Well before I was a footnote in a list of popular science blogs, I started out into the world of weblogging by starting a book log, which I still maintain, sort of. I haven't posted anything to it in a few months because, well, this site takes up most of my blogging energy, and I do have a day job, you know?
I occasionally feel a little guilty about this, especially since I've got big piles of books here that haven't been shelved in order to remind me to booklog them... Which is silly, because it's just a damn hobby, but there you go.
Anyway, as a reminder that I do read things other than blogs and student papers, I'll list (most of) the books in the booklog queue below the fold. If there's anything there you'd really like to hear my opinion of, leave a comment, and maybe that will provide the impetus I need to actually post about some of these
The list, in no particular order, with a one-sentence description:
- Gaudeamus by John Barnes. A very strange little metafictional thing.
- The Tyranny of the Night by Glen Cook. First in a new fantasy series.
- Olympos by Dan Simmons. Sequel to Ilium.
- The Hidden Family by Charlie Stross. The Chronicles of Amber plus Usenet economics.
- Polaris and Seeker and A Talent for War by Jack McDevitt. A series about antiquities dealers Innn Spaaaace.
- Caught Stealing and Six Bad Things by Charlie Huston. Mainstream crime novels, in a Jim Thompson sort of vein.
- Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace. Essays by the king of footnote fiction.
- The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson. New Age wackiness in the US military explains our foreign policy. Non-fiction.
- The Narrows by Alexander Irvine. A secret history of WWII in Detroit, with golems.
- Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan. First of the Takeshi Kovacs far-future thriller novels.
- A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. Death's Little Helpers run into trouble in San Francisco, wackiness ensues.
- Crux (Lucifer vol. 9) by Mike Carey et al.. Ninth in the Sandman follow-on series.
- The Bonehunters and The Healthy Dead by Steven Erikson. The latest Malazan Book of the Fallen, and a lightweight novella in the same world.
- Noisy Outlaws, etc. and Astonishing Stories by McSweeney's. Two story collections, the first for "young adults," the second a sequel to their earlier collection of thrilling tales.
- The Outskirter's Secret, The Lost Steersman and The Language of Power by Rosemary Kirstein. The rest of the Steerswoman series.
- His Majesty's Dragon and Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik. Patrick O'Brian with dragons.
I feel like there ought to be more, but that's a pretty good list as it is.
Is that good Barnes (The Merchants of Souls), evil Barnes (Mother of Storms), soul destroying Barnes (Earth Made of Glass) or scariest f-ing thing I've ever read Barnes (The Sky So Big and Black)?
I suppose it being on the list means that I can't you away from Olympos.
Weird Barnes, not quite in the mode of One for the Morning Glory, but recognizably the same mind at work.
Olympos was at least better than Rise of Endymion...
Care to say more on Olympos? After the way Ilium went, I can't imagine a sequel being any good, but you never know.
Also, how was Bonehunters? I'm waiting on the trade paperback to match my existing Erikson set, but I'm really psyched to read it (although unsure about a pre-BH Malazan re-read - ~5000 pages?!).
I feel pretty guilty about abandoning my own modest little creation in the book log line, but, well, my daughter's first birthday is tomorrow, so I've been *busy*....
Oh, and I'd like to hear about:
Glen Cook's new series (how's it compare to the Black Company stuff?)
The Charlie Stross series, worth it?
Christopher Moore--quality-wise, is it Bloodsucking Fiends, or Island of the Sequined Love Nun?
The new Erikson--I'm bogged down between the second and third books, but how is it looking from that end of the series?
Just a comment on the Kirstein: after reading three of them, I just honestly can't see what people see in these.
The Noviks: I've read Kate's take, and they sound (much against my initial inclination) like fun. Concur?
Read the first chapter of Olympos in the bookstore. Then put it down and walk away. You'll be happier that way. Even ignoring the LGF stuff, the plot resolution is just bizarre.
I wasn't a big fan of the new Cook -- it was a bit too messy. The Stross is probably worth it in paperback, but it's nothing too exciting. As for the Kirstein, they do what they do really well. If that's your sort of thing, you like them.
Talk about the Morgan. Hoye recommended it highly, and Amazon kept shoving it at me, so I eventually bought it in paperback, but it looks awful.
I'd be interested in your takes on
The Tyranny of the Night by Glen Cook. First in a new fantasy series.
Olympos by Dan Simmons. Sequel to Ilium.
The Hidden Family by Charlie Stross. The Chronicles of Amber plus Usenet economics.
I'm also interested in The Bonehunters, but I'm only part-way through that one, and am not interested in hunting for reviews and the like until after I've finished it.
Quick comments on a few of these:
I was not a big fan of the Stross, which contains a big lump of the things I find annoying about Charlie's fiction, and doesn't balance it out with enough of the fun stuff. I'll wait for the rest of the series in paperback.
The Moore book isn't as good as Bloodsucking Fiends, but then, very few books are. It's pretty good, though.
The Novik books are good fun. They're in the category of "books which do not reward deep thought" for me, but they move along nicely, and there's some fun world-building stuff.
It's hard to say much about the Cook or the Erikson quickly, because they're both pretty complicated. Olympos has a few nice touches, but is pretty seriously flawed, and the Morgan is fairly unpleasant.
I'll try to do some book-logging this weekend, and get slightly more substantial responses out there.
Barnes, Cook, Stross, Ronson, and Erikson all strike my interest.
I read Olympos. I am sorry to say
It does to Ilium what the sequels did to Hyperion
Of the ones I don't already own I'd like to hear about:
Cook, McDevitt (read ATfW...'twas decent. Should I read more?), Moore, Novik.
The Stross book bugged the heck out of me, because I just kept oscillating between, "Oh, that's cool/interesting/clever" and "You do realize we've all read Nine Princes, right?" I have no idea if I am going to read any more of the series.
Also, the first comment above would make an excellent subject for a post - the works of Barnes. I've read every one of his books, yet I have no idea how many of them I actually like, but I never fail to keep buying. There is something surprisingly seductive about having no idea if the good guys are going to win at the end.
I'd just like to say to everyone that if you aren't reading the Malazan Books of the Fallen ... you should be.
I finished Bonehunters the day after it arrived (14hr. readathon), and have reread it a few times since.
If you bounced hard off of Gardens of the Moon, go back and try again - or read Deadhouse Gates, it's almost independently readable, and more accessible.
I also finally started reading some Stross (Singularity Sky), and was fairly pleased - I'll be getting more soon.