Superfluous Matter Matthew Lausch's Blog http://matter.sawkmonkey.com Honeymoon/First Anniversary Travel Journal Sat, 01 February 2020 11:40:00 PST Sarah and I thoroughly enjoyed our wedding in May 2018 and exactly a year later we finally got around to going on our official honeymoon. We spent ten food-filled days in Japan and then six more days relaxing on the Big Island in Hawaii.

And now, almost a year later, I've finally finished compiling the travel journal for our trip! Hope you enjoy it!

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Books - 2019 Tue, 31 December 2019 14:23:00 PST So...no blogging in 2019. But lots of reading! Here is my list for the year since my last post.

  • How Long 'til Black Future Month, by N.K. Jemisin
  • The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Farthest Shore, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Tehanu, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Tales from Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Other Wind, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Daughter of Odren, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Unreal and the Real, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • The Fated Sky, by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell
  • Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • The Library at Mount Char, by Scott Hawkins
  • The Big Sheep, by Robert Kroese
  • Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Green Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Blue Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Savage News, by Jessica Yellin
  • Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration, by Bryan Caplan and Zach Weinersmith
  • The Consuming Fire, by John Scalzi
  • Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
  • Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie
  • Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie
  • Provenance, by Ann Leckie
  • The Peripheral, by William Gibson
  • Fall, by Neal Stephenson
  • The Broom of the System, by David Foster Wallace
  • The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  • The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood
  • Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
  • The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, by Stephen King
  • Elevation, by Stephen King
  • Gwendy's Button Box, by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar
  • Mostly Dead Things, by Kristen Arnett
  • All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
  • Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
  • Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 1: The Assasin's Road, by Kazuo Koike
  • Stories of Your Life and Others, by Ted Chiang
  • Exhalation, by Ted Chiang

Last year my "discovery" (i.e. an author who's been around forever and I'm regrettably finding very late) was Octavia E. Butler. My failure to discover this science fiction author is almost certainly a result of the her gender and race and the fact that the science fiction space is dominated by old white men. So this year I made an attempt to consciously seek out more books in the fantasy and sci-fi space by women and people of colour and this effort was tremendously rewarding. I wish I had read Ursula K. Le Guin's "Earthsea" series as a kid instead of Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" series which devolved into a ridiculous Ayn Rand love-fest. Similarly, Tomi Adeyemi's young-adult "Legacy of Orisha" series is looking incredibly promising. Ann Leckie's "Imperial Radch" books were fantastic too, and provided super interesting perspectives on the perception of gender.

My other favourite new author of the year was Ted Chiang, a short story science fiction writer. His "Story of Your Life" was the basis of the spectacular film "Arrival" and every story of his I read leaves me thinking about it for days afterwards. He is exceptionally talented.

Other noteworth novels from the list above were: "The Mars Trilogy," "The Sparrow," "The Library at Mount Char," and the always enticing Neal Stephenson's "Fall."

I always feel like I should read more non-fiction, but I never really get to it. However I'm very glad I made time for "Open Borders" this year as it was fantastic. I won't argue its points here, but it is a very thoroughly researched graphic novel (illustrated by one of my favourite web comic artists) which basically destroys almost every anti-immigration argument out there. It advocates for fully open borders without limit all over the world and backs up every claim. Read it, it's fascinating.

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Books - Catch-up!! Thu, 03 January 2019 09:01:00 PST I failed almost completely at blogging for most of last year, but that doesn't mean I didn't read anything. In the hopes of returning to more regular posting this will be a quick catch up post listing all of the books I've read since my last book post in April.

