Tags: Ian McDonald
Unfortunately I haven’t had time lately to review books I’ve been reading on this blog, but I’m still alive and, as ever, hoping to get back to writing more here in the future. In the meantime, Strange Horizons has published my review of Ian McDonald’s Luna: New Moon.
Tags: James Tiptree Jr
Here’s something a little different from my usual reviews. Monday marked 100 years since the birth of Alice Sheldon, AKA James Tiptree, Jr., and to celebrate Strange Horizons hosted a discussion of one of the less commonly read Tiptree collections, The Starry Rift. The participants were SH fiction editor and critic Lila Garrott, author and critic Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, and…me!
When I link from here to a review of mine on Strange Horizons I usually try to let it stand on its own, but since this isn’t a review I can’t resist the temptation to put on my reviewer hat for just a second and mention that people who haven’t read Tiptree should probably start with the collection Her Smoke Rose Up Forever and move on to the novel Brightness Falls From the Air. The stories in The Starry Rift are in much the same vein as Brightness Falls. They share their setting with it as well, though not any characters, so it’s a good follow-up for fans wanting more.
Tags: Liu Cixin
To continue getting caught up, we move on to May of this year, when I reviewed Liu Cixin’s The Three Body Problem at Strange Horizons.
Tags: Peter Watts
This blog has been neglected as of late, but I’ve still been reviewing for Strange Horizons. Normally I link to those reviews more or less as they are posted there, but in this case the signal seems to have taken a long time to arrive. I’m not sure where WordPress’s servers are, but I don’t think this blog is a fifth of a parsec away from Strange Horizons as the crow flies. Perhaps that’s how far the signal had to go due to an inefficient path (bouncing around inside my head).
I’ve read but never reviewed Peter Watt’s 2006 novel Blindsight. That’s too bad, because it’s a fascinating book that really deserves a lot of discussion and scrutiny. Hopefully I will reread it in a year or two and write about it. In the meantime, I reviewed his long-awaited next novel Echopraxia in Strange Horizons back in October of last year.
Tags: Neil Williamson
Recently Strange Horizons published my review of Neil Williamson’s debut novel The Moon King, and by recently I mean two weeks ago. Obviously this blog is going through another of its periods where I’m too busy to update it (I guess that’s a polite way of saying I’ve been too lazy to write stuff). That won’t change all that soon because tomorrow I’m getting on a plane for London. That’s right, Worldcon is nearly at hand.
I’ve been to two Worldcons before, but this is the first where I’ll attend a Hugo ceremony where I’m kinda, sorta, not-really-but-almost nominated for a Hugo (Speculative Fiction 2012, nominated for a Best Related Work category, contains an essay from this blog about, er, Worldcon) as well as the first where I’ll be on a panel. I may not have been posting, but I’ve been doing a lot of reading because I’m on a panel discussing the best novel Hugo. It’s a funny year to be doing this. Thanks to my obsession with reading series in order, to read as much as I can of the five Best Novel nominees I’ve so far read nine novels and feel distinctly under-prepared. I still have eleven left! Unless I get trapped in an elevator for a a few days I probably won’t finish Wheel of Time, but if you’re at the convention you should still swing by the panel at 7pm Thursday night to hear what the other panelists have to say. As for me, I plan on writing about the nominees on this blog after the convention but, let’s face it, I’m just as likely to never get around to it, so this may be your only chance to hear my amazing insights. If I think of any, that is. Right now, my notes consist of “Wheel of Time seems very long” but then I’ve never been good about taking notes.
I was going to link to the panel description, but Loncon3’s fancy online programming guide doesn’t seem to make this
possible obvious (Edit: Niall points out you can keep track of my busy one panel schedule by following this link). Now I know why other participants have been pasting panel descriptions into their posts! Well, here you go:
2014 Hugos: Best Novel Shortlist Discussion
7pm – 8pm
Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL),
Justin Landon (M), Matt Hilliard, Ruth O’Reilly, Maureen Kincaid Speller
Our panel discusses this year’s shortlist for the Hugo Award for Best Novel.
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross (Ace / Orbit UK)
Parasite by Mira Grant (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia (Baen Books)
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Tor Books / Orbit UK)
What should win? What will win? What are the notable omissions?
In what I’m pretty sure is a first for me, Strange Horizons has posted my second review for them in two months, this time of The Echo, James Smythe’s sequel to The Explorer.
Tags: Wolfgang Jeschke
Last week Strange Horizons published my review of Wolfgang Jeschke’s 2005 novel The Cusanus Game, recently translated into English for the first time.
Tags: Charles Stross
When it rains, it pours. Hot on the heels of my review here on this blog of Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 comes my review of another hard science fiction novel, Charles Stross’s Neptune’s Brood, over on Strange Horizons. They actually make an interesting pair, as they both are focused on worldbuilding almost to a fault, but where 2312 surrounds its world with stylish storytelling, Neptune’s Brood pares down in search of clarity.
Tags: Geoff Ryman
Today Strange Horizons published my review of Geoff Ryman’s 1985 mythic fantasy novel The Warrior Who Carried Life, newly back in print from ChiZine.
In a bit of unwelcome site news, I noticed the other day that WordPress inserts ads on this blog. Maybe this has been going on for a long time…apparently they don’t show them if you’re logged in, as I usually am. Since I’ve paid them all of 0 dollars for years of hosting at this point I can’t complain, but it was slightly alarming to see an ugly ad in my
gorgeous familiar blog layout. I’ll think about my options. I’ll also think about posting more. What can I say, I’m a thoughtful guy. We’ll see if anything actually materializes on either front.
I’ve got a little catching up to do here. First, on Friday my review of Cassandra Rose Clarke’s robot romance The Mad Scientist’s Daughter went up on Strange Horizons. Of the books I’ve reviewed for Strange Horizons, this was not my favorite. In fact, of the novels I’ve reviewed for Strange Horizons whose titles end in daughter…still not my favorite. I didn’t get around to discussing the novel’s title in the review, but other people have covered the daughter title phenomenon more thoroughly than I could hope to do myself.
In other news, Speculative Fiction 2012 is now available in both physical and digital formats. It’s a for-charity anthology intended to bring together the year’s best book reviews, essays and commentary from genre blogs. Notable writers include Adam Roberts, Abigail Nussbaum, Daniel Abraham, Niall Harrison, N.K. Jemisin, Paul Kincaid, Joe Abercrombie, and many more. Among the much less notable writers is, ahem, me. Seeing my name in such amazing company is inspiring, but I promise fame won’t change this blog. You can expect the same overlong posts, buggy WordPress layout, and months of unexplained silences in the future.