§ I found this season’s first tiny cherry tomato. I also dug up a garlic bulb, maybe a few days premature but my curiosity got the best of me. I think it was “German White” but the labels have faded since I planted it last November. It looks good! Like real garlic and not the sad tiny cloves I’ve gotten from past experiments.

Overall, the garden is doing dramatically better than it did this time last year—all of the nightshades are almost twice the size and growing vigorously. Scrolling back to look through photos of the garden last June, the difference is immediately apparent. My working theory is that a lot of the stunting last year was caused by the Canadian wildfires.

§ Moonbound is out. I really liked both of the other Robin Sloan books I’ve read, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and Annabel Scheme, so I’ve been eagerly looking forward to this new novel since it was announced.

Moonbound feels like it was written by another author entirely. The Bay Area tech nerdery so central to his earlier work is replaced with a world full of talking animals, wizards, and a castle. The prologue comes at you fast with genetically engineered dragons and a war on the moon in the year 2279. It all felt like a little too much too soon that it risked turning me off of the whole endeavor before it really began. Thankfully, our perspective suddenly shifts 11,000 years into the future where, mysteriously, everything is a little bit more relatable.

Moonbound is Robin Sloan unchained, overflowing with creativity and unselfconscious. I’m sick of writers that are too cool and detached, I want to read stories by writers that are fully bought in, having fun, and aren’t afraid to show it. That, more than anything else, is Moonbound. So, screw it—dragons on the moon, sure, I’m in.

§ This is where a big long paragraph about WWDC used to be before I deleted it. You’re welcome.

§ Two new album releases sit right next to each other in my Apple Music library that represent two opposing ends of my musical tastes: As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again by The Decembrists and Brat by Charli XCX.

The loss of Pitchfork really sucks.

§ Long bright summer days means lots of cyanotype printing. I finally ordered the chemicals necessary to try Mike Ware’s new cyanotype sensitizer solution. The promised tonal range increase might be there but the additional complexity of actually mixing solution is definitely there too. The elegance of the original recipe is part of the magic. No heating and filtering necessary.

§ On Friday I booked by hotel for our quick stay in Toronto during our honeymoon next month—next month! Later that evening I went out to a gallery opening, wound up talking to the artist, and found out she had just recently moved to Toronto herself. She gave me a few suggestions of things to do in the city and validated my hotel pick—staying in Queen West is a good choice.

§ Caroline and I took a nice long walk through the local nature reserve for the first time since late winter. The ubiquitous black raspberries are absolutely overflowing with fruit, though none of it quite ripe yet. I’ll have to visit again in a couple of weeks so that I can pick a few before the birds have their fill. On the way back we saw a snake—always shocking on a sort of base instinctual level.

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