Monthly Review December 2010

I have had a nice December with a lot of fun work. Starting up a project is so much fun. The things dreams are made of (sort of).

Talking of dreams, I read some fantastic books this month. Eric Brown’s post-apocalyptic epos Guardians of the Phoenix was about as good as I expected even if he made it easy for himself there in the end. The Nemisis List was a bit of a disappointment, it read as a string of short stories but the ideas was sound if not very original. I would like to read more of the author though.

I had no idea about the Xeelee Sequence before I bought the omnibus version of volume one to four in March. Stephen Baxter is a familiar name but I was still pleasantly surprised by the hard science fiction in this series as well as the characterization that made it all come to life. I wonder if Gollancz plans another omnibus or if I will have to buy the rest of the books separately. I am very happy I bought that one.

Angry Robots keeps releasing strong speculative fiction and the futuristic murder mystery Amortals was no exception even if I guessed who had done it early in the novel. Nice action that reminded me a bit of the characters in Heinlein’s the Puppet Masters even if the story was completely different.

I did a little YA with the Seed Seeker and it turned out a pretty decent conclusion to the series even if there is an opening for going back to earth in a fourth book.

The Complete McAndrew was entertaining and a bit retro read. I could live better with the short stories here as they made no attempt at being continuous.

My guilty pleasure of the month must be Justina Robson’s Quantum Gravity novels. It is marvelous fun to read about Lila Black’s slightly adult adventures in the multiverse. This month’s reading took us to Hell, Demonia and the Fae beside good old earth.

Last but not least I ventured into Horns of Ruin. It has that interesting mixture of science and magic that is starting to get more and more common lately. It also had the last paladin of the dead god Morgan as protagonist. Very steampunky fun in some aspects. I want to read more of Tim Akers.

That concludes the literary part of 2010.

Yes and I did make a Best books of the Year post this year too.

Books Read

  1. Timelike Infinity (The Xeelee Sequence book 2 (part of Xeelee an Omnibus 1-4)) by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz 2010, 1st 1992)
  2. Raft (The Xeelee Sequence book 1 (part of Xeelee an Omnibus 1-4)) by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz 2010, 1st 1991)
  3. Amortals by Matt Forbeck (Angry Robot 2010)
  4. Refugee (Bio of a Space Tyrant 1) by Piers Anthony (Granada 1983)
  5. The Compleat McAndrew by Charles Sheffield (Baen 2000)
  6. Chasing the Dragon (Quantum Gravity book 4) by Justina Robson (Gollancz 2009)
  7. Going Under (Quantum Gravity book 3) by Justina Robson (Gollancz 2008)
  8. The Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers (PYR 2010)
  9. Guardians of the Phoenix by Eric Brown (Solaris 2010)
  10. The Nemesis List by R. J. Frith (Tor UK 2010)
  11. Seed Seeker (Seed book 3) by Pamela Sargent (Tor 2010)

Earlier Reads

  1. Money Shot (Netherworld book 3) by Christopher Rowley (Tor 2010)
  2. Out of the Dark (Out of the Dark book 1) by David Weber (Tor 2010)
  3. Battlecry Sten Omnibus 1 (Sten, The Wolf Worlds, The Court of a Thousand Suns) by Cris Bunch & Allan Cole (Orbit 2010)
  4. Selling Out (Quantum Gravity book 2) by Justina Robson (Gollancz 2007)
  5. The Sunless Countries (Virga 4) by Karl Schroeder (Tor 2009)
  6. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games book 3) by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic 2010)
  7. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games book 2) by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic 2009)
  8. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games book 1) by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic 2008)
  9. Farseed (Seed Trilogy book 2) by Pamela Sargent (Tor 2007) Review Dec 1
  10. The Genius Gene (Catherine Fox Trilogy 1) by Howard Birnberg (Book Guild 2010)
  11. The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive book 1) by Brandon Sanderson (Tor/MacMillan Audio 2010)
  12. A Plague of Angels (A Plague of Angels book 1) by Sheri S. Tepper (HarperCollins 1994)
  13. Palimpsest by Catherynne M Valente (Bantam Spectra)
  14. Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)
  15. Vishnu at the Cat Circus by Ian McDonald (Pyr/Gollancz) – a novella
  16. Ashes and Stars (Omega Point Trilogy book 1) by George Zebrowski

Books Received

Review copy

  1. Dark Spires editor Colin Harvey (Wizard’s Tower 2010)

Books bought by me

  1. Guardians of the Phoenix by Eric Brown (Solaris 2010)
  2. Galactic Frontiers by Darrell Bain (Double Dragon 2008)