(Post originally published on my other blog, GrogMonkey, back on Jan. 8, 2011. Still trying to figure out how to divide the work between the two blogs.)
Thanks to family members’ generosity with Barnes & Noble gift cards, I recently acquired a stack of books I’ve been pining for for months, and in some cases, years. Every once in a while I’d visit them on my Amazon Wish List and coo, “one day, my pretties, one day.” Now, I gots ‘em! And, thanks to my continued adherence to my New Year’s Resolution (which, in part, includes mandatory reading of a new short story or novel chapter daily), it looks good that I’ll be able to actually read them.
Without further ado, I present, the new residents in my library which I shall soon get to know better:
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
I’ve heard of this book for some time, and has the endorsement of my brother. (But then, he also like The Wheel of Time series, so, pfft! *wink*) Published in 2002, it catches the post-cyberpunk wave and is considered a groundbreaker in the current wave of post-/transhuman fiction. All qualities which appeal both to my entertainment and my scholarly research interests.
Freedom(tm) by Daniel Suarez
The sequel to Suarez’s outstanding page-turner, Daemon. That’s the story of a computer genius and online game mogul who programmed a massive network of computer systems and programs to start the process of taking over the world the moment his obituary is detected. The scary-cool thing is that nearly 100% of all the tech and processes that are used in the book, are real and available to the consumer.
The Wee Free Men: The Beginning by Terry Pratchett
Big fan of Sir Terry Pratchett (what SF/fantasy fan isn’t!?) But I’ve only read a few of his books. He has so many, and so many refer to each other and are part of mini-series within series, that I generally have no idea where to really dive in. Well, is latest book, I Shall Wear Midnight came out not long ago, and it’s gotten huge raves on many of the SF podcasts I listen to and blogs I read. It’s the fourth and I believe final book of the “Tiffany Aching series” of his. It’s a part of his Discworld . . . world, but it’s a stand-alone series, described as a funnier (and occasionally, better) Harry Potter with a female protagonist. Intended as a “young adult” series (just like Harry Potter), but adults are loving them.
Anyway, The Wee Free Men: The Beginning is the first two books in the series. Interestingly, the Amazon reviews for those first two books, Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky, both rank 4.5 out of 5 stars, but this compilation only has 2.5 stars. When you read the reviews, you find it’s entirely because people bought the book thinking it was a new book in the series. Idiots. Sorry, but c’mon. It’s your dumbarse mistake you bought the book thinking it was something it wasn’t not even bothering to, I dunno, read the description of it where it says “Contains the complete text of Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky,” and you give the book a bad review for that? As if it’s the book’s fault? Idiots.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
This one has universal praise from those SF podcasts and blogs as a great epic fantasy. I also heard about this one about a year ago and stuck it on my Wishlist, this at the end of the year the bloggers and podcasters started up singing its praises again.
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
And finally, this near-future dystopian, and extremely realistic, vision of a world where peak oil has been passed and calories are used like money. Also heard of this one nearly two years ago, recommended by Cory Doctorow. Since then it’s won both the Hugo and the Nebula, and now finally I can read it!