May 30, 2007

Books in the queue

I've been spending a great deal of time on airplanes and trains, and as a result I've been burning my way through a stack of paperbacks. Here are some of the recent highlights. I finally scratched an itch that has been waiting to be addressed and read my way through Kage Baker's The Company series, starting with In The Garden of Iden. If you're not familiar with it, I'll just tell you it's a lovely mix of historical fiction and sci-fi. Imagine, if you will, that at some point in the future, a corporation invents immortality, but can't market it because it involves extensive cyborging and has to be performed at a very young age - so extensive that rich parents, as the only ones who can afford it, wouldn't want their children so modified. Then imagine that this same company manages to invent time travel into the past - where you can't change recorded history, but which leaves all manner of loopholes for tweaking things which weren't written down. And then imagine that the next day, all kinds of famously lost and priceless artifacts start mysteriously turning up in trusts, behind wallpaper, under floorboards - all in places owned by the company. Who's doing it? Why, the rescued children from ancient times, whom the Company have been saving from death throughout history and turning into immortals, of course - why muck around in the roughing-it past when you can just make servants to do it for you...?

Also finally started settling down to some serious work on Terry Pratchett's excellently funny Discworld stuff. I'd read Eric some years ago, along with a one or two others, but I just chewed my way through Going Postal, Small Gods, Monstrous Regiment and Guards! Guards! with much snickering. I look forward with much anticipation to the many Discworld books that lie in wait for me on bookstore shelves, sharpening their pages in preparation.

I was also forced to re-buy a Miles Vorkosigan book, because Baen Book still has one or two of the 'collection omnibus' editions to release in e-book format, at having just re-read the series, there was this awful hole in the middle, so I had to buy Memory again, couldn't resist.

Let's see, what else? I read and enjoyed some cyberpunkish stuff by a Joel Shepherd, named the 'Cassandra Kresnov Novels' (Crossover, Breakaway). There appears to be a third, Killswitch, in the offing for November. Karen Traviss will probably be dropping another in the City of Pearl series on us any month now. William Gibson will drop Spook Country, fictional high-energy event, sometime midsummer; Richard K. Morgan (author of the excellent Takeshi Kovacs novels and the twisted Market Forces) will have something for us late summer as well.

In the meantime, I am making slow but forward progress on writing something of my own, which is looking heartbreakingly derivative of a couple of my own favorite books, but ah well, what can you do. I make no claims of competence in that area.

Posted by jbz at May 30, 2007 1:30 AM | TrackBack

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