Catching up on my bedside reading stack. Over the last four months, I’ve read KSR’s generational starship saga Aurora, not one of his best but still a good read; Seveneves by Neal Stephenson, which is fine if you like endless lectures on near-future space technology, such as orbital dynamics, and characters that resemble crepes, they’re so flat; Gene Wolfe’s A Borrowed Man which was mildly disappointing to me, as are all of his gumshoe-narrated novels; The Last Days of New Paris, China Mieville’s percussive novella about Nazis, demons, and surreal art come to life to do battle in an alternate history occupied Paris circa 1950; and Paul Park’s All Those Vanished Engines, that follows a thread of repercussions from an alternate US Civil War history, but was such a self-indulgent exercise in metafiction, I put it down half way through.
Also caught up on Ann Leckie’s last two Ancillary Books which I thought were more accessible and narratively compelling than the mega-award winning Ancillary Justice. Liked them both a lot and appropriated the glove fixation for my own work. How could I possibly forget Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel’s sumptuous meditation on hope in our world juxtaposed with that of a dystopian future, and Christopher Priest’s The Gradual, a rumination of time lost and gained, set in his beloved Dream Archipelago.
Plenty of re-reads as well, most notably taking my time going through Steven Erikson’s The Malazan Book of the Fallen (just started on The Bonehunters, volume 6 of 10); a KSR favorite, the lyrical, wise, and very funny The Years of Rice and Salt; In Other Worlds, a short, but wonderful volume in A. A. Attanasio’s Radix teratology that can easily be read standalone, as the four books are typed by different themes; Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar, a charming, simple allegory of the people who grew up during the 1960s. Plus bits and pieces of books here and there to explore ideas, reacquaint myself with craft-specific minutiae, or just ‘cause.
The pile started anew today with the arrival of KSR’s New York 2140 and there’s a couple others floating around somewhere, I think. Plenty to keep me busy while I crank toward my dev edit deadline of May 1 for The Fifth Circle, Volume II.