Search Results: "aure"

21 August 2023

Melissa Wen: AMD Driver-specific Properties for Color Management on Linux (Part 1)

TL;DR: Color is a visual perception. Human eyes can detect a broader range of colors than any devices in the graphics chain. Since each device can generate, capture or reproduce a specific subset of colors and tones, color management controls color conversion and calibration across devices to ensure a more accurate and consistent color representation. We can expose a GPU-accelerated display color management pipeline to support this process and enhance results, and this is what we are doing on Linux to improve color management on Gamescope/SteamDeck. Even with the challenges of being external developers, we have been working on mapping AMD GPU color capabilities to the Linux kernel color management interface, which is a combination of DRM and AMD driver-specific color properties. This more extensive color management pipeline includes pre-defined Transfer Functions, 1-Dimensional LookUp Tables (1D LUTs), and 3D LUTs before and after the plane composition/blending.
The study of color is well-established and has been explored for many years. Color science and research findings have also guided technology innovations. As a result, color in Computer Graphics is a very complex topic that I m putting a lot of effort into becoming familiar with. I always find myself rereading all the materials I have collected about color space and operations since I started this journey (about one year ago). I also understand how hard it is to find consensus on some color subjects, as exemplified by all explanations around the 2015 online viral phenomenon of The Black and Blue Dress. Have you heard about it? What is the color of the dress for you? So, taking into account my skills with colors and building consensus, this blog post only focuses on GPU hardware capabilities to support color management :-D If you want to learn more about color concepts and color on Linux, you can find useful links at the end of this blog post.

Linux Kernel, show me the colors ;D DRM color management interface only exposes a small set of post-blending color properties. Proposals to enhance the DRM color API from different vendors have landed the subsystem mailing list over the last few years. On one hand, we got some suggestions to extend DRM post-blending/CRTC color API: DRM CRTC 3D LUT for R-Car (2020 version); DRM CRTC 3D LUT for Intel (draft - 2020); DRM CRTC 3D LUT for AMD by Igalia (v2 - 2023); DRM CRTC 3D LUT for R-Car (v2 - 2023). On the other hand, some proposals to extend DRM pre-blending/plane API: DRM plane colors for Intel (v2 - 2021); DRM plane API for AMD (v3 - 2021); DRM plane 3D LUT for AMD - 2021. Finally, Simon Ser sent the latest proposal in May 2023: Plane color pipeline KMS uAPI, from discussions in the 2023 Display/HDR Hackfest, and it is still under evaluation by the Linux Graphics community. All previous proposals seek a generic solution for expanding the API, but many seem to have stalled due to the uncertainty of matching well the hardware capabilities of all vendors. Meanwhile, the use of AMD color capabilities on Linux remained limited by the DRM interface, as the DCN 3.0 family color caps and mapping diagram below shows the Linux/DRM color interface without driver-specific color properties [*]: Bearing in mind that we need to know the variety of color pipelines in the subsystem to be clear about a generic solution, we decided to approach the issue from a different perspective and worked on enabling a set of Driver-Specific Color Properties for AMD Display Drivers. As a result, I recently sent another round of the AMD driver-specific color mgmt API. For those who have been following the AMD driver-specific proposal since the beginning (see [RFC][V1]), the main new features of the latest version [v2] are the addition of pre-blending Color Transformation Matrix (plane CTM) and the differentiation of Pre-defined Transfer Functions (TF) supported by color blocks. For those who just got here, I will recap this work in two blog posts. This one describes the current status of the AMD display driver in the Linux kernel/DRM subsystem and what changes with the driver-specific properties. In the next post, we go deeper to describe the features of each color block and provide a better picture of what is available in terms of color management for Linux.

The Linux kernel color management API and AMD hardware color capabilities Before discussing colors in the Linux kernel with AMD hardware, consider accessing the Linux kernel documentation (version 6.5.0-rc5). In the AMD Display documentation, you will find my previous work documenting AMD hardware color capabilities and the Color Management Properties. It describes how AMD Display Manager (DM) intermediates requests between the AMD Display Core component (DC) and the Linux/DRM kernel interface for color management features. It also describes the relevant function to call the AMD color module in building curves for content space transformations. A subsection also describes hardware color capabilities and how they evolve between versions. This subsection, DC Color Capabilities between DCN generations, is a good starting point to understand what we have been doing on the kernel side to provide a broader color management API with AMD driver-specific properties.

Why do we need more kernel color properties on Linux? Blending is the process of combining multiple planes (framebuffers abstraction) according to their mode settings. Before blending, we can manage the colors of various planes separately; after blending, we have combined those planes in only one output per CRTC. Color conversions after blending would be enough in a single-plane scenario or when dealing with planes in the same color space on the kernel side. Still, it cannot help to handle the blending of multiple planes with different color spaces and luminance levels. With plane color management properties, userspace can get a more accurate representation of colors to deal with the diversity of color profiles of devices in the graphics chain, bring a wide color gamut (WCG), convert High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) content to Standard-Dynamic-Range (SDR) content (and vice-versa). With a GPU-accelerated display color management pipeline, we can use hardware blocks for color conversions and color mapping and support advanced color management. The current DRM color management API enables us to perform some color conversions after blending, but there is no interface to calibrate input space by planes. Note that here I m not considering some workarounds in the AMD display manager mapping of DRM CRTC de-gamma and DRM CRTC CTM property to pre-blending DC de-gamma and gamut remap block, respectively. So, in more detail, it only exposes three post-blending features:
  • DRM CRTC de-gamma: used to convert the framebuffer s colors to linear gamma;
  • DRM CRTC CTM: used for color space conversion;
  • DRM CRTC gamma: used to convert colors to the gamma space of the connected screen.

