Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes fiction under several names, including the bestselling Retrieval Artist series. She also edits Fiction River, an eclectic magazine, and runs a surprisingly popular (to her, anyway) website at www.kristinekathrynrusch.com.
Good things to read.
Santiago by Mike Resnick. It’s rare for a novel to remain in print these days, let alone stay in print for more than two decades. I read Mike Resnick’s sf classic, Santiago, when it came out and I still remember it to this day. Mike writes classic space opera here and, as a fan of all things space opera, I can’t get enough of that.
Hopscotch by Kevin J. Anderson: I’ve known Kevin most of my life (really) and he wrote this novel as an answer-story to one of my stories, “Stained Black.” Think about this: what if you could switch bodies with someone? Would you steal their life? Kev has an apocalyptic imagination and a thriller sensibility, and he brings both to bear here.
In Hero Years…I’m Dead by Michael A. Stackpole: A confession here. When I got asked to do the three things, I got asked because I’m in a Storybundle with Mike & Michael & Kevin, and I was asked to promote my own book, The Disappeared, the first book in my Retrieval Artist series. The Disappeared is one of the titles you can get for any price you want to set. But I’m really lousy at Shameless Self Promotion. I can’t honestly tell you it’s the best book in the bunch because I’m the worst judge of my own work. Instead, I’m going to close this with Mike Stackpole’s marvelous super-hero noir novel, In Hero Years…I’m Dead. Mike calls it what you would get if Dashiell Hammett had written The Watchmen, and yeah, it is. So read, enjoy, and have some fun. I’m off to do the same.
Good things to watch.
Orphan Black. One of the best shows on television in acting and in writing. You can find it on BBC America, but before the new season starts next year, order the first season. Titiana Maslany plays (at my count) six different clones, and they are all different and distinct. It’s an acting feat extraordinaire, which would make the series worth watching all by itself, except…the plot’s good, the story’s riveting, and the writing is spot-on.
Comfort and Joy. One of my favorite movies of all time and, sadly, only available on VHS. Yes, I said VHS. This is a Bill Forsyth movie which, if I describe it to you, will make me sound like a lunatic. So find a copy and enjoy it. Then write to someone (although I’m not sure who) and beg them to put this thing out on DVD and streaming. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wonder how anyone thinks of this stuff.
The Good Wife. Since I gave you two obscure things, let me point you to something accessible. The Good Wife has a stupid name for a TV program and the description of the series sounds completely off-putting. With the exception of the first few episodes of Season 4, it has the best writing on television (cable or network) and it’s got a great cast. It comments about the issues of the day, and presents a believable look at a large Chicago law firm, as well as politics and family relationships. Plus you can’t miss Michael J. Fox’s repeating guest shots as Louis J. Canning. (Not to mention Nathan Lane, and tons of other Broadway actors who come in and out for memorable guest turns.)
Good things to use.
A Tablet. I use an iPad, but there are so many good ones that I hesitate to restrict you to just one. My husband, who is not a tech geek, forced me to buy one a few years ago. I am a tech geek, and thought I didn’t need one. Now, I love me my iPad. I use it all the time, for reading, for web browsing, for watching videos, and for watching TV I missed. I also use it for things I will not admit to like Angry Birds. No, I don’t play Angry Birds. Really, I don’t. Honest.
Kobo Mini. Kobo might discontinue the manufacture of the mini because it didn’t sell to expectations, so buy one while you can. It’s so tiny; it’s the size of a mass market paperback, but it has a great screen and it’s really light. You can stuff it in your pocket or in your purse. And Kobo, with its international flavor, has a completely different list of available books than Amazon.
iPod Classic. Yeah, I know, they’re so passé. But the thing I love about the iPod Classic is its focus. It doesn’t do much besides store your library and play music. You can store your music in the cloud or use your computer to play tunes, but the iPod goes into your pocket and travels with you. It doesn’t use bandwidth that you might use for, say, streaming a movie in the other room. When I want to listen to music, I use my iPod (and its various docks, etc). Because I have other Apple products, I can easily move part of my library to them, and finally iTunes got wise, allowing you to move the music you downloaded not from iTunes to your other devices. So the ancient Pod is useful once again.