1. The Martian by Andy Weir
2. Fables, Vol 18: Cubs in Toyland by Bill Willingham
3. Fables, Vol 19: Snow White by Bill Willingham
4. Fables, Vol 20: Camelot by Bill Willingham
5. Divine Scream by Benjamin Kane Ethridge
6. Less Than Hero by S.G. Browne
7. Red Equinox by Douglas Wynne
1. The Martian by Andy Weir
1. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (mini-series, 2015)
2. Big Hero Six (2016)
3. Home (2015)
Note: This post involves minor spoilers.
A significant portion of Andy Weir’s The Martian centers around a lone astronaut using his wits to survive in impossible circumstances.
During a massive sandstorm and an evacuation of the mars expedition team, astronaut Mark Watney is hit by a radio dish and presumed dead. But he wakes on Mars alone, still alive in a hostile environment. The only way to survive is to use scientific knowledge and engineering skills to make an uninhabitable world inhabitable for four years when the next Mars mission is set to return.
Space and travel to other planets are incredibly dangerous for human being. There are thousands of ways for a person to die, from severe cold to lack of atmosphere to the wrong oxygen/nitrogen/carbon dioxide mixture in a space suit. A small error in judgment, one tiny unconsidered element of physics (like a single flawed bolt or a piece of overstretched fabric) can mean catastrophe and death. This epically fun book makes this danger brutally clear.
On Saturday morning, my sisters and I crawled out of bed while it was still dark and outfitted ourselves as best we could to face the Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) half marathon in Auburn, California — an event we all decided to sign up for while drunk during Fourth of July (because that’s how we roll) and for which only one of was in any way prepared for (I’m looking at you, C.).
Although, we all knew it was going to be a hard event (the title included “ultra” and “champions,” afterall), we really had no idea what we were about to face. Warning: Strong language ahead.
We started the event just as first light was filling the sky.
The first 5 miles were joyful. Sister P. and I decided we were going to treat the UROC as a hike rather than a run, due to our lack of training. Near the beginning, we met an adorable young woman who was of the same mind as us and the three of us cavorted over the narrow trails (some only about 1.5 feet wide with a steep dropoff on one side), awed by the beauty of the trail.
Later, we would figure out that our new friend was a lifesaver, in that she had brought a water pack and an extra bottle with her, while we had not.
I have several things I keep meaning to post about and that I can’t seem to find the time to put together, including (but not limited to) the half marathon I participated in over the weekend and the amazing reading in honor of Nomadic Press’ fall chapbook collection with poets Allie Marini, Brennan “B-Deep” DeFrisco, Cassandra Dallett, Paul Corman-Roberts, Dan Shurely and Freddy Gutierrez (present in spirt), as well as a number of book and movie reviews.
I’ve managed to sign up for a Brainery workshop called Science Fiction Fairy Tales, which I don’t really have time for, but am uber excited about. This, along with the suggestion that I might also do Nano along with the whole host of writing projects that I am currently working on and need to finish.
All of this is to say, wow, I’ve got a lot going on. In a good way. (Mostly.) But it’s still overwhelming. (Which is also why there wasn’t an update last week.)
What I’m Reading
Celestial Inventories is a collection of short stories by Steve Rasnic Tem. I am several stories in and so far each one has been surreal, strange, disturbing, and gorgeous. What a delicious collection so far.
What I’m Writing
Oh, so many projects at the moment. Currently poetry, but it’s going to switch over to include to fiction very soon.
- My essay “Beyond Shahrazad: Feminist Portrayals of Women in The Arabian Nights” was published in NonBinary Review #6: 1001 Arabian Nights.
- “Inside Her Curious White Sleigh,” Yellow Chair Review, September 27, 2015
Accepted! My poem, “How to Open a Jar of Honey,” was accepted to be included in the We Can Make Your Life Better anthology to be published in 2016 by University of Hell Press.
Rejected! Three poems were declined by Word Riot.
Submitted! I immediately turned around and submitted the three rejected poems elsewhere. Also submitted two more collaborative poems, written with Laura Madeline Wiseman.
Goals for the Week: Survive.
- If You Were Wonder Woman and Chris Pine Were Your Boyfriend, by Nicole Steinberg is utterly fantastic – “If you were Wonder Woman and Chris Pine were your boyfriend, you’d take a special, spiteful pleasure in apprehending any criminal who dressed in plaid. Because all day, every day, you’d be SURROUNDED by plaid.”