What I read in January 📚


  • Agency, William Gibson. Wm.G. doesn't write vital books anymore, he writes William Gibson books. Like U2 doesn't release vital records, now. They just got really good at making U2 records. Maybe you like 'em, maybe not. Maybe it's... (hate to say)... tedious.
  • The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi. H.R., on the other hand, is writing b a n a n a s fiction. I almost gave up on this as too wacky. I wish I were 15 again and there was no internet and not enough books so you just read the ones you had, over and over. This needs to be read over and over.
  • The Forever War, Joe Haldeman. A supposed "classic" from the Vietnam era. I knew I wouldn't like it; I roll my eyes at pretty much all fawning-over-the-military sci-fi. I was right. I'm stunned that Scalzi wrote a worshipful intro for a recent reprint. "The UN forced the planet's men to live homolife!" Okay, sure. That's how it works. Yep. (If you read it as a right-wing "this is what will happen if you don't vote for Goldwater!", it's still f-ing stupid.)
  • Full Throttle, Joe Hill. Stephen King's son writes modern-era Stephen King stories. I stopped halfway through.

Somehow that's all I read but I feel like I've been going non-stop all month. I'm 33% into another A. Reynolds monster (the sequel to Blue Remembered Earth) it's good but a bit of a slog. Maybe that's it.

half-Gator Tail and some Ruffles please

I'm supposed to text my dinner request to T, so I sit down at the Mac to search the deli's online menu; my brain seizes for a sec and I type "Joe's Deli" instead of "Jason's Deli" and now I'm all mopey and nostalgic for Gainesville again...

a restaurant sign

  • eat at joe's
  • joe's deli
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It's styled terribly, but I just added a sidebar of posts to my main blog. Moved to 11ty at the beginning of the year but had not yet figured out a way to deal with title-less short posts. As a result, I wasn't writing any. I think my under-the-hood stuff is going to work; keeping the two types of posts in two separate lists, on the site, but mergeing them together into a single RSS feed that can interpret correctly.

Alas, I have to test it to see what breaks (I'm mostly curious if title-less posts are going to show up correctly in m-b.). So this is the test.

(Also sorry for whatever this might do to your feed-reader. Really hope I'm not about to re-publishing 100s of posts... ☹️)

"...and get you arrested"

Fooling around with 11ty again and realized it can also be a quick-n-dirty podcast platform. I needed some audio tracks (since I'm not going to be an actual podcaster), so I dug out some goofs from last year. This one was pretty low-effort but it makes me laugh.

I might write up how I actually created the podcast feed in another post. It's really just a variant of their starter blog, but with a bunch of podcast XML instead of the (relatively) simpler feed XML in their sample. (There's a badly incomplete pod.xml feed on this blog too, actually. I might do some work to improve it now that I've made a marginally better one in a standalone repo.)

It's still at the point where you have to write the markdown file yourself, though. Would be fun to build a little node server with an HTML form in front of it, that took your text and audio file and spit out a markdown file with correct frontmatter/metadata. Hm.

album art - a vaporwave sunset

Avail this offer...

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