March 3rd, 2008


progress report

1000 words on Sunday. Only 77,000 words to go!

Also found out I should have booked a particular restaurant a MONTH ago to get a large table for 6 pm on Saturday. And it's a giant restaurant. Am now querying about different ones. [sigh] Sunday's reservation is fine, though, and that's the one that's harder to replace with something else.


Marjorie Liu, The Last Twilight: Woo-hoo, Amiri gets a book! Amiri is the cheetah-shapechanger who first appeared in Shadow Touch, a former schoolteacher who was abducted from his home in Africa and transported to a Secret Evil Research Facility.

When this book opens, he's now living in America and working as an agent of the Dirk & Steele agency. He and two other agents are sent to Africa to protect a doctor who specializes in epidemics; she's tough and damaged and can take care of herself, but not when mysterious evil people are trying to kidnap and/or kill her.

There are tantalizing glimpses of detail about contemporary Africa, at least a country in the midst of political upheaval, before the exigencies of the plot--escaping into the forest--take over. I love the worldwide feel of Liu's novels. The plot is complex, and the characters often ambiguous; Amiri and Rikki (the doctor) have to make some hard decisions.

Also, the love story is hot. I thought Amiri was hot the first time he showed up--teaches kids! Can turn into cheetah and eat you!--and he is still hot in that mannerly, intellectual way, only more so because now we get inside his head. Both he and Rikki have Issues that obstruct their relationship, but I didn't care as much about those as about the external suspense plot, because people on the run? Having to take care of each other? Is hot.

The world of Dirk & Steele grows ever more complex; there are a lot of plots going on underneath the romances, so I don't think the series will ever lack in that department. This one reminded me most of Shadow Touch, because of revelations about the opponents of Dirk & Steele and their ultimate plans.


Janet Kagan passed away over the weekend..

The first time I attended the Nebula Awards, I was invited out to dinner with a group that included Janet and her husband, Ricky. I saw her every year or two after that--not enough to be friends, just enough to confirm each time that I liked her a lot, and I wished I could talk to her more often.

She'll be missed.