Thumbs up for The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks. Science fiction.
My roommate described Banks’s Culture series perfectly: “Science fiction about spaceships who say ‘fuck’ a lot.” I hope, reader, that you’re okay with 900 pages in which said spaceships investigate a soon-to-be-completely-irrelevant point of record just because they’re curious? God, that sounds awful, doesn’t it? It’s not. In fact, I would read another 10,000 pages of Banks’s spaceships sending profane and snarky texts to each other.… >> Read more
Thumbs down for Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck. Science fiction/fantasy short stories.
I really wanted to like these stories; foremost I chose to read this anthology to explore some Swedish science fiction, but also, I won’t lie, the cover is just fantastic. The stories themselves made almost no impact on me. “Rebecka” had a nice frisson of a twist to it; “Aunts” was gross but interesting; but there was only one story that stuck in my head, “Augusta Prima.” It reminds me of Saki.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Big Sheep by Robert Kroese. Science fiction.
Near-future science fiction mystery about a missing sheep and a TV starlet who believes someone wants to kill her. And that is where I must stop, because the plot is so blindingly complicated and contains so many reveals that literally everything after that point is spoilers. But I will tell you that it is enormous fun; droll and dialogue-driven, it’s like Robert B.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Saga Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples. Science fiction/fantasy graphic novel.
Still fun. Though I wish the irony of the homosexual reporters hunting down a multiracial couple was a little more, you know, subtle.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Concrete Park and Concrete Park, vol. 2: R-E-S-P-E-C-T by Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander. Science fiction/graphic novel.
The story—an ensemble piece about the interactions between various gangs exiled on a desert planet—is unique and engaging, but what really sets this series apart is the vivid and colorful art.
Save… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi. Science fiction.
The overarching plot is even more incomprehensible than that of the first book—again, I fully admit I may just not be smart enough—but oh, how fun it is to read.
Fatigue stings my eyes like sand. A reminder that, in spite of appearances, I am not free. Perhonen‘s captain Mieli stubbornly refuses to give me root access to my Sobornost-made body, keeping it firmly within baseline human operating parameters in spite of my assurances that my previous attempts to escape our involuntary partnership were misunderstandings and that I am firmly committed to paying my debt of honor to her and her elusive Sobornost employer.
… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Company Town by Madeline Ashby. Science fiction.
It seems strange that the word that would come to mind for a novel about a physically-disfigured young woman who works as a bodyguard for prostitutes on an oil rig in a gritty near-future Canada would be “sweet.” And yes, there’s murder and fighting and bombs, because it is after all a suspense story.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee. Science fiction.
I have been looking forward to this book since before it even existed, because the author has written some short stories so good that even I (short story hater that I am) love them, and I couldn’t wait to see what he would do at novel length. Simultaneously, I was worried, because sometimes even very great short story writers, particularly the idea-driven ones, simply can’t sustain for three or four hundred pages.… >> Read more