Sunday, June 24, 2018

What I'm Reading

I've been teaching two summer classes, as I noted in the previous post, plus actually writing again (two short stories and I've started another Velocity novel) so my time for reading is limited; but nevertheless I persist!

Here's what I've read over the past month and half or so:

Jodi Taylor, The Chronicles of St. Mary's

I read a review of the first book in this series, Just One Damn Thing After Another, by James Nicholls over on his review site, which I recommend highly if you like SFF, by the way. It sounded like exactly my jam, a time travel series in an academic setting, with a woman main character. I bought the first one, and I was hooked.

These are indeed time travel novels, but also historical romances, but also comic novels, and also delightful. Hard to describe without spoilers, but if you want fiction that's not too stressful and also extremely addictive, this is for you. Also there are lots of them -- nine, with another due out soon, plus a book of short stories. Oh, boy!

Barry Unsworth, Mortality Play, The Quality of Mercy

These I read on the recommendation of Athena Andreadis, who mentioned them on Twitter on day -- or mentioned one of them. They're historical fiction, and very well done. The first is about a group of players who stumble into a murder mystery in a small town during the years after the Black Death; the second is about the men and women working to preserve and to fight against slavery in England.

Mortality Play also won the Booker Prize.

Books about complex moral questions are also totally my jam, and these are very well written. Highly recommended. My library only has these two, but I'm thinking of buying the others.

Charles Stross, Saturn's Children

For some reason, I never got around to reading Charles Stross. As I recall, I picked up one of his books (I forget which one) which was in the middle of a series, and couldn't really understand what was going on, put it down, and never picked up any of his books again.

This one, Saturn's Children, seems to be a stand alone, and is pretty good. It's far-future, in a universe in which all humanity has died out. Only the robots survive. They miss humans, who they were built to serve, but are carrying on.

The worldbuilding is great, and the robot characters are wonderful. This one is a lot of fun and also filled with ideas -- what science fiction was built to be. Highly recommended.

I might even give Stross's other work another chance. :D

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