The upcoming new book will be titled Complicated: The Interstellar Life and Times of Saoirse Kenneally and I’m aiming to have it out at the end of this year or beginning of the next. There’s a lot of frantic work between now and then and editing and proofing is only part of it. A book needs a cover, for example, so cover art has to be obtained. But to use the available digital tools to have a POD paperback, the artist has to know the thickness of the book’s spine and that depends on the final page count of the formatted pdf and that can’t be determined until we reach “pencils down” on any changes that might affect the page count. Sometimes, life can feel like a Gantt chart … Anyway, it is on the way and more on this in the fall.
“Beneath The Sugar Sky” is the third book in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series. This one, I’m afraid, is not on my favorite list. The story focuses on different characters than the first two (not all of them different, but the leads are different) and I did not feel invested in them. The story lacked the real sense of danger that was present in the first two; it felt more like a bedtime story for a young child. This is an adventure in a Nonsense world and while the writing is very inventive, the world did not feel substantial. Finally, the plot device involved in success of the kids’ quest did not work for me.
On the non-fiction side, Dilip Hiro’s “The Longest August” is an history of the conflict between India and Pakistan from the end of the British Raj up to 2014. The succession of confrontations, mis-judgements, outright wars, near nuclear war, terrorist incidents, assassinations, and coups involving these nations is a roller-coaster of events that I doubt any writer of fiction could produce – and this is real history. The book is written in an objective and dispassionate manner that presents the events in an accessible manner. I found this an excellent read and overview of this important history, especially for one who has not studied this area.