Who doesn’t enjoy pictures of puppies or kittens? This photo is of my ivory lab the day I brought her home four years ago. Ziva now weighs 65 pounds and is immensely strong, intelligent, and never fails to entertain me.

THE READING LIST: I reread a few favorite novels this month but mostly it was a month for reading short stories. I love when I discover new writers and I discovered a few this month whose work I’m going to look for. Here’s a partial list of the ones that stuck with me:

A Flush of Shadows by Kate Wilhelm, 1995. I picked up this collection of five short novels featuring Kate’s crime-solving couple Constance Leidl and Charlie Meiklejohn at my local library sale and I’m glad I did. I had heard of Kate but never came across her work before–I’m not sure why. She has won awards and had her work adapted to film, stage, television, and radio. While I enjoyed all five stories I particularly liked The Gorgon Field, 1985, a combination of mystery and the unexplained set in the American southwest.

Enchantress of Venus by Leigh Brackett, 1949. I found this gem in The Space Opera Renaissance, 2006, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. This book is a must-have for anyone who enjoys space opera. I have just started to work my way through it. (I think it weighs five pounds. LOL) I LOVE Leigh Brackett’s work. That woman could write. After reading Enchantress I am going to make a point of trying to track down more of Leigh’s work. The world-building in Enchantress of Venus and the main character, described by the editors as a “Tarzan-like man”, sucked me right in.

Weatherman by Lois McMaster Bujold, 1990. Also from The Space Opera Renaissance, 2006, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. Bujold has won the Hugo award for her novels four times and rightly so. Weatherman is a short story about one of her on-going main characters, Miles Verkosigan, a less than physically perfect but very intuitive and intelligent man. I love her world-building and I love how she lets me inside the character’s head. I’ll be reading more about Miles now.

Three In Death by J.D. Robb, 2008. Most everyone who reads mysteries knows that J.D. Robb is the pen name Nora Roberts uses for her edgy In Death mystery series. The three short stories in this volume, Interlude In Death, Midnight In Death, and Haunted In Death, fit seamlessly into that series and in fact should be read to fill in a few blank spots. I blasted through them as I do all her In Death books.

Escape Route by Peter F. Hamilton, 1987. Also from The Space Opera Renaissance, 2006, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. This story is just fun and entertaining science fiction. Good guys, bad guys, a strange discovery to explore–what’s not to like?

Temptation by David Brin, 1999. I am not finished with The Space Opera Renaissance, 2006, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer yet but I am amazed by how many of these stories I enjoyed. Temptation is told from the viewpoint of intelligent dolphin characters engaged in space travel and abandoned on a potentially hostile ocean planet. Creative and with a lesson at its core.

It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of the first quarter of 2019. So much to do!!