Bookmas: when we celebrate the birth of Ray Bradbury. Was he born in a manger? Perhaps. Wikipedia is way vague on that.
Today’s not-so-secret BookSanta: A.M. Dellamonica!
A.M. Dellamonica is a Canadian author who has published over thirty short stories in the field since the 1980s. Dellamonica writes in a number of sub-genres including science fiction, fantasy, and alternate history. Her stories were selected for “Year’s Best” science fiction anthologies in 2002 and 2007. Dellamonica teaches creative writing online at the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program. Her novels include Indigo Springs, Blue Magic, and the recent (and pretty damn great) Child of a Hidden Sea.
What 2014-published fiction would you recommend?
The new books I read this year that I enjoyed the most were: Christopher Buehlman’s The Lesser Dead, Peter Watts’s Echopraxia, Caitlin Sweet’s The Door in the Mountain, and Jay Lake’s Last Plane to Heaven, his final collection.
What 2014-published non-fiction would you recommend?
My non-fiction reading doesn’t always tend to be current, but my absolute favorite, every single year, is The Best American Science and Nature Writing.
What book that you’ve read in 2014 (not necessarily a 2014 book) would you recommend?
Just one book that I read this year? Whoo, that’s a toughie! Right now I am trying to get everyone I know to read Tana French’s The Secret Place, so that they and I can talk about her strange take on friendship, and whether or not there’s any validity to what she seems to be saying in her work.
In terms of non-fiction, I really enjoyed The Great Influenza, by John M. Barry. Who doesn’t love a plague for the holidays?
What ongoing series of books would you recommend?
I am also always happy when a new Emberverse novel by S.M. Stirling comes out, and he’s launching a new trilogy in that universe with The Golden Princess.
What author would you recommend?
Nicola Griffith! Don’t just read Hild, but go back and get The Blue Place, Stay, and Always.
What’s the one book you’ve read in your lifetime that you think everyone should read?
This answer changes day to day, but the James Tiptree biography by Julie Phillips is the best biography I’ve ever read.
Let’s go specific: what one author would you recommend for:
- The science-fiction fan: Peter Watts, Anything!
- The horror fan: Christopher Buehlman, Between Two Fires
- The fantasy fan: Saladin Ahmed, Throne of the Crescent Moon
- The strict realism fan: The Iliad
- The thriller/mystery fan: Tana French, Faithful Place
- The non-fiction fan: Gillian Gill’s We Two
- The true crime fan: Eric Larson’s The Devil in the White City
If, god forbid, people couldn’t find any of your books, who else would you suggest they seek out for a similar literary fix?
I often recommend M.K. Hobson. Our writing is very different in a lot of ways, but I think our first books revolved around a lot of the same themes.
What would you recommend for the holidays in a non-literary context?
This is a gift idea, of a sort: remember that the holidays come with a lot of obligations. My recommendation would be to listen to that inner voice that says “I don’t wanna …” and, at least once, honor that voice by blowing off the event you feel you have to attend.
Or, if that voice is less inner, and it’s a loved one saying “I don’t wanna…”? Maybe you can give them the enormous gift of “You don’t have to!”