Last night I saw Nancy Kress read at the University of Washington bookstore. This is the second reading I've attended as part of the Clarion West Summer Reading Series. Last week I saw Paul Park.
The first of Kress' books I read was the excellent how-to write book: "Beginnings, Middles & Ends." There are many good texts in the Elements of Fiction Writing Series, but this was my favorite.
Later I realized she was also an award-winning science-fiction author--a big clue I spend too much time in the how-to section--so I picked up one of her many novels, "Beggars in Spain," about a future where people can be genetically engineered not to sleep. I've just cracked the spine, but I'm hooked so far.
I go through genre phases and I've fallen behind in sci-fi and fantasy. I've read a lot of the most popular ones, as they rank historically. At one point I kept a list of top 100 sci-fi/fantasy novels and checked them off slowly, but it's not a static business and now I play catch-up. My self-imposed homework is to read the writers from the Clarion West readings, and become familiar with their work.
I haven't read "Game of Thrones" yet either, and as you might imagine, that's coming up more and more. I ordered the books from Amazon and they should be here in a week. On July 29, I have a ticket to see George R.R. Martin read at Town Hall in Seattle.
And so my education continues.
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