Another chapter in my winter’s book-reading adventure. Neither SF nor fantasy are categories I read widely in any more. But here are some titles I sampled in the recent reading binge:
A Murder of Clones: A Retrieval Artist Universe Novel: Book 3 of the Anniversary Day Saga (Retrieval Artist series 10) – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
I’ve read the previous books in the Retrieval Artist series, and am excited that Kris Rusch is publishing a book a month right now, having completed the Anniversary Day Saga. The most intriguing aspect of the world in this series is how clones are dealt with—or rather, the difficulty in a civilization to recognize the humanity in specific life forms.
Guy Gavriel Kay’s Sarantine Mosaic series:
Sailing to Sarantium (Book One)
Lord of Emperors (Book Two)
In many of Kay’s stories, he takes an historical world, and then twists the world by introducing fantasy elements. In the Sarantine Mosaic takes the basic history of the Emperor Justinian in Constantinople, focusing on the clash of classical and “barbarian” civilizations. The world has two moons, but otherwise seems to have Mediterranean geography like that on Terra. Good characters, a symphony of conspiracy and artistic insights—the main character is a mosaic artist who becomes enmeshed in the politics of a world that is not his own.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
I’m not a huge Gaiman fan—American Gods needed editing; it was so baggy—which is why I didn’t read this as soon as it was published. I came to it this winter when I most needed it. This is a gem of a story, in terms of both emotions and exciting, inventive action. Totally fulfilling ending.
The Peripheral – William Gibson
This book felt like it was twice as long as it needed to be, in terms of both its inventiveness and the depth/complications in the story. I was living on Twitter when it came out, and everyone was gushing worldwide, so I read it in the timely flow with the fans. I’m voting with the 2- and 3-star reviewers on Amazon. Just didn’t lift me as either science fiction of literary fiction examining the human potential.
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: A Novel (Outlander, Book 8) – Diana Gabaldon
I’d abandoned the series out of boredom, but this book is back in full strength—for the characters and the intrigues in which they find themselves.