I don’t believe I’ve read anything by Iain M. Banks before, and after Consider Phlebas, I’m not sure I want to. Now, this isn’t a matter of a terrible novel that made my eyes bleed, or some horrible techniques that drove me insane. I’m not even sure Mr. Banks writes books like this as a matter of course, or simply in a study on methods to cripplingly depress his readers. The worst part of this is that it’s very well written and highly engaging.
I just finished reading Daniel Suarez’s Freedom (TM) in about three days. This is much more a statement of the novel’s quality than my own somewhat glacial reading pace. There’s a lot in here I really love. Mr. Suarez has clearly done his research, even listing many of his sources, along with the universities and labs inventing the technology he brought to life. Back again are the AutoM8’s, the Razorbacks, and the rest of Loki’s arsenal.
Having recently finished the excellent Honor Harrington series, I decided it was high time to peruse David Weber’s backlog of other titles. The war-related books didn’t really interest me, but In Fury Born snared my attention. Alicia DeVries a girl who excels at many things, and being the granddaughter of an infamous marine, one of those things is combat. Her sense of Honor and duty are, unsurprisingly for a Weber character, pristine and incorruptible.
Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series is an interesting beast, but The Final Empire is a great introduction. I normally stay away from fantasy sans notable exceptions, yet a friend of mine recommended it and I trust his judgment, even if he’s a fan of Robert Jordan. But what do we really have, here? We have a magic system where a person can “burn” ingested metals to achieve certain effects. Everything is paired, and specific alloys can produce opposite reactions as their base metal.
Charles Stross wrote Accelerando while high on meth, I think. Not only is it densely packed with author-coined terminology loosely based on the underlying technological innovations, but it’s a meandering plotless testament to its own existence. It follows the trials and tribulations of Manfred Macx and his descendants before, during, and after what we can call a technological singularity, when the pace of progress reaches such a pronounced crescendo, it becomes self-sustaining.