved One (October 7-9)
Also borrowed from one of my friends, who found Waugh hilarious. I know I had seen some Waugh books on my parents' bookshelves when I was a kid, but I'd never tried them. This one, mostly about morticians, was okay, but I wasn't crazy about it.

45. On Spec Fall 1992 (October 9)
Looks like I read this one quite soon after I got it, probably pushing aside some IASFM issues (which is doubtless why I was behind on those), and it didn't take me very long, either.

46. David Gerrold: A Day For Damnation (October 9-10)
I'd read the first Chtorr book, A Matter For Men, once or twice before, and liked it, so eventually I went on to the next book in the series.

47. Robert A. Heinlein: Job: A Comedy of Justice (October 10-13--library copy)
I'd read a number of latter-day Heinlein books by this point--I Will Fear No Evil, Friday, Number of The Beast--so I decided to try this one from the library. It was okay, I suppose, a bit heavy-handed, and I don't think I've ever picked up my own copy.

48. Charles de Lint: Drink Down The Moon (October 15-17)
Charles de Lint was another Canadian author that I saw at ConText '89; I had read his book Wolf Moon before then, but after ConText I picked up a bunch of his. This book was the sequel to his Jack The Giant-Killer, and I confess I don't remember it that well.

49. Joyce Cary: The Horse's Mouth (October 17-20--library copy)
I think this was referenced in Fritz Leiber's Afterword to The Big Time, which may be why I picked it up from the library in the first place. It was an interesting book, anyway, about an aging, good-for-nothing painter in Ireland.

50. Andre Norton: No Night Without Stars (October 20-22)
One of my all-time favourite Norton books was this one, set in a post-apocalyptic world. I enjoyed the game Gamma World at the time, and I think I even tried to adapt this into an adventure, though no doubt very badly.

51. Tom Clancy: The Sum of All Fears (October 23-28--library copy)
I'd heard a lot about this Tom Clancy guy, and had seen "The Hunt For Red October" movie, so I grabbed this one at the library with no clue that it was part of a series. It was a decent read, though it was far, far too long, with padding and unnecessary subplots in the middle, and even during the high-tension climax of the book, which seemed to be there to give guys in submarines who may very well have been in earlier books something to do. Still, I was encouraged enough to go on read more Clancy, and still do from time to time.

52. Lawrence Watt-Evans: Nightside City (October 29-30)
I'd completely forgotten about this book until now. I was blown away by Watt-Evans's short-short story "Real Time", and so I grabbed the first novel of his I saw, but...I don't remember the slightest thing about this book. Can't have been very memorable, I guess.

53. Nicole Luiken: Cross My Heart And Hope To Die (October 30-31)
Another one of my wife's manuscripts, this one not yet published... It does have horror elements, so not inappropriate to finish it on Halloween...

54. Alexandre Dumas: The Three Musketeers (October 31-November 6)
This book (as well as the Mallory and Thoreau books) was in my "Classic" slot, where I was trying to catch up on older works of literature. I quite enjoyed this one, which I had, of course, seen several versions of by this point, including a Classic Comics edition.

55. Analog December 1989 (November 6)
I didn't read Analog nearly as much as I read OnSpec, IASFM, or even Fantasy & Science Fiction, so I'm not sure why I had picked this one up. Checking the contents, it's got Part 3 of a serial I hadn't seen the first two parts of, and no authors' names that would have prompted it. Must have been pretty random. Polished it off in less than a day, though, apparently.

56. Louis L'Amour: Reilly's Luck (November 6-7)
I never read too much for westerns; I remember my dad encouraging me to try some Zane Greys as a kid, but I never got very far. Nicole urged me to try this one, I admit that it wasn't bad at all, and I have read a few more L'Amours, and Zane Greys, since then.

57. John Irving: The World According To Garp (November 7-10--library copy)
I always got John Irving and John Updike confused, so perhaps having read an Updike book made me want to read Irving. This book was much more enjoyable, and I've read a lot of Irving since then, too.

58. Jack McDevitt: The Hercules Text (November 10-14)
McDevitt was an author of whom I had seen several stories in Asimov's. For some reason this book has shaped my image of him, because I always associate him with this kind of decoding-SETI-signal SF, even though he's written on a lot broader topics since then (none of which I have managed to read, though).

59. John Crowley: The Deep (November 14-15--library copy)
Somebody on Usenet or Fidonet was raving about John Crowley--probably Little, Big at the time, but I tried this one at the library and was pretty impressed by it. I don't remember details, but the atmosphere and plot were quite well done.

60. M.J. Engh: Arslan (November 15-17)
The other M.J. Engh book I'd picked up, the story of an Asian military leader and conqueror who invades the United States...but is presented as a complex, if not sympathetic, character. I seem to recall liking the book.

61. Karen Wehrstein: Lion's Heart (November 18-23--library copy)
This book is part of a loose series called the Fifth Millennium, but I don't know if I knew that when I picked it up at the library. I was blown away by it, though, and even when I discovered that it had a cliffhanger ending and a sequel, I was eager to read more. Fourth Chevenga was a great character and I enjoyed his story immensely.

