Fran Wilde’s first novel debuts from Tor in 2015. Her short stories can be found in Asimov’s*, Beneath Ceaseless Skies*, Nature Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, and more. She blogs about technology, fiction, and food at franwilde.wordpress.com, and only occasionally procrastinates on facebook, twitter, and tumblr. These are her good things.
(coming in *2014)
Good things to read.
Since many have posted great novel recommendations, here are three short story collections:
The Pottawatomie Giant and Other Stories by Andy Duncan. Duncan is Appalachia’s answer to Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He blends southern gothic with classic myths, historic events, monsters, mystery, and mayhem in a storyteller’s cadence that is as wonderful to read as it is to hear live. My favorites in this collection: anything to do with the Winchester Mystery House, “Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse,” “The Dragaman’s Bride,” and “Close Encounters.”
Looking for Jake by China Miéville. Long ago, this is how I discovered Miéville. All the rest – the horrors and wonder of Bas-Lag, the linguistic space opera that is Embassytown, the rebellious shabti of Kraken, all began here, with a feral street, a carnivorous bingo hall, and what lives trapped behind your mirror.
Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee. “It is not true that the dead cannot be folded. Square becomes kite becomes swan; history becomes rumor becomes song. Even the act of remembrance creases the truth.” Behold. The first paragraph of the first short story (“Ghostweight”) in this most amazing collection. I’ll just leave that here for you to contemplate. You’re welcome.
Good things to watch.
Gattaca. Ethan Hawke. Uma Thurman. Jude Law. A staircase shaped like DNA. A rocket to space. Perfection.
Attack the Block. One of my favorite movies from 2011. On Guy Fawkes Night, in a council estate in South London, a teenage gang has to defend the city against alien invasion. The acting is amazing (John Boyega especially). The special effects – pure BBC.
Live Readings, everywhere. Nothing better than hearing a new story live. Check out Fantastic Fiction and the New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series in NYC, Writers with Drinks in San Francisco… and the brand new Dangerous Voices Variety Hour in Baltimore, for starters.
Good things to use.
TWSBI fountain pens. I thought really well-made fountain pens were beyond my payscale and my ability to not lose my pens (reader, I lost cheap pens all the time) until a friend told me about TWSBI’s 580 series. Now I own three. I am completely addicted. And I haven’t lost one yet.
Noodler’s Ink. A habit I acquired at the same time as my fountain pen. My favorite colors: Baystate Blue, Walnut, and La Reine Mauve.
Levenger Circa notebooks (which are compatible with the more affordable Staples Arc system). I keep drafts, outlines, and notes for different stories organized in these. When a story gets too big for one notebook, I change out the rings, rather than starting a new book – which makes it easier to keep thoughts together, and re-organize pages. The hole punch is worth it because it makes adding my own less expensive paper easier. I make covers for each notebook, often using cards and drawings people send me that relate to the stories.
Connect with Fran on Twitter, @Fran_Wilde.