AMD driver-specific color management interface We can compare the Linux color management API with and without the driver-specific color properties. From now, we denote driver-specific properties with the AMD prefix and generic properties with the DRM prefix. For visual comparison, I bring the DCN 3.0 family color caps and mapping diagram closer and present it here again: Mixing AMD driver-specific color properties with DRM generic color properties, we have a broader Linux color management system with the following features exposed by properties in the plane and CRTC interface, as summarized by this updated diagram: The blocks highlighted by red lines are the new properties in the driver-specific interface developed by me (Igalia) and Joshua (Valve). The red dashed lines are new links between API and AMD driver components implemented by us to connect the Linux/DRM interface to AMD hardware blocks, mapping components accordingly. In short, we have the following color management properties exposed by the DRM/AMD display driver:
  • Pre-blending - AMD Display Pipe and Plane (DPP):
    • AMD plane de-gamma: 1D LUT and pre-defined transfer functions; used to linearize the input space of a plane;
    • AMD plane CTM: 3x4 matrix; used to convert plane color space;
    • AMD plane shaper: 1D LUT and pre-defined transfer functions; used to delinearize and/or normalize colors before applying 3D LUT;
    • AMD plane 3D LUT: 17x17x17 size with 12 bit-depth; three dimensional lookup table used for advanced color mapping;
    • AMD plane blend/out gamma: 1D LUT and pre-defined transfer functions; used to linearize back the color space after 3D LUT for blending.
  • Post-blending - AMD Multiple Pipe/Plane Combined (MPC):
    • DRM CRTC de-gamma: 1D LUT (can t be set together with plane de-gamma);
    • DRM CRTC CTM: 3x3 matrix (remapped to post-blending matrix);
    • DRM CRTC gamma: 1D LUT + AMD CRTC gamma TF; added to take advantage of driver pre-defined transfer functions;
Note: You can find more about AMD display blocks in the Display Core Next (DCN) - Linux kernel documentation, provided by Rodrigo Siqueira (Linux/AMD display developer) in a 2021-documentation series. In the next post, I ll revisit this topic, explaining display and color blocks in detail.

How did we get a large set of color features from AMD display hardware? So, looking at AMD hardware color capabilities in the first diagram, we can see no post-blending (MPC) de-gamma block in any hardware families. We can also see that the AMD display driver maps CRTC/post-blending CTM to pre-blending (DPP) gamut_remap, but there is post-blending (MPC) gamut_remap (DRM CTM) from newer hardware versions that include SteamDeck hardware. You can find more details about hardware versions in the Linux kernel documentation/AMDGPU Product Information. I needed to rework these two mappings mentioned above to provide pre-blending/plane de-gamma and CTM for SteamDeck. I changed the DC mapping to detach stream gamut remap matrixes from the DPP gamut remap block. That means mapping AMD plane CTM directly to DPP/pre-blending gamut remap block and DRM CRTC CTM to MPC/post-blending gamut remap block. In this sense, I also limited plane CTM properties to those hardware versions with MPC/post-blending gamut_remap capabilities since older versions cannot support this feature without clashes with DRM CRTC CTM. Unfortunately, I couldn t prevent conflict between AMD plane de-gamma and DRM plane de-gamma since post-blending de-gamma isn t available in any AMD hardware versions until now. The fact is that a post-blending de-gamma makes little sense in the AMD color pipeline, where plane blending works better in a linear space, and there are enough color blocks to linearize content before blending. To deal with this conflict, the driver now rejects atomic commits if users try to set both AMD plane de-gamma and DRM CRTC de-gamma simultaneously. Finally, we had no other clashes when enabling other AMD driver-specific color properties for our use case, Gamescope/SteamDeck. Our main work for the remaining properties was understanding the data flow of each property, the hardware capabilities and limitations, and how to shape the data for programming the registers - AMD color block capabilities (and limitations) are the topics of the next blog post. Besides that, we fixed some driver bugs along the way since it was the first Linux use case for most of the new color properties, and some behaviors are only exposed when exercising the engine. Take a look at the Gamescope/Steam Deck Color Pipeline[**], and see how Gamescope uses the new API to manage color space conversions and calibration (please click on the image for a better view): In the next blog post, I ll describe the implementation and technical details of each pre- and post-blending color block/property on the AMD display driver. * Thank Harry Wentland for helping with diagrams, color concepts and AMD capabilities. ** Thank Joshua Ashton for providing and explaining Gamescope/Steam Deck color pipeline. *** Thanks to the Linux Graphics community - explicitly Harry, Joshua, Pekka, Simon, Sebastian, Siqueira, Alex H. and Ville - to all the learning during this Linux DRM/AMD color journey. Also, Carlos and Tomas for organizing the 2023 Display/HDR Hackfest where we have a great and immersive opportunity to discuss Color & HDR on Linux.

23 July 2023

Aurelien Jarno: Welcome Debian riscv64

After many years of effort, I am happy to announce that Debian riscv64 is now an official architecture! This milestone is not the end of the journey but rather the beginning of a new one: the port will need to be rebootstrapped in the official archive, build daemons will have to be reinstalled and handed over to DSA, many bugs will need to be fixed. If everything goes well, the architecture will eventually be released with Trixie. Please note that this process will be long and will span several months. I would like to take this opportunity to thanks everyone who contributed to this significant milestone, including individuals and Debian teams, as well as the organizations and companies that provided us with resources (by rough chronological order): MIT CSAIL, Sifive, Mullvad,, OSU Open Source Lab, Microchip, Foundation, RISC-V international, PLCT Lab (ISCAS), StarFive, and Metropolitan Area Network Darmstadt.

14 July 2023

Aurelien Jarno: Goodbye Debian GNU/kFreeBSD

Over the years, the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port has gone through various phases. After many years of development, it was released as technology preview with the release of Squeeze and eventually became an official architecture with the release of Wheezy. However it ceased being an official architecture a couple of years later with the release of Jessie, although a jessie-kfreebsd suite was available in the official archive. Some years later, it was moved to the debian-ports archive, where it slowly regressed over the years. The development totally has now been stopped for over a year, and the port has been removed from the debian-ports archive. It's time to say it goodbye! I feel a touch of nostalgia as I was deeply involved in the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port for nearly a decade, starting in 2006. There are many different reasons to like GNU/kFreeBSD ranging from political to technical considerations. Personally, I liked the technical aspect, as the FreeBSD kernel, at that time, was ahead of the Linux kernel in term of features: jails, ZFS, IPv6 stateful firewalling, and at a later point superpages. That said it was way behind for hardware support and to the best of my knowledge this remains unchanged. Meanwhile, the Linux kernel development accelerated in the latter stages of the 2.6.x series, and eventually closed the feature gap. At some point, I began to lose interest, and also to lack time, and slowly stepped away from its development.

