July 26, 2019
Infinite Detail (Tim Maughan, 2019)
Reminded me a lot of Cory Doctrow novels, in a good way. As a technology collapse pushes the world back to the dark ages, technology also continues to exist and stir memories for some lost in the middle of the chaos.
July 20, 2019
This Is How You Lose the Time War (Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone, 2019)
I can see why people like this flowery, metaphor-filled fantasy full of word-play and clever ideas. But it felt a bit over my head. I don’t feel that often, but on occasion I find a book that wants me to be smarter than I can put the effort into being.
July 16, 2019
Theory of Bastards (Audrey Schulman, 2018)
Boy I’m glad I picked this up despite the apparently intentionally off-putting cover art. It’s a story of a near-future where the technology isn’t the story. It’s about human relationships with much of the action being between Bonobos and other Bonobos, or Bonobos and humans.
July 13, 2019
Fall; Or, Dodge in Hell (Neal Stephenson, 2019)
Yeah, this is a bit of a mess.
Easiest way to explain this loonnng-ass book is that you start out in a fair approximation of a William Gibson novel, but slowly end up in Lord of the Rings. And not really in a good way.
Still giving it three stars because I enjoy Stephenson’s writing style even when he loses the plot like this.
June 21, 2019
Children of Time (Adrian Tchaikovsky, 2015)
This is the kind of Sci-Fi I love. Really out there in terms of concepts. Some brain-stretching ideas, but still enough character development that you care about the people (and such) involved rather than just the ideas.
June 8, 2019
Borderless (Eliot Peper, 2018)
Second in the Analog techno-thriller series. In a not too distant future, ultra-hackers manipulate the world to stop the world from being manipulated.
Or something like that.
June 2, 2019
May 26, 2019
World of Trouble (Ben H Winters, 2014)
Last book of the “Detective at the end of the world” series “The Last Policeman”. The planet will only exist for another two weeks, but there are mysteries that need to be resolved before we reach the end.
Lovely. Wraps the series up beautifully.
May 20, 2019
The Hunting Party (Lucy Foley, 2019)
I think there is a name for this type of murder mystery, but can’t come up with it. A group of people is off somewhere isolated (in this case a hunting cabin in the north of England). A murder happens and everyone becomes a suspect.
It’s a decent example of the genre, whatever it’s called.
May 8, 2019
Delta-v (Daniel Suarez, 2019)
Suarez writes great techno-thrillers but this is not one of his most thrilling. His tech is often based on some real-world concept (drones, DNA editing, etc.) that he wildly extrapolates and then he drops happless victims into the mix.
Here he’s taken more of a “hard SF” approach to things, doing a detailed analysis of how asteroid mining might work. It’s interesting enough, but long on details and (relatively) short on thrills.
April 19, 2019
The Lost Man (Jane Harper, 2019)
Jane Harper is quickly becoming one of my favorite mystery writers. All set in Australia, most in the outback, her stories are sharply written character studies of people lost in a massive, hostile environment. And murder and deceit.
April 7, 2019
March 30, 2019
March 9, 2019
February 17, 2019
Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation (Ken Liu (translator), Anthology, 2016)
SF anthologies are of course hit and miss but I liked a lot of this. The collection includes some commentary on the writers and stories which helps. Chinese SF is great because you get a double dose of oddness – the SF and the culture shock of non-western writing.
February 3, 2019
Countdown City (Ben H Winters, 2013)
Second of three books in the Last Policeman series – a detective novel set in the final days of the earth before we get hit by a giant asteroid.
Some people freak out during the apocalypse, others just keeping doing what they know best.
January 9, 2019
January 1, 2019
Kingdom of the Blind (Louise Penny, 2018)
The 14th Inspector Gamache novel. Still going strong.
I shared a love of these novels with my mom who died a few months ago. I’d pre-ordered this for her to read on her Kindle so I read with extra sadness.
December 26, 2018
December 22, 2018
December 21, 2018
December 15, 2018
October 28, 2018
October 5, 2018
August 31, 2018
The Price You Pay (Aidan Truhen (pseudonym), 2018)
Whoa. This is one in-your-face crime novel. Not for the faint-of-heart. That said, it can be fun to get inside the head of a charming sociopath every now-and-then. As long as you can get out again.
I saw someone guessing this is a Nick Harkaway novel and I’m pretty sure it is.
I am a fucking asymmetric criminal startup. I got limited expertise in criminal strategic warfare. I hotdesk and I outsource and I franchise, but what I mostly have is a core concept, forward momentum.
August 26, 2018
Ball Lightning (Liu Cixin, Joel Martinsen (Translator), 2005/2018)
Liu Cixin really is a worthy successor to A.C. Clarke – the first author I became obsessed while a mere wee tike). This is a new English translation of an older novel that doesn’t quite have the expansiveness of Three-Body Problem, but was still a joy to read.
August 11, 2018
August 1, 2018
My Year of Rest and Relaxation (Ottessa Moshfegh, 2018)
Moshfegh writes wonderful stories about damaged women doing terrible things. This fantastical story of a woman going to extreme lengths to avoid the consequences of her life didn’t please me as much as her earlier novel Eileen, but it was satisfying nonetheless.
July 29, 2018
Give Me Your Hand (Megan Abbott, 2018)
Sometimes when I’m reading a murder mystery told from the suspect’s perspective, I like to think about the same book told from the detective’s perspective. In this case, the detectives would have to be the most bumbling cops ever to not figure out what’s happening here. I’m not sure a novel set in 2018 can just ignore modern forensics and the ubiquity of surveillance technology.
July 22, 2018
This is a near-future story about people having babies. It won a bunch of awards, but I can’t say I get it. The people seem very parochial in their opinions about reproduction and what they want from their kids. I hope we progress a LOT more than over the next century.