Writing

Dancing in September Morn

eBooks reading collection science fiction

September stirs quite a collection of memories for me. There’s that Earth Wind & Fire song which, once heard can never be forgotten. And Neil Diamond’s glorious September Morn, a track my father loved to play years ago on a Philips reel-to-reel tape recorder.

A time of impending change.

In Ireland, September is often nature’s way of signaling a brief interlude before the arrival of winter’s fog, storms and cold, damp weather. However here in Tokyo, the year’s ninth month tends to bear a welcome hint of relief on the way from summer’s concoction of heat and humidity. The arrival of typhoons (21 so far in 2018, some of them causing much damage and misery) buggers up the imagery of calm autumnal days but at least nighttime lows in the low 20s (Celsius) end the need for air conditioning in order to get to sleep.

Alas, there’s also the memory of what occurred on 9/11.

In January 2001 I was in New York on business for a few days and walked past both towers on my way to meet a colleague. Looking back on September 11th now, it seems like only yesterday since I sat on our apartment’s wooden floor in Tokyo with my back to the television, my laptop perched on a pile of Cisco Press textbooks and connected to a rack of practice routers via a slow dial-up modem link (this was in the pre-broadband stone age!)

Routers?

You know, all those computers dedicated to moving and directing traffic through the Internet. I was still gainfully employed in corporate IT land and studying hard to try and pass Cisco System’s CCIE certification test and practical exam.

Japanese TV news channels were covering the unfolding tragedy live from just after the first tower was hit, though at the time I did not understand what was happening, as the mass media were not certain why the building was burning.

I still had my back to the TV and was engrossed in programming routers but remember my wife’s anxious voice urging me to turn and watch what was going on. And just as I did that the second tower was hit. I did no more studying that night and for several days to follow, such was the psychological impact of what had taken place in Manhattan.

What I’m Reading:

Like many of you, I’m sure, there aren’t enough hours in the day to squeeze in all of the reading I want to do. So I’ve settled on this cunning plan.

In my work satchel I carry one copy of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine and this is helping me to work slowly through a backlog of about the last five releases while taking the train.

My smartphone - such a weird name for what is now really a portable mini-computer - presents the welcome problem of having too much reading to choose from. What I’ve done is to pick five eBooks and add them to a collection folder. Each time I open the Kindle app I drag the first eBook to the end of the queue and begin reading what is now on top.

The five eBooks in my collection at the moment are:

  • Anomaly by Peter Cawdron.
  • Compelling Science Fiction Issue #9.
  • The Rusch Reader by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
  • Time Travel: A Writer’s Guide by Paul J. Nahin.
  • Timelike Infinity by Stephen Baxter.

A similar approach might work for some dozens of paper fiction books I’ve yet to read. The photo below shows my current pile of reading matter.

It consists of five books placed under my reading chair and once a reading session is over that top-most book is moved to the bottom of the stack and the cycle continues. (Yes, I’m one of those people who like to have multiple books on the go at once. Keeps me from getting bored.)

The five books in my stack at the moment are:

  • The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.
  • The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century edited by Harry Turtledove, with Martin H. Greenberg.
  • Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine July/August 2018.
  • Myth and the Movies by Stuart Voytilla
  • At the Edge of Uncertainty by Michael Brooks

Books reading collection science fiction under chair

What I’m Writing:

Readers of this blog will be the first to know whenever there’s news. Yes, I am writing fiction, in a manner of speaking.

Until next time.