27 April 2023

Arturo Borrero Gonz lez: Kubecon and CloudNativeCon 2023 Europe summary

Post logo This post serves as a report from my attendance to Kubecon and CloudNativeCon 2023 Europe that took place in Amsterdam in April 2023. It was my second time physically attending this conference, the first one was in Austin, Texas (USA) in 2017. I also attended once in a virtual fashion. The content here is mostly generated for the sake of my own recollection and learnings, and is written from the notes I took during the event. The very first session was the opening keynote, which reunited the whole crowd to bootstrap the event and share the excitement about the days ahead. Some astonishing numbers were announced: there were more than 10.000 people attending, and apparently it could confidently be said that it was the largest open source technology conference taking place in Europe in recent times. It was also communicated that the next couple iteration of the event will be run in China in September 2023 and Paris in March 2024. More numbers, the CNCF was hosting about 159 projects, involving 1300 maintainers and about 200.000 contributors. The cloud-native community is ever-increasing, and there seems to be a strong trend in the industry for cloud-native technology adoption and all-things related to PaaS and IaaS. The event program had different tracks, and in each one there was an interesting mix of low-level and higher level talks for a variety of audience. On many occasions I found that reading the talk title alone was not enough to know in advance if a talk was a 101 kind of thing or for experienced engineers. But unlike in previous editions, I didn t have the feeling that the purpose of the conference was to try selling me anything. Obviously, speakers would make sure to mention, or highlight in a subtle way, the involvement of a given company in a given solution or piece of the ecosystem. But it was non-invasive and fair enough for me. On a different note, I found the breakout rooms to be often small. I think there were only a couple of rooms that could accommodate more than 500 people, which is a fairly small allowance for 10k attendees. I realized with frustration that the more interesting talks were immediately fully booked, with people waiting in line some 45 minutes before the session time. Because of this, I missed a few important sessions that I ll hopefully watch online later. Finally, on a more technical side, I ve learned many things, that instead of grouping by session I ll group by topic, given how some subjects were mentioned in several talks. On gitops and CI/CD pipelines Most of the mentions went to FluxCD and ArgoCD. At that point there were no doubts that gitops was a mature approach and both flux and argoCD could do an excellent job. ArgoCD seemed a bit more over-engineered to be a more general purpose CD pipeline, and flux felt a bit more tailored for simpler gitops setups. I discovered that both have nice web user interfaces that I wasn t previously familiar with. However, in two different talks I got the impression that the initial setup of them was simple, but migrating your current workflow to gitops could result in a bumpy ride. This is, the challenge is not deploying flux/argo itself, but moving everything into a state that both humans and flux/argo can understand. I also saw some curious mentions to the config drifts that can happen in some cases, even if the goal of gitops is precisely for that to never happen. Such mentions were usually accompanied by some hints on how to operate the situation by hand. Worth mentioning, I missed any practical information about one of the key pieces to this whole gitops story: building container images. Most of the showcased scenarios were using pre-built container images, so in that sense they were simple. Building and pushing to an image registry is one of the two key points we would need to solve in Toolforge Kubernetes if adopting gitops. In general, even if gitops were already in our radar for Toolforge Kubernetes, I think it climbed a few steps in my priority list after the conference. Another learning was this site: Group On etcd, performance and resource management I attended a talk focused on etcd performance tuning that was very encouraging. They were basically talking about the exact same problems we have had in Toolforge Kubernetes, like api-server and etcd failure modes, and how sensitive etcd is to disk latency, IO pressure and network throughput. Even though Toolforge Kubernetes scale is small compared to other Kubernetes deployments out there, I found it very interesting to see other s approaches to the same set of challenges. I learned how most Kubernetes components and apps can overload the api-server. Because even the api-server talks to itself. Simple things like kubectl may have a completely different impact on the API depending on usage, for example when listing the whole list of objects (very expensive) vs a single object. The conclusion was to try avoiding hitting the api-server with LIST calls, and use ResourceVersion which avoids full-dumps from etcd (which, by the way, is the default when using bare kubectl get calls). I already knew some of this, and for example the jobs-framework-emailer was already making use of this ResourceVersion functionality. There have been a lot of improvements in the performance side of Kubernetes in recent times, or more specifically, in how resources are managed and used by the system. I saw a review of resource management from the perspective of the container runtime and kubelet, and plans to support fancy things like topology-aware scheduling decisions and dynamic resource claims (changing the pod resource claims without re-defining/re-starting the pods). On cluster management, bootstrapping and multi-tenancy I attended a couple of talks that mentioned kubeadm, and one in particular was from the maintainers themselves. This was of interest to me because as of today we use it for Toolforge. They shared all the latest developments and improvements, and the plans and roadmap for the future, with a special mention to something they called kubeadm operator , apparently capable of auto-upgrading the cluster, auto-renewing certificates and such. I also saw a comparison between the different cluster bootstrappers, which to me confirmed that kubeadm was the best, from the point of view of being a well established and well-known workflow, plus having a very active contributor base. The kubeadm developers invited the audience to submit feature requests, so I did. The different talks confirmed that the basic unit for multi-tenancy in kubernetes is the namespace. Any serious multi-tenant usage should leverage this. There were some ongoing conversations, in official sessions and in the hallway, about the right tool to implement K8s-whitin-K8s, and vcluster was mentioned enough times for me to be convinced it was the right candidate. This was despite of my impression that multiclusters / multicloud are regarded as hard topics in the general community. I definitely would like to play with it sometime down the road. On networking I attended a couple of basic sessions that served really well to understand how Kubernetes instrumented the network to achieve its goal. The conference program had sessions to cover topics ranging from network debugging recommendations, CNI implementations, to IPv6 support. Also, one of the keynote sessions had a reference to how kube-proxy is not able to perform NAT for SIP connections, which is interesting because I believe Netfilter Conntrack could do it if properly configured. One of the conclusions on the CNI front was that Calico has a massive community adoption (in Netfilter mode), which is reassuring, especially considering it is the one we use for Toolforge Kubernetes. Slide On jobs I attended a couple of talks that were related to HPC/grid-like usages of Kubernetes. I was truly impressed by some folks out there who were using Kubernetes Jobs on massive scales, such as to train machine learning models and other fancy AI projects. It is acknowledged in the community that the early implementation of things like Jobs and CronJobs had some limitations that are now gone, or at least greatly improved. Some new functionalities have been added as well. Indexed Jobs, for example, enables each Job to have a number (index) and process a chunk of a larger batch of data based on that index. It would allow for full grid-like features like sequential (or again, indexed) processing, coordination between Job and more graceful Job restarts. My first reaction was: Is that something we would like to enable in Toolforge Jobs Framework? On policy and security A surprisingly good amount of sessions covered interesting topics related to policy and security. It was nice to learn two realities:
  1. kubernetes is capable of doing pretty much anything security-wise and create greatly secured environments.
  2. it does not by default. The defaults are not security-strict on purpose.
It kind of made sense to me: Kubernetes was used for a wide range of use cases, and developers didn t know beforehand to which particular setup they should accommodate the default security levels. One session in particular covered the most basic security features that should be enabled for any Kubernetes system that would get exposed to random end users. In my opinion, the Toolforge Kubernetes setup was already doing a good job in that regard. To my joy, some sessions referred to the Pod Security Admission mechanism, which is one of the key security features we re about to adopt (when migrating away from Pod Security Policy). I also learned a bit more about Secret resources, their current implementation and how to leverage a combo of CSI and RBAC for a more secure usage of external secrets. Finally, one of the major takeaways from the conference was learning about kyverno and kubeaudit. I was previously aware of the OPA Gatekeeper. From the several demos I saw, it was to me that kyverno should help us make Toolforge Kubernetes more sustainable by replacing all of our custom admission controllers with it. I already opened a ticket to track this idea, which I ll be proposing to my team soon. Final notes In general, I believe I learned many things, and perhaps even more importantly I re-learned some stuff I had forgotten because of lack of daily exposure. I m really happy that the cloud native way of thinking was reinforced in me, which I still need because most of my muscle memory to approach systems architecture and engineering is from the old pre-cloud days. List of sessions I attended on the first day: List of sessions I attended on the second day: List of sessions I attended on third day: The videos have been published on Youtube.

