This is a bit of an eclectic post in which I will cover a whole lot of news related to this website: the podcast, reviews, writing, and vacation-recovery. Today is the final weekday of my summer vacation, the Fall semester of the new academic year beginning at my university on Monday. As such, this week has been taken up by department meetings, syllabus construction, learning a whole new online course management system, and other things that take up time when preparing for the new semester as a lecturer. All that fiddle-faddle means that I haven’t got a new podcast this week, and I suppose that’s where I’ll begin.
Gods and Men, the Podcast
As mentioned, there is no new podcast this week. I am still recovering from my recent vacation, which compounded with the preparations for the new academic year has meant I just haven’t been able to get to record the lecture. I still have two lectures pending in The Children of Hurin series, and I will have the first of those two ready next week–you may just have to wait until about Thursday to get it, though.
But the question that really needs to be asked at this point is “What is the future of the podcast?” Well, I do aim to keep producing at hopefully one episode a week. As I have a much heavier teaching schedule this semester than in the past, that may not always be possible, but I will be trying my absolute best to ensure it.
On which note, once I am finished with my lectures on The Children of Hurin, I plan to begin a series on Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea. If you haven’t read the book and would like to, go ahead an grab it to prepare ahead. The book is fairly short and comprised of ten chapters. I have made a decision to produce one podcast episode per chapter, spreading the lecture series over ten weeks as opposed to the eight for The Children of Hurin. I have decided this for two reasons: Firstly, the Hurin chapters were shorter and easily combined in pairs or triplets. The Earthsea chapters are a little longer, but are also tightly focused so that mining each chapter will require an entire episode.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, is that an episode-per-chapter production will allow me to keep the lectures shorter, hopefully in the half-hour range as opposed to the fifty-minute range of the Hurin lectures. I might like the sound of my own voice, but I’m not sure everyone else has that kind of patience. In a sense, the length of episodes has been my biggest regret with the Hurin series. Anyhow, that is the plan, and we’ll see how it plays out in the coming months.
Gods and Men Book Reviews
Throughout the summer, I have attempted to maintain a schedule of one review per week. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve mostly kept that rate going. However, as I am returning to lecturing next week, the rate at which I review books is almost certain to slow down significantly. Already, I’ve had to close submissions due to having too many to go through at the moment, and should I decide to review most of the submissions received, I’ll be kept reading till the end of the semester at any rate.
However, judging by the site’s statistics, I don’t believe too many subscribers check in regularly for the reviews, but to those of you who do, expect to see less content in the coming weeks than you’ve grown used to. Still, in the interests of giving the same level of attention to each book reviewed that I have thus far, it will be necessary to take more time between reviews than I have.
New Book Series
Lastly, the news on the writing front: After releasing the third novel in The Ossian Chronicles series, I have decided to take a break from that universe to work on something else. The Confessions of Toven Bakkis is a duology that has been floating around in my head for almost a year now, and after my notes–both on computer and in notebooks–had grown so unwieldy that I had to begin collating them, I found myself filled with intense desire to start writing the story. Which I have.
I still have two tales plotted to write in The Ossian Chronicles, but those will wait until next year to be penned. I have some tentative ideas to extend the series, or rather the universe, into a new direction after the fifth book, but we’ll see. I have so many books planned that I could write three a year from now until 2020!
Anyhow, I’m really excited by this two-part series I am working on, but I will be withholding details for a while yet. Still, as so many people have asked me about the “Osland Trilogy,” I thought it worthwhile to point out that there are still two books to come in the story arc, so that it is really a quintilogy and not a trilogy–I just haven’t gotten around to composing the remaining books yet.
All right, that’s it from me. Disappointing, I know, to have nothing but an update excusing my lack of activity recently, but that is all to say that this is likely to become the norm in the next four months, after which I will have lots of time in the Winter to make it all up to you. Cheers!