Sunday, July 5, 2015

Murchie Plus Books: June 28th to July 4th

The premise: I love my dog. I love books. I bring the two together by photographing my tiny and adorable dog beside every book I read, barring the digital comics I get in single-issue form.

The photos: go live on Instagram as I edit them and appear here in digest form every Sunday.

Not pictured: I creep ever closer to the end of CABLE & DEADPOOL. Someday I'll even finish it.

I also started the issue of ANDROMEDA SPACEWAYS INFLIGHT MAGAZINE from the Hugo Packet. I guess I should probably photograph Murchie with it, seeing as how it's a book-length volume with a proper cover, but... yeah. I bug the little dude enough.

Finally, I busted out all the stops and finished A MEMORY OF LIGHT last Sunday instead of pacing myself. I was like, "I'll just get to the end of the three-hundred screen chapter," but that quickly turned into, "OMG I MUST READ EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW WITH NO BREAKS."

Y'all know how it is when you finally reach the climax of one of the defining series of your childhood.

A fuzzy grey poodle, Murchie, curls up inside a high-sided dog bed lined in beige plush. Before him rests a hardcover copy of Nimona. Its cover features an illustration of three people: a blonde white guy in golden armour, a pink-haired white girl with pink wings, and a dark-haired Asian guy with one arm.

You've read Noelle Stevenson's NIMONA, right? If not, please be aware it's a super-awesome comic about a young shapeshifter who decides to become a villain's sidekick. There's hilarity and emotional resonance and good bad people and bad good people and A FRICKIN' DRAGON.

I like it when there's a dragon. Please fill me in on all the things about dragons so I can read or watch them.

This was my third time through NIMONA, which I followed in its original webcomic form, so I regret I cannot include it on any of my Best of 2015 lists. I'm also sad, sad, sad I can't nominate it for a Hugo next year, since I don't believe there's enough new material in the print edition to qualify it as a full-on 2015 modified reissue.


I won't review NIMONA here, but I did write a fairly detailed response for Lady Business's Superheroic Women event. Be forewarned: the piece includes some spoilers, and I think the warning was embedded in the cut tag so it doesn't appear within the post itself.

Murchie lays on a red tapestry comforter. He stares directly at the viewer. Beside him is a white Kobo with Darkhaven's cover on its screen. The cover features a winged unicorn with black smoke curling off her wings.

Y'know, Murchie is like a reverse badger. (Shoutout to everyone with whom I've discussed badgers over the last couple of weeks.) He's got a darker stripe running down the centre of his otherwise silver face.

He's also vicious, which Jenny informs me is an intrinsic quality of badgers everywhere. This breaks my heart, since I would very much like to cuddle a badger. They're frickin' adorable, and they represent Hufflepuff! The Hufflepuff badger loves hugs, but I guess the Hufflepuff badger is atypical.

Murchie loves hugs from me. He evaluates hugs from others on a case-by-case basis.

Regarding the book at hand, A.F.E. Smith contacted me ages ago to see if I'd be interested in a review copy of DARKHAVEN, her July 2nd release. I agreed in the belief I'd have both la TBR and my Hugo reading more or less under control by mid-June.

*muffled laughter in the distance*

I finished reading it on the release date (which was also my birthday! In case you missed that!) and will have a full review for you either next Tuesday or the Tuesday after that, depending on how revisions go.

Murchie lays with his head on his red comforter. His paws stretch out behind him. Also behind him is a trade paperback copy of Royal Wedding. It has a blue cover featuring an illustration of a brown-haired white girl wearing a tiara and large sunglasses.

I don't read enough general fiction. Maybe I can change that during I'll Read What I Want Month.

Or maybe not. Most of what I want to read or reread in the coming weeks is either fantasy or crime fiction, soooo....

Anyways! ROYAL WEDDING is Meg Cabot's new Princess Diaries novel and the first adult release about Mia Thermopolis, princess of Genovia. Mia is older, self-actualized, and more experienced at the whole princess schtick, but she's still very much herself. So she rushes madly about, righting wrongs and helping her friends and diagnosing herself with every single terrible disease she's ever heard of.

It's hilarious.

Also! It contains pretty well all my favourite fictional things, barring explosions, descents into madness, and people who can shoot fiery bolts out of their fingers. There's even--spoiler coming up if you haven't heard about Cabot's forthcoming middle grade series--a random half-sibling.

Random half-siblings are my favourite. They are so great. Ain't nothin' I love more than a fictional character who's just ambling along, living their life, when someone pops up and announces there's a half-sister or half-brother they've never heard of. At their best, random half-siblings mess up peoples' lives in all the best (read: most dramatic) ways. They throw everything into question and force the protagonist to take action It is great. (That's worth repeating.)

I'm always so sad when a random half-sibling doesn't make much of a difference to anyone. Like--more potential minor spoilers for other things coming up--, I'm still bummed Sam and Dean's random half-brother just kind of hung around, being actually a ghoul, and I'm disappointed A MEMORY OF LIGHT didn't do more with the random half-brother angle.

One expects more from one's fiction. At least ROYAL WEDDING, CORONATION STREET, and VERONICA MARS all deliver on their random half-siblings in a big way.

Murchie lays in a dog bed with link and beige striped sides. He's outdoors and has his head twisted to thee left so he appears in profile. In front of him is a trade paperback omnibus containing the first three volumes of One Piece

Renay is really into Eiichiro Oda's ONE PIECE, and she was like, "I guess you won't want to read it because it's at 78 volumes and counting and DEATH NOTE was too long for you at a measly 12 volumes," and I was like, "DEATH NOTE was too long for itself. I'm always up for long things when they're of an appropriate length for themselves."

Then I borrowed some ONE PIECE from the library and read the first volume. I'm liking it very, very much despite Renay's assertion that it doesn't get good until volume 8. I probably read volumes two and three last night, though of course I can't speak with any certainty because I'm writing this on Saturday afternoon and last night hasn't actually happened yet.

Scheduling posts in advance is fun!

Next week: my Doctrine of Labyrinths reread begins, unless I chicken out or get distracted. I guess I oughta read some more manga, too. The stuff has really piled up. Same goes for Hugo materials. I'm hoping I can drum up some more enthusiasm for the process now I'm working on Best Semiprozine.

But hey, I did finish last year's Hugo materials! Finally! I think I should get a gold star for that.


  1. Yep, yep, I am nodding sagely about the viciousness of badgers. I would never lead you astray. I am basing this on HARD FACTS such as the representation of badgers in The Gods Must Be Crazy II (awesome movie) and that one YouTube video about honey badgers. SCIENCE.

    1. SCIENCE. The other day I had a conversation about how maybe Hufflepuff is actually the evilest house of them all, as evidenced by their badger. They're just pretending to be all caring and hard working and stuff, when actually they're plotting everyone's downfall.

      Pottermore sorted me into Hufflepuff and never said a word to me about this ulterior motive, but everything I've done since then (including the official Pottermore test, which one can retake elsewhere for shits and giggles) says I actually belong in Gryffindor, so maybe that's why they're holding out on me.

  2. I'd be interested in hearing what you thought of ANDROMEDA SPACEWAYS INFLIGHT MAGAZINE, as I know quite a few people who have been involved with it.

    Murchie's facial hair is looking very trim at the moment!

    1. I'm enjoying it so far! I may move along to another magazine, though, as the sample issue (#60) seems to be quite a bit longer than any of the other offerings in the packet and I want to make sure I squeeze everyone in.

      Murchie's trim facial hair is an illusion. His groomer left his muzzle a bit longer this time around, and it's become decidedly bushy as it grows out. I've been trying to shape it slightly before I take any pictures of him.