12 April 2023

Jonathan Dowland: blog after death

I've been pondering what should happen to personal websites once the owner has passed, or otherwise "moved on". Some time ago I stumbled across a blog by Kev Quirk, who wrote
I d need to come up with contingency plans for...This website, and any other websites and own/manage
I thought it was a strange idea, to have a contingency plan for a personal site to survive its writer. Even a site such as my own, which (as sites go) would be trivial to host/mirror (since it's static), who would want to do that? Why would they do that? On the other hand, whether something I've written is useful or not is largely independent of whether I'm alive and well. And if anything I've written is useful independently from me (to pick a recent example, my notes on imaging optical media), should it persist somewhere? I've long thought of personal sites much like any website, which is to say, implicitly eternal, despite mountains of evidence that practically the reverse is true. I was influenced a long time ago by the article Cool URIs don't change. Thinking more about "digital legacy" led me to start believing that personal sites are ultimately not the right place for any kind of content that should have some persistence. (You might well have started with that assumption!) Yesterday via Planet Debian I read Aur lien Jarno's recent blog post where they have deprecated all of their personal site bar their blog. Quoting Aur lien:
Wikipedia is a much better platform for sharing knowledge than random websites.
This struck me as an interesting idea. Wikipedia is a reasonable place for a lot of material that might otherwise be hosted on personal sites, and as a "living website", content can be adapted, corrected, etc. over time. Wikipedia is clearly not the right place for much other material that might exist on personal sites (it's not the right place for my aforementioned article). I'm not sure where might be. Perhaps we, as a culture, need to move away from the notion of personal sites, and devise a more collective concept. Or perhaps it's no bad thing that, without intervention, this stuff disappears.

Aurelien Jarno: Backup server upgraded to Bookworm

A few months ago, I switched my backup server to an ODROID-M1 SBC. It uses a RK3568 SoC with a quad-core Cortex-A55 and AES extensions (useful for disk encryption), and I added a 2 TB NVME SSD to the M2 slot. It also has a SATA connector, but the default enclosure does not have space for 2.5" drives. It's not the fastest SBC, but it runs stable and quite well as a backup server, and it's fanless, and low-power (less than 2 W idle). The support for the SoC has been added recently to the Linux kernel (it's used by various SBC), however the device tree for the ODROID-M1 was missing, so I contributed it based on the vendor one, and also submitted a few small fixes. All the changes ended in the Bookworm kernel, and with the Bookworm release approaching, I decided it was the good moment to upgrade it. It went quite well, and now I can enjoy running dist-upgrade like on other stable servers without having to care about the kernel. I am currently using Borg as a backup software, but the upgrade also gave access to a newer Restic version supporting compression (a must have for me), so I may give it a try.

11 April 2023

Aurelien Jarno: New website, or kind of...

For over 15 years, I've hardly made any updates to my website, and it remains low on my priority list. So I made a radical decision to replace it entirely with my blog. The content of the website has been reduced to just two additional pages. But nothing has been lost: nowadays, Wikipedia is a much better platform for sharing knowledge than random websites. And it happens that they already cover all that was on my website about subaquatic diving in French. They also offer a multitude of resources in electronics, including the topics that were on my website: LCD displays, I C bus, barcodes, parallel ports, serial ports, and DCF77 reception. Finally if you're in need of Debian QEMU images for various architectures, I recommend the Debian Quick Image Baker pre-baked images page instead.

26 January 2023

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: Montreal Subway Foot Traffic Data, 2022 edition

For the fourth year in a row, I've asked Soci t de Transport de Montr al, Montreal's transit agency, for the foot traffic data of Montreal's subway. By clicking on a subway station, you'll be redirected to a graph of the station's foot traffic. Licences

30 December 2022

Russ Allbery: Last 2022 haul

It's been a while since I posted a haul, and I've been reading primarily recent purchases, so I've already read and reviewed a bunch of these. Ilona Andrews Sweep of the Heart (sff)
Becky Chambers A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (sff)
Lauren Groff Matrix (mainstream)
Tendai Huchu The Library of the Dead (sff)
N.K. Jemisin The World We Make (sff)
Courtney Milan The Governess Affair (romance)
Tamsyn Muir Nona the Ninth (sff)
Naomi Novik The Golden Enclaves (sff)
Rebecca Solnit Orwell's Roses (non-fiction)
T. Kingfisher Illuminations (sff) I've been trying to slow down on new acquisitions until I finish more of the recent books I bought (with some success!).

