E8: Sirens Part Two – That Sure Is Something I Read – Infinite TBR
A couple of notes before we get into the good stuff:
The Clarion Workshop is an intensive six-week summer program focused on science fiction and fantasy short stories. Smack attended in 2012 alongside Carmen Maria Machado, who wrote Her Body and Other Parties and In the Dream House. But! The story Smack refers to in the podcast (18:12) is called “Inventory” and is available to read on Lit Hub here.
And Gabi has this uncanny skill now where she can read a book or short story and accurately predict whether or not the author has gone to Clarion. (We talk about it at 16:46.) This includes Her Body and Other Parties as well as Isabel Yap’s book of short stories Never Have I Ever and Sam J. Miller’s Blackfish City. We’re unsure if this is because Smack gives her a lot of fiction by Clarion authors or if there really is some nebulous ~feeling~ to latch onto in Clarion alums’ fiction.
Secondly, we mention Gabi’s cousin Christina Alongi, who writes under C.M. Alongi and has (as of 2023) several novellas and her first novel available to buy. They’re good! Chris also has a youtube channel and a tiktok, and we interview her about her debut novel, Citadel, in episode 22.
So to continue with our recap of the 2021 Sirens Conference, we take some time to go over the books each of us read for the Sirens reading challenge. And entirely separate from the conference, Gabi went online and created a tiered system for each of us to rank the books we read against the following categories:
- Can’t Wait to Re-Read!!
- Solid Read; Would Recommend
- That Sure Is Something I Read
- I Have Regrets and They Are Many
- DNF (did not finish)
- TBR (i.e. didn’t read in time for the conference)
- Haven’t Read Won’t Read
Gabi picked the category names, but it goes without saying that these rankings are completely based on our own experiences and opinions. We’ve added the screenshots of our tiered book rankings below, though they might be a little too small to easily read the titles and authors. For that information, scroll down to the “Books Discussed” and “Books Mentioned” sections.
Gabi’s book rankings
Smack’s book rankings
And below is our regular roundup of the books we discussed and mentioned throughout the episode! Obviously there’s a great deal of overlap, but this way you can still see the covers a little better. Note that we went through the titles alphabetically by title.
- Spoilers for The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley from about 35:45 to 37:15.
And since we mention Smack’s tattoo while we discuss Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing, here’s a picture of it: