Re: Anathem

If you read cosmology books for fun, you’ll have plenty of fun reading Anathem, by Neil Stephenson. It also helps if you like wordplay, language, and philosophy. I liked this book so much I was actually a bit relieved that I didn’t fall in love with it, because a 900 page book could mean some […]

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Re: The Alchemy of Stone

From the beginning, the rich detail of The Alchemy of Stone, by Ekaterina Sedia draws you into a tale of a city once ruled by a duke, now divided between Mechanics and Alchemists, and always, always watched over by gargoyles. Our heroine, Mattie is an intelligent automaton and as her city goes through a wrenching […]

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Re: Od Magic

I’m not sure what’s more amazing about the first chapter of Od Magic, by Patricia McKillip: the appearance of Od, a giantess with mice in her hair; or the successful execution of a 12-page flashback. We meet Brenden Vetch about to enter a magical door under a cobbler’s shoe. He thinks back to how miserable […]

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Re: Charlotte’s Web

I’ve been enjoying the On Character series that NPR did over the summer, but the only one that spurred me to read anything was the entry about Charlotte A. Cavatica. So I checked out the 50th anniversary edition of E.B. White’s reading of Charlotte’s Web, and spent a few afternoons rediscovering this old favorite.

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Re: In The New Moon’s Arms

After all this space opera and time travel and scifi, I was ready to read something truly human as I cracked open In the New Moon’s Arms, by Nalo Hopkinson. The book opens with the funeral of Calamity’s father, and Calamity is trying to hide her laughter over Mrs. Winter losing her drawers. Calamity herself […]

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Re: Spin

Some science fiction reads like thinly disguised science articles, which makes me more interested in reading the source material than the stories. Sad, I know. Spin, by Robert Charles Wilson, overcomes this by focusing on the lives of three people while using the science as a visionary backdrop. By the end of the first chapter, […]

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Re: The Accidental Time Machine

If you’d like a taste of The Accidental Time Machine, by Joe Haldeman, it’s worth listening to this interview from November 2006. He gives a great reading from the first chapters, in which Matt Fuller, lab assistant and sometime grad student at MIT, stumbles on a calibrator that’s taking tiny little jumps into the future. […]

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Re: Merchants’ War

Miriam Beckstein, intrepid high-tech journalist, discovers she is really a lost daughter of a clan that can travel between worlds. And she is not pleased. Before I go on, make sure you’ve read the previous books in Charles Stross‘s Merchant Prince series: The Family Trade, The Hidden Family, Clan Corporate, and the latest book Merchants’ […]

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Re: Halting State

When an army of Orcs rob a bank, you’re know you’re in for a good time. So who thinks it’s worthwhile to raid the central bank of the gameworld Avalon Four? Sue, an Edinburgh cop, Elaine, a forensic auditor, and Jack, a gaming programmer, are called together to find out. Throw in corporate backstabbing, terror […]

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Reading by listening

One way I like to read is by using my computer as the world’s most expensive radio, and listening to podcasts. A lot of podcasts are ways to listen to radio programs on your own time, and Chapter a Day has been around practically since the start of radio. Like it says, they pick out […]

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