12 December 2022

Russ Allbery: Review: The Unbroken

Review: The Unbroken, by C.L. Clark
Series: Magic of the Lost #1
Publisher: Orbit
Copyright: March 2021
ISBN: 0-316-54267-9
Format: Kindle
Pages: 490
The Unbroken is the first book of a projected fantasy trilogy. It is C.L. Clark's first novel. Lieutenant Touraine is one of the Sands, the derogatory name for the Balladairan Colonial Brigade. She, like the others of her squad, are conscript soldiers, kidnapped by the Balladairan Empire from their colonies as children and beaten into "civilized" behavior by Balladairan training. They fought in the Balladairan war against the Taargens. Now, they've been reassigned to El-Wast, capital city of Qaz l, the foremost of the southern colonies. The place where Touraine was born, from which she was taken at the age of five. Balladaire is not France and Qaz l is not Algeria, but the parallels are obvious and strongly implied by the map and the climates. Touraine and her squad are part of the forces accompanying Princess Luca, the crown princess of the Balladairan Empire, who has been sent to take charge of Qaz l and quell a rebellion. Luca's parents died in the Withering, the latest round of a recurrent plague that haunts Balladaire. She is the rightful heir, but her uncle rules as regent and is reluctant to give her the throne. Qaz l is where she is to prove herself. If she can bring the colony in line, she can prove that she's ready to rule: her birthright and her destiny. The Qaz li are uninterested in being part of Luca's grand plan of personal accomplishment. She steps off her ship into an assassination attempt, foiled by Touraine's sharp eyes and quick reactions, which brings the Sand to the princess's attention. Touraine's reward is to be assigned the execution of the captured rebels, one of whom recognizes her and names her mother before he dies. This sets up the core of the plot: Qaz li rebellion against an oppressive colonial empire, Luca's attempt to use the colony as a political stepping stone, and Touraine caught in between. One of the reasons why I am happy to see increased diversity in SFF authors is that the way we tell stories is shaped by our cultural upbringing. I was taught to tell stories about colonialism and rebellion in a specific ideological shape. It's hard to describe briefly, but the core idea is that being under the rule of someone else is unnatural as well as being an injustice. It's a deviation from the way the world should work, something unexpected that is inherently unstable. Once people unite to overthrow their oppressors, eventual success is inevitable; it's not only right or moral, it's the natural path of history. This is what you get when you try to peel the supremacy part away from white supremacy but leave the unshakable self-confidence and bedrock assumption that the universe cares what we think. We were also taught that rebellion is primarily ideological. One may be motivated by personal injustice, but the correct use of that injustice is to subsume it into concepts such as freedom and democracy. Those concepts are more "real" in some foundational sense, more central to the right functioning of the world, than individual circumstance. When the now-dominant group tells stories of long-ago revolution, there is no personal experience of oppression and survival in which to ground the story; instead, it's linked to anticipatory fear in the reader, to the idea that one's privileges could be taken away by a foreign oppressor and that the counter to this threat is ideological unity. Obviously, not every white fantasy author uses this story shape, but the tendency runs deep because we're taught it young. You can see it everywhere in fantasy, from Lord of the Rings to Tigana. The Unbroken uses a much different story shape, and I don't think it's a coincidence that the author is Black. Touraine is not sympathetic to the Qaz li. These are not her people and this is not her life. She went through hell in Balladairan schools, but she won a place, however tenuous. Her personal role model is General Cantic, the Balladairan Blood General who was also one of her instructors. Cantic is hard as nails, unforgiving, unbending, and probably a war criminal, but also the embodiment of a military ethic. She is tough but fair with the conscript soldiers. She doesn't put a stop to their harassment by the regular Balladairan troops, but neither does she let it go too far. Cantic has power, she knows how to keep it, and there is a place for Touraine in Cantic's world. And, critically, that place is not just hers: it's one she shares with her squad. Touraine's primary loyalty is not to Balladaire or to Qaz l. It's to the Sands. Her soldiers are neither one thing nor the other, and they disagree vehemently among themselves about what Qaz l and their other colonial homes should be to them, but they learned together, fought together, and died together. That theme is woven throughout The Unbroken: personal bonds, third and fourth loyalties, and practical ethics of survival that complicate and contradict simple dichotomies of oppressor and oppressed. Touraine is repeatedly offered ideological motives that the protagonist in the typical story shape would adopt. And she repeatedly rejects them for personal bonds: trying to keep her people safe, in a world that is not looking out for them. The consequence is that this book tears Touraine apart. She tries to walk a precarious path between Luca, the Qaz li, Cantic, and the Sands, and she falls off that path a lot. Each time I thought I knew where this book was going, there's another reversal, often brutal. I tend to be a happily-ever-after reader who wants the protagonist to get everything they need, so this isn't my normal fare. The amount of hell that Touraine goes through made for difficult reading, worse because much of it is due to her own mistakes or betrayals. But Clark makes those decisions believable given the impossible position Touraine is in and the lack of role models she has for making other choices. She's set up to fail, and the price of small victories is to have no one understand the decisions that she makes, or to believe her motives. Luca is the other viewpoint character of the book (and yes, this is also a love affair, which complicates both of their loyalties). She is the heroine of a more typical genre fantasy novel: the outsider princess with a physical disability and a razor-sharp mind, ambitious but fair (at least in her own mind), with a trusted bodyguard advisor who also knew her father and a sincere desire to be kinder and more even-handed in her governance of the colony. All of this is real; Luca is a protagonist, and the reader is not being set up to dislike her. But compared to Touraine's grappling with identity, loyalty, and ethics, Luca is never in any real danger, and her concerns start to feel too calculated and superficial. It's hard to be seriously invested in whether Luca proves herself or gets her throne when people are being slaughtered and abused. This, I think, is the best part of this book. Clark tells a traditional ideological fantasy of learning to be a good ruler, but she puts it alongside a much deeper and more complex story of multi-faceted oppression. She has the two protagonists fall in love with each other and challenges them to understand each other, and Luca does not come off well in this comparison. Touraine is frustrated, impulsive, physical, and sometimes has catastrophically poor judgment. Luca is analytical and calculating, and in most ways understands the political dynamics far better than Touraine. We know how this story usually goes: Luca sees Touraine's brilliance and lifts her out of the ranks into a role of importance and influence, which Touraine should reward with loyalty. But Touraine's world is more real, more grounded, and more authentic, and both Touraine and the reader know what Luca could offer is contingent and comes with a higher price than Luca understands. (Incidentally, the cover of The Unbroken, designed by Lauren Panepinto with art by Tommy Arnold, is astonishingly good at capturing both Touraine's character and the overall feeling of the book. Here's a larger version.) The writing is good but uneven. Clark loves reversals, and they did keep me reading, but I think there were too many of them. By the end of the book, the escalation of betrayals and setbacks was more exhausting than exciting, and I'd stopped trusting anything good would last. (Admittedly, this is an accurate reflection of how Touraine felt.) Touraine's inner monologue also gets a bit repetitive when she's thrashing in the jaws of an emotional trap. I think some of this is first-novel problems of over-explaining emotional states and character reasoning, but these problems combine to make the book feel a bit over-long. I'm also not in love with the ending. It's perhaps the one place in the book where I am more cynical about the politics than Clark is, although she does lay the groundwork for it. But this book is also full of places small and large where it goes a different direction than most fantasy and is better for it. I think my favorite small moment is Touraine's quiet refusal to defend herself against certain insinuations. This is such a beautiful bit of characterization; she knows she won't be believed anyway, and refuses to demean herself by trying. I'm not sure I can recommend this book unconditionally, since I think you have to be in the mood for it, but it's one of the most thoughtful and nuanced looks at colonialism and rebellion I can remember seeing in fantasy. I found it frustrating in places, but I'm also still thinking about it. If you're looking for a political fantasy with teeth, you could do a lot worse, although expect to come out the other side a bit battered and bruised. Followed by The Faithless, and I have no idea where Clark is going to go with the second book. I suppose I'll have to read and find out. Content note: In addition to a lot of violence, gore, and death, including significant character death, there's also a major plague. If you're not feeling up to reading about panic caused by contageous illness, proceed with caution. Rating: 7 out of 10

