Shore Leave is the non-Trek culture arm of the Deep Space Spines website, posted every other Tuesday and made possible by donations to the site’s Patreon.

This past week, I’ve been on vacation from work, and it’s given me the time to accrue plenty of material to make up for last fortnight’s no-show.

Image result for the alloy of lawA few months ago, I talked about how a friend at work had me try out George R.R. Martin’s Tuf Voyaging. I struggled with it, only making it 50 pages in before tapping out. I generally don’t handle it well when people lend me things, since I don’t enjoy feeling obligated to read (or watch, or listen to, or play) something on someone else’s account, and I also prefer to come around to things in my own time. Well, he took another shot, this time lending me The Alloy of Law, the fourth book in the Mistborn saga but the first in its own kind of sub-series, since he knows I have a bit of a thing for fantasy Westerns. That went a little better, since I managed to get through the whole thing this time around. I enjoyed the banter between the characters, and I enjoyed it well enough, but I’m not exactly clamoring to revisit the world any time soon. (If I do, it will be at my own request.)

Image result for the oracle yearBefore vacation started, I was working my way through The Oracle Year by Charles Soule. Soule seems to be otherwise known for his work in comic books, which makes certain vibes I get from this book make more sense. Will Dando, a session bassist, wakes up one morning with 108 predictions about the future inside his brain, and as they start coming true without exception, he has to figure out, with the help of his far more business- and tech-savvy friend Hamza, how to maintain the shroud of anonymity in light of his newfound fame. It’s quite a page-turner; I set my own personal record for number of pages read in a single eight-hour shift with this book (291). That said, my job allows me such ample reading opportunities that it doesn’t make sense to me to do any reading anywhere outside of work. So even though I’m only 50 pages away from finishing it, I haven’t found it in me to touch it since not being at work. That’s more a statement about me than it is about the book, however, which is quite compelling, even though I feel like if I scratched the surface even a little bit it’d start to crumble.

Image result for mad men opening

Another work I previously mentioned in Shore Leave, albeit in passing, was Mad Men. As of the night before this posting, I finished the entire series. Kind of a big deal, as I rarely finish the things I talk in this space about starting. But I really enjoyed it from front to back. I can understand a lot of the criticisms I’ve read about it, but it took me on an emotional rollercoaster in a way that nothing really has in a while, with the possible exception of The Great British Baking Show.1 Not sure what I’m going to move on to now, but I think it’s going to be The Handmaid’s Tale over on Hulu.

Also, a quick but notable new wrinkle in my life: my siblings have gotten me into Magic: The Gathering.

Pray for Mojo2.

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