This is a series of self portraits chronicling my reading activities. Born out of an older series (see further down the page), I decided to renew it in 2021 with the intent to capture every book I read.
Something else from Star Trek: Voyager for my next read, but this time comics; the first Voyager comic series in many years, the four-part Seven's Reckoning, by Dave Baker with art by Angel Hernandez. It is focused on one of my very favourite Star Trek characters, Seven of Nine, and a new alien species with a complex social system and culture based on storytelling. I didn't love the melancholy ending, but the series overall was a fascinating bit of world building. The aliens were beautifully rendered in the illustrations, but I kind of feel like I'd rather this had been a novel, to really flesh out their fascinating culture.
The first book I have finished in 2021 is what is probably the last book in a substantial series of Star Trek: Voyager novels set after the events of the TV series. As you will no doubt see as this series progresses over the year, my reading is alarmingly dominated with Star Trek novels, and this series is among my very favourites; twisting the entire premise of Voyager, which on TV saw the ship stuck on the other side of the galaxy trying to get home, such that Voyager has now willingly returned to those distant parts of the galaxy (by means of innovative propulsion technology) in order to properly explore them. This novel, which ends this period in the Voyager series, sets up another twist on that set-up, which gave the book and the entire series a very satisfying end. It was also a really pleasingly Star Trek-ish novel, with an empathises on getting to know a truly alien alien species, with the narrative unfolding the mystery of who/what they are, and how to communicate with them. A brilliant end to a brilliant series.
The first version of this series was born out of a collaborative project on Tumblr. A blog hosted an annual Naked Reading Day, encouraging other Tumblr users to post and tag naked reading photos, in order to then reblog them and curate an online festival of nude readers. It was a lovely example of both the community and collaborative potential of Tumblr, and it's previous lack of censorship enabling creatives, nudists, and body positivists to flourish.
Alas Tumblr of today has turned up censorship to the max and so much of this old content is lost. So I thought I should at least recover my own contributions. These are my annual contributions, from 2012-2014 to the original Tumblr project, and my mini-reviews from the time:
I have just started reading New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics. As the name rather gives away, it’s a book about Star Trek comics, a collection of essays which pretty comprehensively examines all the various series there have been, from the sixties until now. I’m barely past the intro, but it has contributions by some of my favourite authors, and explores something I’m interested in, so I’m looking forward to it.
The Years of Rice and Salt (2013)
Right now I’m about a third of the way into Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Years of Rice and Salt. It’s an alternate history novel, set in a world where everyone in Europe died from plague, leaving it open to be repopulated by the rest of the world. Every few chapters we skip ahead a generation or few as history unfolds in a new way without Europe’s influence on the world. The stories are strung together not just be a shared history, but by characters, who we follow through various reincarnations. Right now I’m up to the Chinese discovery of the Americas, which is still relatively near to the point of divergence; can’t wait to see how history is retold.
The Martian Ambassador (2012)
My chosen book for this Naked Reading Day is Alan K. Baker’s The Martian Ambassador, which I finished a couple of weeks ago. It’s the first steampunk novel I’ve ever read and I found it thoroughly enjoyable; set in Victorian England in a world where the British Empire and the Martians (friendly versions of the War of the Worlds variety) are firm friends.