Last year was a decent one for books, but this year is already shaping up to be a pretty good one. So far, I’ve attacked the ever growing book pile with a bit more organization than I have in the past, and as a result, I’ve got a hefty stack of books that I’m planning on reading over the next couple of months, for reviewing and for pleasure. Here’s what I’ve got coming up:
The Office of Mercy, Ariel Djanikian – This review’s been turned in, and it’ll be up at some point. Think Hunger Games with a bit more of a philosophical twist. The book’s an interesting read, one with quite a bit to think about, and an intriguing plot and world.
The Burn Zone, James K. Decker – James and I had the fortune to be on a podcast together, and he graciously offered to send me a copy – I’m very sad that I overlooked it when I wrote up my February book list for Geek Exchange. I’m reading it now, and it’s pretty awesome so far.
The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, edited by John Joseph Adams – This is a new JJA themed anthology, and there’s a solid reputation behind it for really high quality stories there. I’m a couple of stories in already, and it’s a really funny, excellent read a couple of stories in.
Debris Dreams, David Colby – This is a book published by VT Speculative Fiction publisher Candlemark and Gleam, and it looks like a fun read, one that I’m planning on reviewing for Geek Mountain State. It came out last fall, and it’s slowly crept up my to-read list.
Bowl of Heaven, Gregory Benford & Larry Niven – I’ve seen this book get some pretty terrible reviews, which is unfortunate, because it looks like it’s got all the markings of a really epic read, from two major Space Opera authors. I’ve been looking forward to reading this one since it came out.
You, Austin Grossman – Grossman’s long overdue for a second novel (his first was Soon I Will Be Invincible, which I need to re-read), and this one is just as good, if not better. This one follows the video game industry, and it’s got a nicely complicated, multilayered plot that spans decades, platforms and space & time.
NOS4A2, Joe Hill – A friend of mine snagged me an advance copy of this book, and I’m eagerly waiting to read it. Hill’s prior novel, Horns, is one of my absolute favorites, although I’ve yet to get to Heart Shaped Box. This one sounds wonderfully demented.
Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh – It’s going to be a couple of months before I get to this book, because it’s officially out in June from Orbit Books. I’ve been a huge fan of McIntosh’s last two books: Soft Apocalypse is one of the best books to have been released in the last decade, and Hitchers wasn’t bad either.
Abbadon’s Gate, James S.A. Corey – I don’t have a copy of this in hand, but it’s easily the most anticipated novel that I’ve got on my forecast so far this year. Leviathan’s Wake and Caliban’s War were two awesome reads, and I can’t wait to see how they finish out this 1st trilogy.
Others to Read:
There’s a couple of other books that I’m taking my time with and enjoying on my own pace:
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn – This has been the hot item of 2012, and I picked it up at Christmas thanks to a couple of gift cards. It’s a really dark, interesting read so far (I’m probably 1/3 of the way through). I can see why there’s a lot of hype for it.
Northwest Smith, C.L. Moore – I recently joined Singularity & Co, a small company dedicated to saving old science fiction novels and re-releasing them as eBooks. It’s a fantastic idea, and a great company to get behind, with a neat store down in Brooklyn. I wrote about C.L. Moore recently, and really found her stories entertaining.
Lay Saints, Adam Connell – I’m going to eat my words on self-published fiction with Lay Saints, a book that Connell couldn’t find a publisher for. A couple of people who’s opinion I hold in good regard recommended the book, and I’ve been picking away at it.
The Girl Who Would Be King, Kelly Thompson – I’ll go back for a second helping, because Thompson’s book is another self-published effort that I came across last fall, and it looked like it had an intriguing plot and characters.
Among Others, Jo Walton – This book won the Hugo last year, and I can see why: it’s got a lot of references to a lot of books from SF’s history. I got this when I became a supporting member of ChiCon last year, and I’ve been reading away at it ever since, a chapter or two at a time. It’s a fantastic read.
The Universal Mirror, Gwen Perkins – Gwen was a classmate of mine at Norwich, and this book has languished on my shelf for too long. Sometime this year!
Undoubtedly, there’s a couple of other books that I’ve got that I’d like to read that I’m forgetting, as well as some that I’ll pick up that are unexpected. The pile grows ever greater, and one of the big goals that I’ve got is to get through some of the classics, especially those that come as I research more and more of SF/F’s history. There’s a lot of good material there, and with the exception of those short times after I finish a book, I’m never wanting for something to read, which is nice.