Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Pleasures of Reading, Viewing, and Listening in 2012, pt.13: Lynne M. Thomas

The Pleasures of Reading, Viewing and Listening in 2012
 By Lynne M. Thomas

This was a year of playing catch-up on classic literature, as well as reading works I didn’t have a chance to get to in 2011 once my Tiptree Award Jury duties wound down early this year.

I had a couple of runs of books of the same type. I read several novels that were mashups between fantasy and noir, or fantasy with noir heroes. Among them, Douglas Hulick’s Among Thieves and Kelly McCullough’s Broken Blade were both very satisfying reads, with strong characterization, great fight scenes, and plots that pull you along. Fans of Scott Lynch’s work, or of Alex Bledsoe’s Eddie Lacrosse novels should check these out if they haven’t already done so.

 I’m a sucker for Jane Austen and other more recent works set in the Regency period. This year I reread one of my favorite classic novels, Pride and Prejudice. I also greatly enjoyed Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamour in Glass, the follow-up novel to Shades of Milk and Honey. (If you like Jane Austen with some magic that won’t break the Regency frame added to it, these books are for you.) This time, the newly married protagonists are taking a wedding trip to Belgium as they try to understand how both marriage and glamour (the fictional magic included in this version of Regency England) work best in tandem.

 If you prefer your historical fantasies set in Roman or Victorian times, you may enjoy Love and Romanpunk, a short story collection of four linked stories by Tansy Rayner Roberts where lamia are real and are mucking about with the Roman imperial family. These stories are affecting and slyly humorous in the best possible way. Also, Mary Shelley turns up at one point.

Chicks Dig Comics came out this past March, and as you might guess, I consumed a goodly number of comics titles in trade paperback. By far, my favorites were Alias, written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Michael Gaydos, and Gotham Central written by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker, and illustrated by Kano, Stefano Gaudiano, Steve Lieber, Michael Lark, Greg Scott, and Brian Hurtt. Both of these stories focus on broken, complicated characters trying to figure out their place in the universe when their original plans have fallen apart. I also recommend Finder, written and illustrated by Carla Speed McNeil, which is a spectacular SFnal story told through the comics medium.

My viewing this year was relatively limited, but I thoroughly enjoyed Season 7 of Doctor Who. We are currently catching up on series 5 of Burn Notice, which I absolutely adore. In film, Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, The Avengers, and Skyfall (the latest Bond film) were on my list of films that I enjoyed in 2012, and I could not be more excited for the opening of The Hobbit and Les Misérables in the next few weeks.

For listening, this year’s most recent pleasant discovery was Kelly Hogan’s absolutely haunting vocals on her latest album, I Like to Keep Myself in Pain.

If you’d like to keep tabs on my consumption habits, take a look at my Goodreads account., or check out my monthly recommendations on the SF Squeecast Podcast:

Lynne M. Thomas is the current Editor-in-Chief of Apex Magazine. She co-edited the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords, as well as Whedonistas and Chicks Dig Comics. She moderates the Hugo-Award winning SF Squeecast, a monthly SF/F podcast. In her day job, she is the Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University, where she is responsible for the papers of over 60 SF/F authors. You can learn more about her shenanigans at

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