8 November 2022

Aurelien Jarno: riscv64 porterbox

For quite some time, many people asked for a riscv64 porterbox. Now we've got one called A big thanks to SiFive for providing the HiFive Unmatched board and OSUOSL for assembling the hardware and hosting it.

6 November 2022

Russ Allbery: Review: Matrix

Review: Matrix, by Lauren Groff
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Copyright: 2021
ISBN: 0-698-40513-7
Format: Kindle
Pages: 260
Marie is a royal bastardess, a product of rape no less, and entirely out of place in the court in Westminster, where she landed after being kicked off her mother's farm. She had run the farm since her mother's untimely death, but there was no way that her relatives would let her inherit. In court, Marie is too tall, too ugly, and too strange, raised by women who were said to carry the blood of the fairy M lusine. Eleanor of Aquitaine's solution to her unwanted house guest is a Papal commission. Marie is to become the prioress of an abbey. I am occasionally unpleasantly reminded of why I don't read very much literary fiction. It's immensely frustrating to read a book in which the author cares about entirely different things than the reader, and where the story beats all land wrong. This is literary historical fiction set in the 12th century. Marie is Marie de France, author of the lais about courtly love that are famous primarily due to their position as early sources for the legends of King Arthur. The lais are written on-screen very early in this book, but they disappear without any meaningful impact on the story. Matrix is, instead, about Shaftesbury Abbey and what it becomes during Marie's time as prioress and then abbess, following the theory that Marie de France was Mary of Shaftesbury. What I thought I was getting in this book, from numerous reviews and recommendations, was a story of unexpected competence: how a wild, unwanted child of seventeen lands at a dilapidated and starving abbey, entirely against her will, and then over the next sixty years transforms it into one of the richest abbeys in England. This does happen in this book, but Groff doesn't seem to care about the details of that transformation at all. Instead, Matrix takes the mimetic fiction approach of detailed and precise description of a few characters, with all of their flaws and complexities, and with all of the narrative's attention turned to how they are feeling and what they are seeing. It is also deeply, fully committed to a Great Man (or in this case a Great Woman) view of history. Marie is singular. The narrative follows her alone, she makes all the significant decisions, and the development of the abbey is determined by her apparently mystical visions. (In typical mimetic fashion, these are presented as real to her, and the novel takes no position on whether that reality is objective.) She builds spy networks, maneuvers through local and church politics, and runs the abbey like her personal kingdom. The tiny amount of this that is necessarily done by other people is attributed to Marie's ability to judge character. Other people's motives are simply steamrolled over and have no effect. Maddeningly, essentially all of this happens off-screen, and Groff is completely uninterested in the details of how any of it is accomplished. Marie decides to do something, the narrative skips forward a year, and it has happened. She decides to build something, and then it's built. She decides to collect the rents she's due, the novel gestures vaguely at how she's intimidating, and then everyone is happily paying up. She builds spy networks; who cares how? She maneuvers through crises of local and church politics that are vaguely alluded to, through techniques that are apparently too uninteresting to bother the reader with. Instead, the narrative focuses on two things: her deeply dysfunctional, parasocial relationship with Eleanor, and her tyrannical relationship with the other nuns. I suspect that Groff would strongly disagree with my characterization of both of those narratives, and that's the other half of my problem with this book. Marie is obsessed with and in love with Eleanor, a completely impossible love to even talk about, and therefore turns to courtly love from afar as a model into which she can fit her feelings. While this is the setup for a tragedy, it's a good idea for a story. But what undermined it for me is that Marie's obsession seems to be largely physical (she constantly dwells on Eleanor's beauty), and Eleanor is absolutely horrible to her in every way: condescending, contemptuous, dismissive, and completely uninterested. This does change a bit over the course of the book, but not enough to justify the crush that Marie maintains for this awful person through her entire life. And Eleanor is the only person in the book who Marie treats like an equal. Everyone else is a subordinate, a daughter, a charge, a servant, or a worker. The nuns of the abbey prosper under her rule, so Marie has ample reason to justify this to herself, but no one else's opinions or beliefs matter to her in any significant way. The closest anyone can come to friendship is to be reliably obedient, perhaps after some initial objections that Marie overrules. Despite some quite good characterization of the other nuns, none of the other characters get to do anything. There is no delight in teamwork, sense of healthy community, or collaborative problem-solving. It's just all Marie, all the time, imposing her vision on the world both living and non-living through sheer force of will. This just isn't entertaining, at least for me. The writing might be beautiful, the descriptions detailed and effective, and the research clearly extensive, but I read books primarily for characters, I read characters primarily for their relationships, and these relationships are deeply, horribly unhealthy. They are not, to be clear, unrealistic (although I do think there's way too much chosen one in Marie and way too many problems that disappear off-camera); there are certainly people in the world with dysfunctional obsessive relationships, and there are charismatic people who overwhelm everyone around them. This is just not what I want to read about. You might think, with all I've said above, that I'm spoiling a lot of the book, but weirdly I don't think I am. Every pattern I mention above is well-established early in the novel. About the only thing that I'm spoiling is the hope that any of it is somehow going to change, a hope that I clung to for rather too long. This is a great setup for a book, and I wish it were written by a fantasy author instead of a literary author. Perhaps I'm being too harsh on literary fiction here, but I feel like fantasy authors are more likely to write for readers who want to see the growth sequence. If someone is going to change the world, I want to see how they changed the world. The mode of fantasy writing tends to think that what people do (and how they do it) is as interesting or more interesting than what they feel or what they perceive. If this idea, with the exact same level of (minor) mysticism and historic realism, without added magic, were written by, say, Guy Gavriel Kay or Nicola Griffith, it would be a far different and, in my opinion, a much better book. In fact, Hild is part of this book written by Nicola Griffith, and it is a much better book. I have seen enough people rave about this book to know that this is a personal reaction that is not going to be shared by everyone, or possibly even most people. My theory is that this is due to the different reading protocols between literary fiction readers and fantasy readers. I put myself in the latter camp; if you prefer literary fiction, you may like this much better (and also I'm not sure you'll find my book reviews useful). I may be wrong, though; maybe there are fantasy readers who would like this. I will say that the sense of place is very strong and the writing has all the expected literary strengths of descriptiveness and rhythm. But, sadly, this was not at all my thing, and I'm irritated that I wasted time on it. Rating: 4 out of 10

