Quick round-up/review of the books I’ve read this first half of the year.
Mars Trilogy, Kim Stanley Robinson
Interesting thoughts on colonization of Mars, longevity treatments and the eventual conflicts between the ancestral and new homes of humanity. I recommend reading them all back-to-back as the characters and story pick up in the next books right where they left off. The books can occasionally get a little dry, but it’s a good, inspiring read if you enjoy stories about politics and terraforming. Overall, more of a story for hardcore sci-fi lovers - not something you’ll want to dabble in. If you’re less of a committed sci-fi fan but interested in a good colonization story, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress might be a better place to start.
Spook Country, William Gibson
An approximate sequel to Pattern Recognition, at least from the involvement of Hubertus Bigend and his Blue Ant company. Interesting characters and plotlines: he weaves together three major characters, all are very believable and well-developed. Mostly follows the story of a former-rock-star, Hollis Henry, writing for Bigend’s virtual Wired-clone magazine, Node, an anti-anxiety-addict named Milgram and Tito, a cuban teenager. Light book overall, enjoyed it.
Zoe’s Tale, John Scalzi
I got this one in PDF format as part of my 2009 Hugo Awards Voter’s packet. I haven’t read anything else in the series, but this was entertaining. It’s an alternate point of view (Ender’s shadow style) to another one of John Scalzi’s books, The Last Colony. The book is written from the point of view of a colonist couple’s daughter, Zoe. Since I hadn’t read the first book that this book complimented, I felt like the book was too light - too much was missing. At some point I hope to pick up the other book and see if the having the pair makes more sense together.
Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds
Out the the books in this entry, this was by far my favorite. Deep and engrossing, along the lines of Hyperion. Follows a post-plague human culture set in the far-future, with lots of high-technology and a galaxy full of dead alien races. Begins with an archeological dig of an alien race wiped out in a solar event 990,000 years prior. Lots of hints of a bigger universe, though much of the details seem to be left for sequels. Falls apart a little near the end, but I’m excited to read the next books in the series.
Next on my reading list:
- Ilium by Dan Simmons
- Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
- The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene