Alastair Reynolds has been both one of my favorite, and most hated authors. I tend to enjoy his one-shots more than his series, maybe because he doesn’t have time to write himself into a corner. So too with House of Suns, a book I neglected reading for over a year because I was so put off by Absolution Gap’s meandering nonsense. Gladly, House of Suns returns to what I love about Reynolds’ writing.
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.
I’ve finally gotten The Windup Girl off my to-read list, and having finished it, I’ll have to watch Paolo Bacigalupi for future novels. The Windup Girl is something different than I’ve ever encountered. It’s part wild cataclysm, part dystopia, part social commentary, and all action. I’m not kidding on the last, either. Whether it’s Hock Seng shrewdly planning the rebirth of his financial empire, Anderson Lake pursuing an elusive new fruit on the behalf of shady agricultural megacorporations, Jaidee’s crusade against the corrupt Trade cartel that aims to hijack Thailand’s sovereignty for financial gain, or Emiko’s constant struggle against her lot as a Windup, something is always moving.