I figured I’d review the books that I’ve gone through recently:
Matriarch, Karen Traviss: I’m going to throw out this: Karen Traviss is one, if not the, best contemporary science fiction writers alive today. She knows how to weave a story that’s both believable and goes pretty much against everything that science fiction up to now has had. Her characters are insanely realistic, there aren’t any utopian alien races (especially not humans) and the plots of her books are second to none. Matriarch is continuing her Wess’Har series (two more books to go) and things go from bad to worse. One alien race that we’d grown to like turns out to have been nazis, war’s about to break out, said nazi aliens are now imortal and I want to kill several characters. Very good book. Can’t wait for Ally to be released. April can’t come soon enough.
Bloodlines, Karen Traviss: I’m behind on Star Wars books. I picked this one up over the summer, and only just got to it. Overall, I’m impressed with the new story arc that they’re doing, and it’s much better than the New Jedi Order. Karen’s one of the best things that’s happened to Star Wars literature in recent years, and she’s up there for me with Timothy Zahn or Michael Stackpole. She’s made Boba Fett into a character, not just a fanboy juggernaut, and done some pretty interesting things with the universe thus far, as well as brought a geniune military sense to some aspects of the story that are terrifying.
Singularity Sky, Charles Stross: I’ve been trying to get through this book for about a year and a half now. I was first introduced to Stross’s work in Asimov’s, and enjoyed his stories. Unfortuently, I’ve been picking this book up, and not devoting enough time to it, and as a result, set it aside for a later time. Fantastic read, great writing and an interesting storyline. This guy’s got some of the more interesting military scifi and fleet action that I’ve ever read, and does a wonderful job blending physics with politics. I can’t wait to get to Iron Sunrise, the next book with the characters from this book.
Altered Carbon, Richard K. Morgan: This is another book that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while now, ever since the New York Times named this a notable book of the year back when it was first published. This gave me a huge Blade Runner vibe, along with conspiracy theories, hard boiled detective noir and a fair share of violence. Not to mention a very good writing style. Broken Angels and Woken Furies are the next two Kovacs novels, and as soon as I can, they’re mine.
Storm Front, Jim Butcher: The SciFi channel picked up these books as an original television event, and to get a jump on that, I picked up this book, which is the basis for the pilot. These were fun, but very light reads. I went through this in about two days. There’s humor, a fun twist on magic, and if I’d read these five years ago, I would have been totally in love with them. Not so much now, but it’s far from bad. I’m fully intending on keeping up with the series, mainly as a disctraction.
Fool Moon, Jim Butcher: Pretty much the same thing as above, and it seems like some of his books might be themed with various supernatural things, and in this one, it’s Warewolves. And rogue FBI agents who are warewolves. As I said, fun, light reading.
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, Bill Bryson: I love Bill Bryson’s works, ever since I went through I’m A Stranger Here Myself earlier last fall. He’s got such a tongue in cheek manner of telling stories, and his autobiography on his growing up in Iowa should be taken with a large grain of salt, but it’s certainly a larger than life tale, and a hysterical one at that. Seemed a bit short, but again, complete fun to read.
Next up, Revelation Space, Lies of Locke Lamora, The Sky People, Trading in Danger, Good Omens and the Gunslinger. Among others.