What I'm reading/What I'm doing

I'm a little past the halfway point through Neal Stephenson's Seveneves as of this morning, and I'm baffled by the criticisms of this book claiming that Stephenson's characters aren't engaging. I'm not going to give anything away, but I'm enjoying the book tremendously and the characters are a big part of it. There are some I like, some I love, and a few I'd like to see come to very bad ends. In some of his more baroque novels, I understand that Stephenson's writing can get a little dry, but for my money, this is his most readable novel since Snow Crash.

This is the third apocalypse novel which is kind of odd since I'm not seeking them out. I'm making an effort to keep the reading list out of ruts, but there are a few must-reads for this coming year which are going to inevitably land me in a certain genre for much of the year. I need to pick up William Gibson's The Peripheral and Warren Ellis' Gun Machine (yes, I know, I'm a little behind) as well as something by Stross and Scalzi.

It pleases me to see so many writers I've follow since their early works doing so well. Gibson, Ellis, Stephenson, Bruce Sterling, and Neil Gaiman all take up acres of space on my book shelves. I'm glad they're successful, and I hope their success has brought them some happiness. They've earned it.

I was up until the wee hours this morning working on a flash fiction prompt. It was such a great prompt that I'd decided I was going to ignore the 1,000 word limit. By the time I turned out the light, I was a little more than 4,000 words in and less than halfway done.

Oops.

The good news is that I've got a ton of salvagable ideas that I'm going to save for later. They need needed a bigger space in which to play anyway. The bad news is that the whole thing is going to have to be re-written from scratch for the prompt, so I know what I'm doing this evening.*

Anyway, the lateness of the evening made going to the gym this morning less exciting than it normally is. Fortunately, my mix finally got around to The Futureheads' "The Beginning of the Twist." The Futureheads (rightly, in my opinion) got a great deal of attention for their debut album which featured a spectacular cover of Kate Bush's "Hound of Love." Their third album (not quite as rightly) didn't get anywhere near as much notice, but it still had some marvelous songs. "The Beginning of the Twist" is a post-punk masterpiece, a little more mature but not less energentic than anything on the debut. Feel free to gank this and add it to your workout mix:

*If you're reading this and you're going to be with me tonight, sorry, but it won't take very long. Also, "Hi Nicole!"