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I don’t talk about it all that often around here, but Watership Down is one of my very favorite books of all time. I mean, anyone who has been reading me for a while can probably list some things I’m a fan of, right? Star Wars, various comic books, etcetera.
I have a Watership Down tattoo. I don’t have any superhero or Star Wars tattoos, although the inscription on the One Ring from Lord of the Rings is wrapped around my left calf. I’m enough of a fan of this book that I have a tattoo of El-Ahrairah from the 1978 movie on my left shoulder blade. So I’m gonna be paying very close attention to this BBC miniseries. I am … cautiously optimistic about the first trailer? The animation’s not great. It may not even be good, if I’m being honest. Okay. It’s hraka. But maybe it’s not done yet.
But a shiver went down my spine at the line all the world will be your enemy. And right now that’s all I need. I’m in, guys. But I hope y’all did this right.
(If you’re wondering if I have anything to say about the other trailer that came out yesterday, yes, yes in fact I do, but I’m hoping to combine that with the Avengers 4 trailer that supposedly is coming out later this week. We’ll see.
I had two different people look at me today and say “Is it always like this?” in reference to my job. One was my boss. The other was a student. The answer was yes. Yes, it is always like this. Every day. And y’all are lucky that I am the greatest gatdamb multitasker on the planet, or shit would never, ever get done. And that’s all I have to say about that. It was a very, very, very long day, but it ended with Chipotle and I have something to look forward to soon, so hell with it. Tomorrow’s new comic book day. Let yesterday burn and throw it in a fire.
Sorry for the super last-minute notice (because I know y’all work your weekend schedules around what I’m doing), because I just found out about this event yesterday and they managed to fit me in anyway, but:
I will be at the Read Local Author Fair at the main branch of the St. Joseph County Public Library THIS SATURDAY, from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM. I’ll have all of my books with me except for Searching for Malumba. It’s a quick event, free to the public– as far as I know, you don’t even have to have a library card– and featuring a couple dozen other local authors in addition to me!
(In fact, I got added so late, my name’s not even on the list. I promise I’ll be there, though.)
If you are nearby you are commanded to come. If you aren’t you are also commanded to come. So I’ll see ALL OF YOU there, right?
If we were having coffee, you’d either be in my house or witness to just about the first time I’ve left my house since getting home from my dentist appointment on Wednesday. This, if you’re me, constitutes a certain type of pure bliss, and it has been a lovely, wonderful long weekend, one where I have mostly not been wearing pants and yesterday I did not bother to shower until just before bed.
Let’s talk geek shit, then, because at the moment it’s what I’ve got. Again, I haven’t left the house in a few days.
ITEM THE FIRST! I abandoned a book this morning, R.E. Stearns’ Barbary Station, when it became clear that despite starting off with an absolutely scandalous amount of potential the writing was never going to click for me. This book is about a duo of lesbian engineers who steal a colony ship and present it to a gang of space pirates, hoping that the gift will get them into the gang, because the galactic economy has gone to shit and “find a job with a pirate crew” is, under the circumstances, a sound plan. They then discover that the pirates living on the station are sort of trapped there, because the AI running the place has gone rogue and has decided Kill All Humans is the right way to deal with things.
I mean, come on. I can’t resist a single thing about that premise. This was bought the second I knew it existed.
One of them is a hacker, and hacking is presented as this drug-induced, hallucinatory metaphor-space, and the idea is fascinating. In fact, damn near all of the ideas in the book are fascinating. Everything about it is fascinating. What it isn’t is good, unfortunately. The writing is clumsy at best and the book is at least one solid editing pass and a new draft away from being a good read. I don’t normally like to slag on books I didn’t like here, especially if they didn’t piss me off in an entertaining way, but part of me kind of hopes that someone will read the premise and decide I suck at deciding if things are good and buy the book anyway. I need R. E. Stearns to sit down with a really good editor for her next book, and then to reissue this one. Major disappointment.
(I’m not alone in this assessment. The book currently has the worst overall star average of the nearly 600 books I’ve reviewed on Goodreads– only 3.19/5. It’s tied with a Chuck Wendig book that was the victim of a prolonged and stupid review bombing. That’s bad.)
Also, the font the book is written in is borderline unreadable. I thought I’d get used to it but it was still pushing me out of getting lost in the book before I bailed. With a better-written story, it might not have mattered, but with a poorly-written one, it was just One More Thing.
That was unpleasant, so let’s talk about ITEM THE SECOND! which is Red Dead Redemption 2. I actually took that picture by pointing my camera at my TV, because I got to the top of that mountain and looked off over the edge and thought Jesus, when I started playing video games, I was playing Asteroids, and now this. Because you can go anywhere you can see in that picture.
I will have a lot more to say about this game later, believe me, but for right now I just want to bask in how outstandingly beautiful the game is, and how it got me to spend a couple of hours this afternoon not bothering to advance the story at all but just exploring and hunting, which is kind of a ridiculous way to spend your Sunday before going back to work. There are things I don’t like– the control scheme it starts you with is terrible, and once you fix the terrible control scheme you’re still left with something that will lead to you occasionally firing a gun in a crowded tavern by accident or punching your horse. Both of those activities are kinda frowned upon.
I’ve done more geekery this weekend, but the one other thing I wanna talk about is going to get its own post, I think. So … wanna go hunt moose with me? Because I kinda want to bag a moose today.
So Amazon’s still fucking with me. I don’t really want to generate another 6000-word post right now but the latest is that they’ve pushed back the delivery to Friday the 23rd– another two entire weeks— and that 1) their Twitter help team promised me a phone call within 24 hours that never happened, then 2) I got back on online help and actually got someone who seemed to know what KDP was who promised I’d get a different response within 24 hours, and then two days later I got a response that was in such broken English that I can barely comprehend it that basically boiled down to “it says they’re getting delivered the 23rd, what’s the problem?”
None of these fuckers know what KDP is. It’s their service. They are literally the people printing the books. There’s no way it takes this long. And most of the time the people I’m corresponding with don’t even seem to know what the service is. Clearly I need to move my entire production over to Ingram Spark, because I can’t have this happen again. Redoing all the files is going to take a lot of time and cost an obnoxious amount of money so I’m not looking forward to it. Hell, at this point I don’t even know who to gripe to at Amazon. I need a motherfucker who lives in America, speaks English, and knows what the hell KDP is to get my shit moving, and hell if I know how to get ahold of that person right now.
You ever feel like you’re being unfair to a book because of your timing while reading it? I lovedThe Traitor Baru Cormorant, ordered its sequel on the day it came out, and started reading it almost immediately, only to hit a massive goddamn wall when I realized that 1) I didn’t remember the first book all that well, what with having read it three years and probably 280 books ago; and 2) I just have not had the brain space for the last couple of weeks to read something with the complexity of a Seth Dickinson book.
So I’m like 100 pages from the end of Monster, and I can barely tell you what it’s been about, and I should have just put it back on the shelf a week and a half ago until I had the time and the headspace to reread the first book and then go straight into this one. It’s not a bad book, but it’s going to prove unreviewable because I can’t trust my own impressions of it. Trying to read this thing the same month as the election has just completely undone me. I’ll probably finish it this weekend and four-star it just for the hell of it, and I need to reread it cover-to-cover before the (I assume) next book in the series comes out. And then I need to spend some time reading, I dunno, picture books until I get my brainmeats back. Because right now, I’m not reading this book. I’m just looking at the words. It’s a shame.
Someone has decided I’m done blogging for the night, so … yeah. Have a good evening.