Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Last night's reading: Nancy Kress at UW

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.

This entry brought to you by the hyphen, the most mystical sounding of all grammar beasts.

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