  • The Gunslinger (revised edition), by Stephen King
  • The Drawing of the Three, by Stephen King
  • The Waste Lands, by Stephen King
  • Wizard and Glass, by Stephen King
  • The Little Sisters of Eluria, by Stephen King
  • The Wind Through the Keyhole, by Stephen King
  • Wolves of the Calla, by Stephen King
  • Song of Susannah, by Stephen King
  • The Dark Tower, by Stephen King
  • The Dark Tower Omnibus Edition (comic), by Robin Furth
  • Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Authority, by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Acceptance, by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Star Wars: Ahsoka, by E. K. Johnston
  • The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red, by Martha Wells
  • The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells
  • The Murderbot Diaries: Rogue Protocol, by Martha Wells
  • The Murderbot Diaries: Exit Strategy, by Martha Wells
  • The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman
  • The Oracle Year, by Charles Soule
  • The Seamstress, by Frances de Pontes Peebles
  • Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
  • The Power, by Naomi Alderman
  • Disobedience, by Naomi Alderman
  • Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler
  • Bloodchild, by Octavia E. Butler
  • Parable of the Sower, by Octavia E. Butler
  • Parable of the Talents, by Octavia E. Butler
  • Wild Seed, by Octavia E. Butler
  • Mind of my Mind, by Octavia E. Butler
  • Clay's Ark, by Octavia E. Butler
  • Patternmaster, by Octavia E. Butler
  • Watching Porn, by Lynsey G
  • The Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi
  • Machine Learning, by Hugh Howey
  • Paper Girls, issues 1-20 (comic), by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang
  • Sex Criminals, issues 1-20 (comic), by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
  • Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Infinity Gauntlet (comic), by Jim Starlin
  • We Stand On Guard issues 1-6 (comic), by Brian K. Vaughan
  • The Poppy War, by R.F. Kuang
  • Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King
  • Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz
  • The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg, by Deborah Eisenberg

The main take-away from this list for me is that eBooks from the library dramatically increase the amount of reading I do. So that's pretty great. More specifically I'd like to call out a few items from the list for special mention.

I re-read the Gunslinger books for the n-th time and still really enjoyed them. I hadn't re-read anything in quite a while and was pleased to find I still like to do that.

I can't believe I'm just finding Octavia E. Butler. She's fantastic. Superb writing all around. I'm going to read the rest of her books soon. Her short stories in Bloodchild were especially enjoyable, and I really liked her "Parable" books too. Her Patternist series was epic!

My favourite standalone books of the year were Warlight (Ondaatje continues to be fantastic), The Seamstress (surprisingly gripping), and The Power (really interesting ideas). And if you string them all together the Murderbot Diaries novellas make an excellent full-length novel that was super fun.

I'm currently in progress on the enormous collection of short stories from Deborah Eisenberg. They're excellent but it's a long and dense collection so I'm moving slowly. I'd compare them favourably to Alice Munro -- excellent stories about real people and their feelings.

More reading to come!

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December 29, 2018 Wed, 31 December 1969 16:00:00 PST NIKON D90 -- f/9.0 -- 1/320s -- 18mm

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December 29, 2018 Wed, 31 December 1969 16:00:00 PST NIKON D90 -- f/8.0 -- 1/250s -- 18mm

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December 22, 2018 Mon, 25 November 6830 15:45:50 PST NIKON D90 -- f/5.6 -- 1/800s -- 200mm

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Tinymoons Travel Journal Fri, 30 November 2018 20:59:00 PST Sarah and I had a wonderful wedding back in May, but with family visiting from out of town and immigration details to sort out we chose to postpone our "real" honeymoon until 2019. Instead we went on two "tinymoons" within the United States, one to Utah and the other to Asheville, North Carolina.

I've just posted a combined travel journal for the two trips, check it out!

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September 9, 2018 Fri, 25 November 3583 15:36:51 PST NIKON D90 -- f/7.1 -- 1/200s -- 18mm

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September 8, 2018 Mon, 25 November 5765 15:36:43 PST NIKON D90 -- f/10.0 -- 1/400s -- 18mm

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May 28, 2018 Sun, 25 November 3021 15:27:55 PST NIKON D90 -- f/1.8 -- 1/125s -- 50mm

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