Tag Archives: books I like

Re: Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America

Between going to Readercon and staying up late two nights in a row reading Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America, by Robert Charles Wilson, I was in serious sleep debt for a week.

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Re: Stable Strategies

After seeing Eileen Gunn at Readercon last July, I finally checked out her collection of short fiction, Stable Strategies and Others.  It’s a slender volume filled out with three encomiums plus an author’s foreword plus endnotes for each story, all commenting about how slowly she writes. What she does write is good stuff.

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Re: The Exchange

After putting Graham Joyce on my list of authors I’d like to read more of, I finally got around to reading another one, The Exchange. And I liked it. This could be a pattern.

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Re: The Years of Rice and Salt

You probably already know that The Years of Rice and Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson tells an alternate history where the Black Plague wiped out Christian Europe, which leaves a world dominated by Buddhists and Muslims. This gives you a good excuse to explore parts of world history we don’t hear so much about.  As the generations pass, other wanderers are added to the “lost Christians”:  Jews, Armenians, and Zott (Roma). And as the generations pass, we see the same characters reborn: the Mystic, the Fighter, the Intellectual, and the Selfish jerk who makes trouble for the first three. There’s a couple other recurring characters, but so minor, I often missed them. After a few chapters you come to expect that just when they’re about to really make a difference, a natural disaster will kill them off. And then they regroup in the bardo.

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Re: Lizard Music

When I think of Daniel Pinkwater, the first book that comes to mind is always Lizard Music. It’s funny, intense, goofy, and light, sometimes in turns, sometimes all at once, in a way that leaves you off balance and finding something new every time you read it.

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Re: Little Brother

In Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow, Marcus Yallow is a smartass who delights in playing Harajuku Fun Madness and in evading the security at his high school. He and his friends are caught in the post-bombing sweep after a terrorist attack on San Francisco. After a harrowing interrogation, Marcus is set loose. Though he knows he’s being watched, he also knows how not to be watched. And he’s not going to let Big Brother, the Department of Homeland Security, get away with this.

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Re: Sailing to Sarantium

Sailing to Sarantium, by  Guy Gavriel Kay breaks the pattern of the previous books. It focuses on one character, Crispin, a skilled but flawed mosaic artist. He travels to Byzantium, I mean Sarantium, apparently in the same world as Al-Rassan, but centuries earlier, there’s no war at the end, and not a word about Fionavar.
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Re: Pyramids

If you’re reluctant to commit to reading even a sub-series of Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld books, Pyramids is a pretty good standalone sampler of his humor.

Teppic, heir to the kingdom of Djelibeybi, is a good-hearted character, even if he is training to be an assassin. The first third of the book is dominated by his training and final exam, but we can’t let him actually become an assassin–he’s the son of a pharoah. The expectable event snatches him away to Discworld’s equivalent of ancient Egypt, complete with bureaucratic priests, hundreds of gods, thousands of ancestors, and Time-sucking pyramids.  The laughs come thick and furious, about science, math, philosophy, and awkward rotations through the wrong axes of the four dimensions.

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Re: A Storm of Swords

When I picked a throughly read copy of A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin at the library, the book’s binding was coming apart. There’s a reason why this is also known as A Storm of Words. Despite the warning signs of bloat, I had a terrific time reading this book.

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Re: The Limits of Enchantment

It’s time to admit that there are several books I like that I’m not going to be able to do justice to, and waiting to post about them won’t make it any better. For example, The Limits of Enchantment, by Graham Joyce is exactly the sort of book that I never would have bothered with if it hadn’t been nominated for an award–a well-written book that skates back and forth over the boundaries of fantasy. Once again, I was drawn in by the narrator’s voice from the beginning:

If I could tell you this in a single sitting, then you might believe all of it. Even the part about what I found in the hedgerow. If I could unwind this story in a single spool, or peel it like an apple the way Mammy could with her penknife in one unbroken coil, juice a-glistening on the blade, then you might bite in without objection.

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