Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Recent Reading

June 10th, 2012

Thumbing back through my Kindle to review what I’ve been reading, or contemplating reading, lately reveals an odd mix. I’ve been interested in shorter work, so I’ve enjoyed Lawrence Block’s collection The Night and the Music, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s The Retrieval Artist, some of Book View Café’s anthology Beyond Grimm, and some online stories, especially at Lightspeed Magazine (check out Tim Pratt’s Cup and Table).

I’ve sampled several novels, and have a lot more lined up. I was really intrigued by Brian Evenson’s Immobility, and I went to buy it, but was put off by the price, which I think was $13 at the time. It’s not that I think an ebook can’t be worth $13, but I charge only five or six dollars for my own books. So in one of those twisted psychological moves, it feels like I’m implying my books are rubbish if I’m willing to pay more than twice their cost for a book I know little about, by an author unfamiliar to me. I think this leaves Richard Kadrey’s Aloha From Hell as the most expensive e-novel I’ve ever bought, at eleven or twelve dollars—but that was the third book in a series that I’ve really enjoyed.

The two novels I’ve finished most recently are Greg Egan’s Incandescence, and Alastair Reynolds’ House of Suns, both of which engaged in galaxy-spanning cultures, and technologies existing across vast spans of time. Both are fascinating, and recommended.

Do you have a book to recommend? I’d love to hear about it. All genres welcome.

Posted on: Sunday, June 10th, 2012 at 9:53 am
Categories: Reading.
Tags: , ,

6 Responses to “Recent Reading”

  1. Eddie Says:

    I always enjoy reading about what my favorite authors read. Not often do I actually get to recommend something to them.

    Despite not having read it yet (I will soon!), I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any Dan Simmons book as I have not been disappointed yet. He has a book called FIRES OF EDEN which takes place in Hawaii, which I hear has interesting historical references and even a cameo by Mark Twain, besides the main horror(ish) storyline.

    LIVING PROOF by Kira Peikoff — It is a pro-science, pro-stem cell research dystopia. I won’t claim to know your views, but if I had to guess from your books alone I’d say you would be okay with that theme. Set 15 years in the future, embryonic stem cells are considered protected life under the law and one brave woman fights for scientific breakthrough secretly while working at a fertility clinic.

    Looking through my shelves I find about 100 more I want to recommend.

    Have you ever read C.J. Cherryh? I’m looking forward to reading DOWNBELOW STATION soon to see why it and about 10 of Cherryh’s other works won the Hugo.

  2. Linda Says:

    I used to read Dan Simmons back in the Hyperion/Endymion days. I think I fell out of the habit because the books are long and I’m such a slow reader. Fires of Eden is one of those books I wanted to get, but couldn’t justify the hardcover at the time, and I just never got back to it.

    CJ Cherryh I read as a teen. The two I specifically remember are Downbelow Station and Merchanter’s Luck which is in the same story world. When I started writing I remember consciously emulating the style of these two books.

    Living Proof is new to me. I’ll look for it.

  3. Robert Says:

    All genres? Well, I heartily recommend the “Tunnels” series by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams – a juvenile series (on approximately the same level as the Harry Potter books). A 14-year old boy’s archaeologist father disappears into myserious tunnels underneath their home in a fictional burrough of London, and young Will, in seeking after him, discovers a hidden, 18th century style civilisation under London, ruled by a not-quite human race of beings. Slow in the beginning, but becomes thoroughly enthralling and full of mystery. The very first books hinted at an even deeper, more myserious world, but I had to wait
    for more books to be published before I could get to it! Luckily I wasn’t disappointed!

    It’s hard sometimes to define what makes a book great, but I consider it to be great when I wish it were twice as long. There’s nothing particularly original about these books, but something about them truly captivated me. Regards, Robert.

  4. Linda Says:

    Thanks, Robert. I admit I’ve never heard of “Tunnels.” I’ll look into it.

  5. Glen Kilpatrick Says:

    If you like Greg Egan, you’ll probably like (and have already read…) Greg Bear. I’m going to suggest several that illustrate his mastery:

    _Eon_ — the weakest of the six; it may have impressed The Dean (RAH), but it moves slowly for me.
    _Eternity_ — contrawise the most powerful of the six; I’ll sometimes read this without that. The imagery is very powerful, the dialog is central. However, the protagonist gets most of the character development.
    _Legacy_ — prequel to the duology above; the reader needs the background of the above in order to understand this one’s context, however. Bear makes a considerable and beautiful forey into biology. Evolution may be the most solid “theory” in the sciences (and I don’t mean just the life ones), but Bear offers us an alternative.

    _The Forge of God_ — aliens have come to Earth, robots in Australia, beings in the USA who cannot digest and must just run down when their internal stores are depleted, mountains built to “blend in” that suddenly appear; it all makes no sense.
    _Anvil of Stars_ — my second-favorite Coming-of-Age, this closing sequel has children growing up while on The Mission.

    _City at the End of Time_ — I consider this and a short story in the _Eon_ universe to be supreme homage to William Hope Hodgson’s _The Night Land_ (an exceptional fantasy from before WWI).

    Bear also has to Halo books out; he lives in Seattle, collaborative research with Microsoft would be very easy. They seem long short-stories with a lot of white-space to make them into novels, but that’s a plus as well as minus. Every word needs to be a carefully placed jewel, and he does not disappoint.

  6. Linda Says:

    I used to read so much Greg Bear, but it’s been a while. I wish I was a faster reader.