1 November 2022

Jonathan Dowland: Halloween playlist 2022

I hope you had a nice Halloween! I've collected together some songs that I've enjoyed over the last couple of years that loosely fit a theme: ambient, instrumental, experimental, industrial, dark, disconcerting, etc. I've prepared a Spotify playlist of most of them, but not all. The list is inline below as well, with many (but not all) tracks linking to Bandcamp, if I could find them there. This is a bit late, sorry. If anyone listens to something here and has any feedback I'd love to hear it. (If you are reading this on an aggregation site, it's possible the embeds won't work. If so, click through to my main site) Spotify playlist:; The list, with Bandcamp embeds where possible: Some sources
  1. Via Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone
  2. Via Mary Anne Hobbs
  3. Via Lose yourself with
  4. Soma FM - Doomed (Halloween Special)

3 October 2022

Shirish Agarwal: Death Certificate, Legal Heir, Succession Certificate, and Indian Bureaucracy.

Death Certificate After waiting for almost two, two, and a half months, I finally got mum s death certificate last week. A part of me was saddened as it felt like I was nailing her or putting nails to the coffin or whatever it is, (even though I m an Agarwal) I just felt sad and awful. I was told just get a death certificate and your problems will be over. Some people wanted me to give some amount under the table or something which I didn t want to party of and because of that perhaps it took a month, month and a half more as I came to know later that it had been issued almost a month and a half back. The inflation over the last 8 years of the present Govt. has made the corrupt even more corrupt, all the while projecting and telling others that the others are corrupt. There had been also a few politicians who were caught red-handed but then pieces of evidence & witnesses vanish overnight. I don t really wanna go in that direction as it would make for an unpleasant reading with no solutions at all unless the present Central Govt. goes out.

Intestate and Will I came to know the word Intestate. This was a new word/term for me. A lookup told me that intestate means a person dying without putting a will. That legal term comes from U.K. law. I had read a long long time back that almost all our laws have and were made or taken from U.K. law. IIRC, massive sections of the CRPC Act even today have that colonial legacy. While in its (BJP) manifesto that had been shared with the public at the time of the election, they had shared that they will remove a whole swathe of laws that don t make sense in today s environment. But when hard and good questions were asked, they trimmed a few, modified a few, and left most of them as it is. Sadly, most of the laws that they did modify increased Government control over people instead of decreasing, It s been 8 years and yet we still don t have a Privacy law. They had made something but it was too vague and would have invited suits from day 1 so pretty much on backburner :(. A good insight into what I mean is an article in the Hindu I read a few days back. Once you read that article, I am sure you will have as many questions as I have but sadly no answers. Law is not supposed to be partisan but today it is. I could cite examples from both the U.S. and UK courts about progressive judgments or the way they go about it, but then again when our people think they know better  But this again does not help me apart from setting some kind of background of where we are.) I have on this blog also shared how Africans have been setting new records in transparency and they did it almost 5 years back. For those new to the blog, African countries have been now broadcasting proceedings of their SC for almost 5 years now. I noticed it when privacy law was being debated and a few handles that I follow on Twitter and elsewhere had gone and given their submission in their SC. It was fascinating to not only hear but also read about the case from multiple viewpoints. And just to remind people, I am sharing all of this from Pune, Maharashtra which is the second-biggest city in Maharashtra that has something like six million people and probably a million or more transitory students, and casual laborers but then again that doesn t help me other than providing a kind of context to what I m sharing.. Now a couple of years back or more I had asked mum to make a will. If she wanted to bequeath something to somebody else she could do that, had shared about that. There was some article in Indian Express or elsewhere that told people what they should be doing, especially if they had cost the barrier of age 60. Now for reasons best known to her, she refused and now I have to figure out what is the right way to go about doing things.

Twitter Experiences Now before Twitter, a few people had been asking me about having a legal heir certificate, while others are asking about a succession certificate and some claim a Death Certificate is enough. Now I asked the same question on Twitter hoping at the max of 5-10 responses but was overwhelmed by the response. I got something like 50-60 odd replies. Probably, one of the better responses was given by Dr. Paras Jain who shared the following

Answer is qualified Movable assets nothing required Bank LIC flat with society nomination done nothing required except death certificate. However, each will insist on a notarized indemnity bond If the nomination is not done. Depends on whims & fancy of each mind legal heir certificate,+ all Dr. Paras Jain. (cleared up the grammar a little, otherwise, views are of Dr. Paras.) What was interesting for me is that most people just didn t give me advice, many of them also shared their own experiences or what they did or went through. I was surprised to learn e.g. that a succession certificate can take up to 6 months or more. Part of me isn t surprised to learn that as do know we have a huge pendency of cases in High Courts, District Courts leading all the way to the Supreme Court. India Today shared a brief article sharing the same and similar issues. Such delays have become far too common now