62. Terry Pratchett: The Colour of Magic (November 23-25)
I had read this years earlier, back in the days of the pre-Josh Kirby cover, and in fact had gotten up to Sourcery in the series before losing interest. For whatever reason, probably due to people saying good things online about later books in the series, I decided to reread this one. This was a series that definitely got better as it went on...

63. The Brothers Grimm: Grimm's Fairy Tales (November 25-December 2--library copy)
As a child, I had had a book of Grimm's Fairy Tales, with classics like "Aschenputtel" (which later became "Cinderella"), "The Goose Girl", "King Thrushbeard", and others, with some of my favourites being lesser-known ones like "The Golden Bird" and "The White Snake". That was a fairly thin book, meant for children, and this book in the library was much larger and more complete. It took me a while to get through, because after a while it got a little samey, but it's a good reference to have on hand, if nothing else.

64. Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman: The Will of The Wanderer (December 2-4)
I liked the Dragonlance books as a kid, but mostly the Weis & Hickman ones, and followed them into the Darksword trilogy, and this one, whose series title I've forgotten. This one, with a more Arabian Nights-style setting, was...okay, I guess, but it was the last series of theirs that I actually read.

65. Glen Cook: Shadow Games (December 5-7)
The Black Company series, the original trilogy, was something I had read in high school and university, so I was quite happy to follow on when the series picked up with the Books of the South a few years later, though I thought this was one of the duller titles in the series.

66. Poppy Z. Brite: Lost Souls (December 7-10)
I wasn't really into vampire books, but Nicole's agent at the time was quite impressed with this one and gave (lent?) us a copy, so I read it. I thought her name was interesting, too, and I've been known to base reading decisions on that. It was okay, but didn't inspire me to seek out more.

67. Craig Shaw Gardner: A Multitude of Monsters (December 10-11)
I'd read A Malady of Magicks already, so I went on the next one, but I don't remember much about it. Gardner was never really that high on my list, but I did eventually finish this series, and haven't really checked him out since.

68. John Crowley: Engine Summer (December 11-14--library copy)
After The Deep I was eager to try another, so I picked this one up. It's also quite good, if not quite as intense as The Deep, but at least one great plot twist that kept me interested.

69. Michael G. Coney: Charisma (December 14-19)
Coney was another Canadian author I'd heard about at ConText '89, so I'd picked up a number of his books second-hand. This one...well, it was quite thin, and yet it took me five days, so while I don't remember much about it, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I didn't care much for it, and I probably weeded it at some point.

70. Don Marquis: The Best of Don Marquis (December 19-24--library copy)
This was a library book that I apparently brought with me on Christmas vacation, which I had looked up because a talk.bizarre friend had kept recommending his "archy & mehitabel" poems. I read the whole thing, including the poems (a big thing for me, because I'm not much for poetry), and enjoyed it, but I don't think it made much of an impression on me overall.

71. Thomas Godfrey: Murder For Christmas (December 25-29)
Was this anthology an actual Christmas present? I suspect it was. Mysteries aren't really my genre of choice, but I enjoyed reading through the various Christmas-themed mystery stories in the book anyway.

So, despite starting my tally almost halfway through the year, I still got 71 books read in that time, which meant I probably read at least 120 books overall, ten books a month, or so. I don't think I was reading nearly as many nonfiction back then, but there might have been a few. Anyway, let's sum up:

71 books: of those, 22 were from the library, 4 were actually magazines, 3 were my wife's manuscripts, and 6 were rereads, so that's 64 "real" books, and 36 of those, just over half were books that I owned and had not read before--books that "counted" against my quantity of "unread books", which was the count of books that I owned and had not read yet.

Of the non-magazine books, they are surprisingly evenly divided between Fantasy (24), Science Fiction (23) and Mainstream (18). I guess the Mainstream number is the most surprising, because I think of myself as a genre reader. A lot of the calls are kind of hard to make, though--Witch World is set in a fantasy-that-later-turns-into-SF, the Marquez book is sort of "magic realism" but I counted it as Mainstream, and yet Not Wanted On The Voyage I counted as Fantasy. I'm inclined to say that it averages out.

Also, including the magazines, there were 13 anthologies or collections, leaving 58 novels. 24 of those novels were in series--or thereabouts, since it's not always clear when a novel is part of a series. (For instance, Journey To Aprilioth may be in the same world as Songs From The Drowned Lands, but they're not closely related...)

I don't think there was any other I read more than two books by (unless you count the three of my wife's manuscripts)--those authors are Lin Carter, Andre Norton, K.W. Jeter, M.J. Engh, and Robert A. Heinlein. I do usually like to space out reading an author's books, unless I'm doing a series reread, and even then...

That's probably enough dissection. At some point I may get around to doing 1993, or the first half of 1993. Who knows, someday I may even catch up...
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