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Tales From Super-Science Fiction, edited by Robert Silverberg

Super-Science Fiction was one of the pulpiest of the pulps, and ran for 18 issues in the mid-1950s. Silverberg was a regular contributor, and was tapped to edit this collection. Many of the stories are fun, and many are mortifying. My rose-colored glasses and fondness for undersized hardcovers keeps it on my shelf.

Legend Of The Galactic Heroes by Yoshiki Tanaka

First in a long-running series of space operas (adapted into a long-running anime series, allegedly due for American release), this is a satisfying start to an epic of gray vs. grey battles, with some reasonably believable tactics (that aren't just wet navy tactics in space).

Ombria In Shadow by Patricia A. McKillip

An intriguing fantasy of palace politics, and the borderland between reality and myth. Memory, wax, and charcoal mix and merge.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

A young girl is admitted to the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy, but it means giving up her family and dealing with the pervasive racism of the world outside. Then she is touched by the war... Well-deserving of its Hugo.

The Ballad Of Black Tom byVictor LaValle

"The Horror At Red Hook" is one of Lovecraft's most racist stories, and that's a high bar. This is the story told from the other side, addressing and deconstructing the racism from the POV of the protagonist, a black entertainer who gets hired by the sort of fools who invite the attention of elder gods... Recommended.

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

Second in her Broken Earth trilogy, this volume is not quite as strong as the first, but it's certainly still good. The world is falling apart, and our protagonists are trying to hold together the last fraying bits of civilization, while also learning their real capabilities in the shards of their broken families. Entirely recommended.

The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Heaven knows I tend to collect things, and letting go is a skill I'm slowly learning. A lot of the advice in this book is quite good, some is a touch twee, and I'm not yet able to apply it all, but it's still good stuff.

The Jewels Of Paradise by Donna Leon

This novel drifted into our house by chance, and I gave it a shot. It's nominally about a historian doing some research on a classical composer, so as to clear up an issue of inheritance. The pace is slow, and little of actual interest happens. A lot of the book is a rather fetishistic depiction of Venice, in an "Oh god, how could I possibly live in Paris or London after having lived in Venice?" way. Not recommended unless you have a specific interest in the topic.

Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue With His Century, v2 by William H. Patterson, Jr.

At the end of the first volume, I still kind of liked Heinlein. By the end of this one, I wanted to shake him. As a military man myself, I think I've identified how he went wrong. Military training involves a lot of, basically, brainwashing. In particular, being told that because of your service you are set apart from civilians. They need your protection; while you are polite to them, you are their betters. Heinlein was a naval officer, which is all that to the Nth degree. His plan was to be the captain of a ship, and a captain of a ship at sea is as close to God as you get in terms of autocratic authority and power (in the eyes of naval officers, at least). Then, of course, he got sick, got kicked out of the Navy, and spent the rest of his life with a sort of stunted superiority complex. (His utter disdain for "getting a real job" is clear through both volumes.) Because he was both very smart and very talented, this was not always a problem, but I don't recall any point where he ever admitted to error without blatant reality smacking him in the face, and his willingness to accept propaganda from the US military led him astray an awful lot. He simply didn't have a mechanism for accepting constructive criticism, and he judged others (especially foreigners) by how well they served him. There's also a frequent refrain, regarding his more pedagogical books, that their tendency to be misunderstood was always failures of the students. Well, no, if the common factor in all these failures is the teacher...

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

The first volume of The Expanse, and a rousing adventure it is. A Solar System full of tension is pushed into war by assorted machinations and an awful little McGuffin. Our heroes are flawed nobodies thrust into prominence, and some handle it better than others. The TV series is quite faithful, and I recommend both formats.

Hellboy In Hell by Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart

We've long known Hellboy was the son of a devil, and here he finishes his strange journey past death into something resembling peace. I had the privilege of co-authoring the Hellboy RPG, and thus have a lot of fondness for Red. I'm going to miss him.

Date: 2017-02-01 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crazybone.livejournal.com
If you haven't read it yet, I'd recommend Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor as well.
I'm about halfway through and enjoying it.

Date: 2017-02-01 02:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woodwardiocom.livejournal.com
Next up is actually Binti: Home!


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