Sunday, August 17, 2008

Reading Plan

So here's the recent past. I just finished Superpowers by David Schwartz and will be sending a review of that to Strange Horizons. For non-fiction I'm currently reading the rather thick Companion to Science Fiction, edited by David Seed. I'll be reviewing that for Fruitless Recursion, probably in Sept. or so. For fiction magazines I'm currently reading the July Asimov's, which has some good stuff in it that I'll be writing about here.

Now, context. My first class of the semester starts on Tuesday, Aug. 26th. Luckily all my classes will be on Tuesday & Thursday, but here is my tentative schedule:

8:30 - 10am Intro to Neuroengineering
11:30 - 1pm Digital Signal Processing
2:30 - 4pm Computer Aided Manufacturing
4 - 5:30pm Advanced Linear Optimization
7 - 8:30pm Intro to Stochastic Processes

These are all graduate classes in the Electrical & Computer Engineering and Industrial Engineering departments. The idea is that I will drop 1 or 2 classes to end up with a 3 or preferrably 4 class schedule. The only class on the list that is non-negotiable is Digital Signal Processing. All I can do is pray for a good professor. Of the others I have high hopes for Neuroengineering (thankfully taught by a different professor than my disastrous attempt at Neural Computation last semester), Linear Optimization, and Stochastic Processes. Linear Optimization is currently full, I'll have to hang around and hope to add it. Stochastic Processes I have no intention of dropping unless the professor is dreadful--I've taken a lot of extra statistics courses and this should round out my collection.

Given all this, here's the plan. I know my reading is going to slow down a lot. So the next thing I'll do is read the awesome Darryl Gregory's Pandemonium and review it for SFSignal. I hope to read it this week before the semester starts. But after that I'll keep reading non-fiction (it's unlikely that I'll be done with the Companion before the semester starts), and other than that I'll put novel reading on hold and catch up on the fiction magazines instead.

That's practical because you can see how much dead time I'll have at school: with my eBook reader I'll have plenty of time to read the magazines. I'm running way behind on those, so this is the perfect opportunity to catch up. And they're a little easier to read when stress is piling up; if you don't like a story you can just skip on to the next one without all the guilt involved with bailing out of a novel. Also, by reading Pandemonium I'll have satisfied all my immediate reviews-promised-to-other-people before the semester starts, leaving me guilt-free on my reading choices.

So expect to see fewer novel reviews here and more reviews of magazine issues, probably through September. After that I'll have a handle on how the semester is shaping up and I'll know where to go from there. This should be an interesting semester. Whew!

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