5 Happy Things: April 2018

It’s April! There’s sunshine! It’s not snowing! Happy days!

1. Oxford canal.

Oxford canal walk

I’ve been walking to work down the canal for the past few days, and it’s been lovely – there was sunshine and ducks and blossom! It wasn’t quite so nice in the rain last week but there you go.

2. I survived my first week at work!

Everyone’s been lovely, I’ve found a board game posse, I got to copy-edit (aka. read) a couple of amazing books…I’m still learning everyone’s names (and will be for a while) but so far, it’s a really nice place to work, and I’m enjoying the job.

3. Food.

I haven’t been doing too well with eating (stress and new situations do tend to bring out the feeling sick/not eating results) but I made banana bread while at my aunt’s this weekend, and I’ve been making sure I buy things that I want to eat – resulting in tempura battered chicken with gucamole and cream cheese in a pitta for last night’s dinner. It’s glorious.


My Solaris/Abaddon stack has gone down a little (har har…it’s promptly had more put on it) and I’ve had confirmation that I’m at least at the right publishers, because I LOVED most of them! (Dredd is the current exception, because he’s a dick).

  • Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire series. I tore through this series, despite not usually reading (or really liking) sci-fi – it does confirm some of my biases, in that it’s complex, impenetrable and detailed. For the first few chapters of Ninefox Gambit I felt pretty lost, and I still don’t remotely get how a lot of the tech and politics works. However, the story and the characters, the worldbuilding, the structure…*happy reader* it’s wonderful. I love the details and the politics, and I loved seeing Cheris grow in the first book. The second follows different people (ish) but it’s a continuation of the same political plotline, and the third really rounds the series off nicely (it’s due out shortly – ARCs FTW!) Basically, for someone who doesn’t really do sci-fi, this has been a pleasure to read despite confirming some of my prejudices – and has been good enough to overcome them!
  • The Promise of a Battered Moon – it’s finally out! This one made me cry at the end, so therefore I’m going to recommend it to everyone just to share the misery. Sci-fi, again, with a whole mashup of planets and cultures and race; the story’s about an asteroid that’s going to hit Earth unless they can prevent it, except that Manon Fontaine knows exactly what it is…if she can get access to it…and just argh. Read it. I need other people to be wearing “I <3 The Dionnes” badges with me!
  • Food of the Gods by Cassandra Khaw *maniacal reader laugh* I LOVED this. Sarcastic, snarky, and a complete smorgasbord of mythology from around the globe. My grubby little paws are itching to start on some of the other authors who have done books in the same series…
  • And I got to read an ARC of Quantum Magician. It’s sci-fi, with a similar feel to Yoon Ha Lee’s, with almost impenetrable terminology that somehow makes sense – and it’s an Ocean’s 11-style heist, in space, with entire cultures playing. It’s amazing – one of the perks of the job is definitely advanced copies!

5. And me.

I’m actually doing ok at the moment, to my great surprise! I’ve been coping. I’ve been cheerful. I’m tired, sure, and I’ve had a few moments where I’ve wobbled – but it’s been a tiny one, a momentary pause and then I’m back on track again. I’ve been chatting to people and trundling along to games and doing freelance bits in the evenings, and doing scary things like going to new shops and going out with new people, and I’ve coped really well with a new environment at work and a new city. I’m cynically waiting for the crash (as this feels…weird) but it’s been nice to actually be able to cope. Is this what it’s like for people who don’t have wonky brain chemistry?! I think I’m still mostly running on adrenaline, honestly – I’m not sleeping brilliantly, so I’m fully expecting to crash sometime. But hey, I’m going to enjoy the smooth ride while I can before my brain decides to go back to normal.

So there’s April! I’m enjoying the spring blossoms, too, while they last. I hope that you’re enjoying the sunshine if you have it!

Ps. Don’t forget that you can pre-order Desert Sands & Silence, and that will make me even happier 🙂 Also, the first in the series – Green Sky & Sparks – is only £0.99 on Kindle at the moment!

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at writingandcoe.co.uk. When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.