• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

Tag Archive for ‘Bookshelves’ rss

A Brief Footnote on Tidiness

I’m as fascinated by y’all’s responses to my bookshelves as y’all are by the books, etc. [g] It seems to be about 20:1 in terms of “OMG, this looks just like my shelves!/I love it!” vs. “What a mess!/How can you FIND anything!/Let me come and organize that for you!” I appreciate both schools of thought—and my sincere thanks to the kind souls who think I would do better (in some undefined way), if my books were alphabetized, sorted by color, arranged by height, or generally tidied into a visually pleasing (to them) formation that has nothing to do with what’s actually _in_ the books. Now, putting aside any of my private opinions regarding the psychology that causes people to value Tidiness Uber Alles, tidiness _qua_ tidiness has two possible aspects that recommend it as a virtue: aesthetics and/or function. As to aesthetics, I’ll just note that there are people who like Gustav Klimt and there are people who like Mondrian, and leave it at that. [g] Aesthetics rests on […]


I get a lot of questions about what I read, what resources I find "useful," how much research I do, etc., etc. And when interviewers come to talk to me at home, they always want to see my office, and frequently spend half an hour or more browsing my bookshelves in fascination. So I thought y’all might want to have a peek, too. (One question I often get is about how I organize my material. It is to larf, as John Lennon so eloquently put it. I have two—no, three—ways of organizing research material. The books live in bookshelves. Loose papers, maps, reprinted emails, etc. go into one of three zippered… things. (I can’t really describe them; they’re about the size of small briefcases, but made of nylon fabric, mesh on one side, and they zip on three sides.) The red one holds all the printed miscellanea for the contemporary mystery that I’ll eventually get round to finishing, the black one has stuff about the Lord John stories’ background—maps of […]