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Sep. 6th, 2012

100 SF/Fantasy Stories 016: 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

So, one of the problems with being a Hugo voter this year was that I started listening to SF podcasts, which piles on my to-read list. Wait, why is this a problem? Because there are so many books! I miss my school days when I could read ALL THE BOOKS because high school was easy and I had no internet and limited mobility to visit friends. Well, not really, but being able to come home with big boxes of books from the library (no, not kidding) and finish them in a month was nice.

Oh, well, at least reading 2312 will get me ahead on Hugo reading for next year, because if this isn't on the ballot, I will eat my (article of clothing).

Read more... )

Jun. 14th, 2012

100 SF/Fantasy Stories 011: The Ice Owl by Carolyn Ives Gilman

The Ice Owl by Carolyn Ives Gilman
This was enjoyable, but didn't leave as strong of an impact on me as the other novelas.

Thorn is fourteen in real time, but around 140-150 years by chronology. )

Jun. 10th, 2012

100 SF/Fantasy Stories 010: Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht

So, Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht was a difficult novel for me for about the same reason Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okaofor was; I don't mind reading things that are set in a darker era (real or fictitious), but afterward, I want the literary equivalent of something sweet and fluffy. A bit like drinking black tea with pastries.

Anyway, Of Blood and Honey is set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.  )

Jun. 5th, 2012

100 SF/Fantasy Stories 009: The Man Who Ended History, by Ken Liu

I actually finished all the novelettes for the Hugos last night, meaning I've read for four awards. I might do the novelettes and short stories in one post, rather than do these.

Hey, it's a story involving time travel (sort of) and WWII and not Nazis!

'The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary' is told as if we're watching a documentary from the near future, the ever classic 20XX. )

Jun. 2nd, 2012

100 SF/Fantasy Stories 008: Silently and Very Fast by Cat Valente

First off, Cat Valente has incredibly rich prose, full of imagery. Silently and Very Fast is basically a story told in stories to describe the relationship between machine intelligences and human intelligences.

(The first part is here)

Elefsis is a machine intelligence that used to be a house, modeled by his creator as a lares familiar, a 'god of the household' like the Romans worshiped.  )

Jun. 1st, 2012

100 SF/Fantasy Stories 007: Countdown by Mira Grant

I'm into the Hugo novellas! Hooray! Yes, I'm cheating and skipping A Dance with Dragons. If I finish everything else in two months, maybe I'll go back and read it.

Anyway, Countdown is a prequel to Mira Grant's (aka Seanan McGuire's) Newsflesh trilogy telling the story of how we accidentally made the dead rise. It was originally published as a series of short pieces on her LJ running up to Deadline's release in May 2011, and you can still read it like that. Orbit did release an ebook version of it, and a paper copy is coming out from Subterranean Press (as When Will You Rise).

One of the things I appreciate about Grant's zombie books is that while scientists can be the bad guys, science isn't. )

May. 22nd, 2012

100 SF/Fantasy Stories 004: Embassytown by China Mieville

Look, two book posts in a day!

Embassytown was amazing. I have a feeling I need to make up a list of China Mieville's stuff and just go read all this things, because I also really dug The City and the City (expect to see a post about it).

Embassytown is sort of classic 'idea' SF. )

100 SF/Fantasy Stories 003: Among Others by Jo Walton

So, I downloaded my Hugo Voter's packet, so expect to see a lot of posts regarding the contents. For those of you don't know, the Hugos are Science Fiction and Fantasy's Big Award Ceremony. The nominees are chosen by popular vote of the attendees and supporting members of WorldCon, and then the nominees are voted on by that same body. So it's a good indication of what a subset of the fandom is doing.

I already reviewed one nominee for best novel, Mira Grant's Deadline. So Among Others by Jo Walton is the second. Since I'm nearly finished with the third, I better post this entry.

Unlike Deadline, which is a thriller, Among Others is a quiet coming of age story.  )