Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

Working hard on my Flow galley. After an initial readthrough, I decided to go over it a second time for other tweaks. There were two substantive things that needed alteration - a better explanation of what a "Crescent" is (a rank, or rather lank thereof, amongst the water witches) and a deletion of a minor element that I ... uh ... wrote into the story and then completely forgot to bring back. Also a few tweaks to the use of computers / cellphones to make it less obvious how long ago the manuscript was written ... but decided to leave it on the subliminal assumption that events happen in 2007.

(You have to read the manuscript fairly closely to figure this out - look at the starting date, look at the number of days the book covers, and then note that the confrontation scene happens on a Sunday. But it's there.)

When I return the galley to the editor, I will be wrangling such information as schedules, cover creation, and the policy of review / gift copies ... and doubtless other things that I haven't considered.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Books Read in 2011 - and Random Statistics

Here's the list of the books I read in 2011 and some general, random and (hopefully) funny statistics I recorded throughout the year, including the overall death toll and vocabulary words picked up.

Before I get on to the meat, a confession: I'm rather embarrassed by the small number of books I read in 2011. This doesn't include the copyediting I did for Darwin's Evolutions or critiques written over at FWO, of course, but it still does make me wince ... and resolve for a more bookish 2012.

Totals: 19 books read

Raw stats first. Note that where the math seems off, this is generally attributed to anthologies that were "all of the above," so weren't tabulated either way.

Novels read in my genre (fantasy): 12
Secondary world: 4
Urban: 5
Novels read in mystery genre: 3
Anthologies: 4
Non-Fiction: 1
Sequels and prequels: 7
First person: 3
Third person single-POV: 0
Third person multi-POV: 12

Which seems to suggest third person single-POV is a dying breed. Some value judgments next:

Books I would recommend: 12
Books I was tempted to put down: 3

Finally, my "snarky" section.

For death toll, I'm only counting on-screen / described deaths or plot-related deaths that are given a specific number. For instance, in Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, Grahame-Smith quotes a statistic about 204 murders, then shows a news report about one of those deaths. The 204 murders not being directly related to the plot, just color, they don't add to the tally, but the news report does, for a total of one. A fantasy battle in which "hundreds" died would not get counted because it's not a specific number. I am not going to count non-fiction deaths, though ALVH gets a pass because I am too lazy to separate out the fictional characters from the historical ones.

Books over thirty years old: 0 (though one was right on the cusp)
New vocabulary words: 36
Number of books containing said: 12
Books with maps: 3
Appendix consultation necessary: 0
Cumulative death toll: 1029

For the vocabulary list, some of these words are not strictly "new" - but if I encountered a word and couldn't remember what it went, it entered the list. Some of these words I'd seen in other forms but never as an (adjective, noun, whatever). Here it is, for anyone's amusement:

Assart, bollard, cognoscente, cotte, demimonde, exigent, four-in-hand, inanition, infundibulum, leat, lemniscate, loy, lumenal, merlon, moiety, mooted, neurasthenia, ormolu, palatines, paynim, piacular, pother, purblind, scurfy, spindrift, spume, supererogation, suttee, thrapple, thyrsus, tocsin, toft, travertine, turbid, vagus, volte-face.

As a point of interest, blogger's spellchecker doesn't seem to recognize about half of those. And here are the actual books:

Witch Way To The Mall – ed. Esther Friesner
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter – Seth Grahame-Smith
Thunderer – Felix Gilman
The Fourth Bear – Jasper Fforde
The Cater Street Hangman – Anne Perry
The Heart of Myrial – Maggie Furey
Blood Rites – Jim Butcher
Sisters In Fantasy – ed. Susan Schwartz / Martin H. Greenberg
Water Witch – Connie Willis and Cynthia Felice
The Dragon of Despair – Jane Lindskold
The Sunflower – Simon Wiesenthal
The Magicians and Mrs. Quent – Galen Beckett
Familiars – edited by Denise Little
The Leper of Saint Giles – Ellis Peters
Madman’s Dance – Jana G. Oliver
The Best of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine – ed Marion Zimmer Bradley
Doppelgangster – Laura Resnick
Paradise 21 – Aubrie Dionne
The Virgin in the Ice – Ellis Peters