Supertech Demolition and Others Over the last couple of months, a number of high-profile demolitions have taken place and in most cases, the loss has been of homebuyers. See for e.g. the case of Supertech. A much more detailed article was penned by Moneylife. There were a few Muslims whose homes were demolished just a couple of months back that were being celebrated, but now just 2-3 days back a politician by the name of Shrikant Tyagi, a BJP leader, his flat was partly demolished and there was a lot of hue and cry. Although we shouldn t be discussing on the basis of religion but legality, somehow the idea has been put that there are two kinds of laws, one for the majority, the other for the minority. And this has been going on for the last 8 odd years, hence you see different reactions to the same incidents instead of similar reactions. In all the cases, no strictures are passed either against the Municipality or against lenders. The most obvious question, let s say for argument s sake, I was a homeowner in Supertech. I bought a flat for say 10 lakhs in 2012. According to the courts, today I am supposed to get 22 lakhs at 12% simple interest for 10 years. Let s say even if the builder was in a position and does honor the order, the homeowner will not get a house in the same area as the circle rate would probably have quadrupled by then at the very least. The circle rate alone might be the above amount. The reason is very simple, a builder buys land on the cheap when there is no development around. His/her/their whole idea is once development happens due to other builders also building flats, the whole area gets developed and they are able to sell the flats at a premium. Even Circle rates get affected as the builder pays below the table and asks the officers of the municipal authority to hike the circle rate every few months. Again, wouldn t go into much depth as the whole thing is rotten to the core. There are many such projects. I have shared Krishnaraj Rao s videos on this blog a few times. I am sure there are a few good men like him. At the end, sadly this is where we are  P.S. I haven t shared any book reviews this week as this post itself has become too long. I probably may blog about a couple of books in the next couple of days, till later.

7 August 2022

Aurelien Jarno: GNU libc 2.34 in unstable

The GNU libc version 2.34 has just been accepted into unstable. Getting it ready has been more challenging than other versions, as this version integrates a few libraries (libpthread, libdl, libutil, libanl) into libc. While this is handled transparently at runtime, there are a few corner cases at build time: The next challenge is to get it migrating into testing! For the adventurous persons, GNU libc 2.35 is now available in experimental. And as people keep asking, the goal is to get the just released GNU libc 2.36 into Bookworm.

6 April 2022

Jonathan Dowland: Hope in a Darkened Heart

I first heard Virginia Astley via Lauren Laverne, who played (I think) "With my eyes wide open" from her first album, "From Gardens Where We Feel Secure". Mostly ambient, a conceptual piece about a garden in an English Summer, spanning dawn to dusk. Bucolic ambient, dream pop. It was a little outside my wheel-house, but I loved it, and wanted to find out more. I soon learned that official, physical copies of it were rare and expensive.
'Hope in a Darkened Heart' spinning on my turntable
Some time later I stumbled across her second album "Hope in a Darkened Heart" (which is possibly the most commonly available of her albums) and bought it blind. It's quite different, with a lot more singing, but whatever drew me to Gardens is present. I love this. It was produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto. Only this week I was enormously pleased to discover a chunk of her discography on Bandcamp, including the two aformentioned albums. Highlights from Darkened:

21 January 2022

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: Montreal Subway Foot Traffic Data, 2021 edition

For the third time now, I've asked Soci t de Transport de Montr al, Montreal's transit agency, for the foot traffic data of Montreal's subway. I think this has become an annual thing now :) The original blog post and the 2019-2020 edition can be read here: By clicking on a subway station, you'll be redirected to a graph of the station's foot traffic. Licences

25 December 2021

Aurelien Jarno: James Webb Space Telescope launched!

The long awaited James Webb Space Telescope has finally been successfully launched today. It is a Xmas gift for many people who have been waiting for it for many years. On a more personal side, I am happy and proud to have contributed to a tiny part of a tiny piece of software of this huge project over the last 15 years: the Instrument Performance Simulator of the NIRSpec instrument.

15 August 2021

Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppBDT 0.2.4 on CRAN: Updates

After a seven-year break (!!), the RcppBDT packages has been updated on CRAN. The RcppBDT package is an early adopter of Rcpp and was one of the first packages utilizing Boost and its Date_Time library. The now more widely-used package anytime is a direct descentant of RcppBDT. In fact, the last time RcppBDT was released, anytime did not yet exist. And some of the changes now finally released here in this version are some of the first steps made towards what became anytime. RcppBDT is broader in scope and provides a wider range of functionality but in a somewhat rougher form as we never sat down writing higher-end wrappers in R for all the potential use cases. When we wrote the first RcppBDT versions, many other popular date/time packages were all in R code and not compiled, and this package showed how things could be done at the compiled level. Now other packages, including anytime have filled the void so fully polishing RcppBDT may never happen. In any event, this release refreshes the package and brings it to full R CMD check --as-cran compliance. The NEWS entry follows:

Changes in version 0.2.4 (2021-08-15)
  • New utility function toPOSIXct which can take multitple input format (integer, floating point or character) vectors and can convert by relying on a wide variety of standard formats. This predates what has long been split off into a new package anytime which is more functional and feaureful.
  • New demo 'toPOSIXct' illustrating the feature.
  • New demo 'toPOSIXctTiming' benchmarking it.
  • Documentation for new functions was added as well.
  • CI now uses from r-ci.
  • Functions getLastDayOfWeekInMonth and getFirstDayOfWeekInMonth now use dow argument.
  • The shared library is now registered when loaded from NAMESPACE.
  • C level entry points are now registered as R now recommends.
  • Several badges were added to the file.
  • Several fields were added to the DESCRIPTION file, and/or updated.
  • Documentation URLs where both updated as needed and converted to https.

Courtesy of my CRANberries, there is also a diffstat report for this release. If you like this or other open-source work I do, you can now sponsor me at GitHub.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

31 July 2021

Russ Allbery: Summer haul

July ended up being a very busy month for me catching up on all sorts of things that I'd been putting off for too long, so posts have been a bit scarce recently. So have book reviews; I'm hoping to sneak one in before the end of the month tomorrow, and have a small backlog. But for tonight, here's another list of random books, mostly new releases, that caught my eye. Katherine Addison The Witness for the Dead (sff)
Olivia Atwater Half a Soul (sff)
Lloyd Biggle, Jr. The Still, Small Voice of Trumpets (sff)
Judson Brewer Unwinding Anxiety (nonfiction)
Eliot Brown & Maureen Farrell The Cult of We (nonfiction)
Becky Chambers A Psalm for the Wild-Built (sff)
Susanna Clarke Piranesi (sff)
Eve L. Ewing Ghosts in the Schoolyard (nonfiction)
Michael Lewis The Premonition (nonfiction)
Courtney Milan The Duke Who Didn't (romance)
Kit Rocha Deal with the Devil (sff)
Tasha Suri The Jasmine Throne (sff)
Catherynne M. Valente The Past is Red (sff) Quite a variety of things recently. Of course, I'm currently stalled on a book I'm not enjoying very much (but want to finish anyway since I like reviewing all award nominees).