Book Queue

The Book Queue

It’s been a while since I put up a book queue and I’ve noticed that I’m scrambling a bit whenever I finish a book and look for something new, so in preparation for Vintage Sci-Fi Month (For the uninitiated, that’s when you read “older than you are” science fiction in the month of January), I figured I’d put together a list of stuff to read. Might as well include some more modern SF while I’m at it…

  • To Marry Medusa by Theodore Sturgeon (1958) – Humanity comes face to face with Medusa, a vast hive mind that’s swallowed a billion planets. Sounds fun, and Sturgeon is usually a reliable read, so it’s a definite for Vintage SF Month…
  • Inherit the Stars by James P. Hogan (1977) – I’ve not read any Hogan, but he’s got a reputation as a sorta underrated SF author, so this one about a 50,000 year old humanoid body discovered on the moon sounds like a neat place to start.
  • Berserker by Fred Saberhagen (1967) – A massive weapon from an old galactic war finally reaches human space, sounds like it could be interesting.
  • The Lincoln Hunters by Wilson Tucker (1958) – Time travel about a historian sent back to record a Lincoln speech, but he finds out that he’s been sent back twice or somesuch. Sounds interesting.
  • The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E. Howard (1932-1933) – I’ve not actually read any Howard, so I figure it’s time to rectify that situation. Not sure if this is the best collection to start with, but it covers the first 13 Conan stories and features some other references, etc… so it seems good enough.
  • Recursion by Blake Crouch (2019) – False Memory Syndrome is when someone inexplicably wakes up with a new set of memories from an alternate life. I’ve read one other Crouch novel (Dark Matter), which was an enjoyable page turner that eventually put its premise to good SF use. I suspect the same thing here…
  • Randomize by Andy Weir (2019) – Part of a series of short stories written by SF contemporaries, I’ll read anything by Andy Weir at this point, so there we are. I don’t even know what this is about…

And that should tide me over for January and a decent amount beyond.

The Book Queue

It’s been well over a year since I last posted a book queue, and since we’re quickly approaching the Six Weeks of Halloween, I need to figure out some creepy seasonal reading, so here’s some books I’m looking into. I used to love reading horror, but aside from the occasional dip into the waters, I haven’t kept up at all… I probably won’t get to all of these (and who knows, I might read something not on here), but it’s where I’m starting:

  • Deep State by Christopher Farnsworth – I’ve been a fan of Farnsworth’s Nathaniel Cade/President’s Vampire books for a while, and this latest little novella will have to tide me over until Farnsworth manages a full length follow up to Red, White, and Blood (which was the best of the series up until now). Anyway, I don’t know much about this, but it seems like it’ll be fun Halloween season reading…
  • Haunt by Laura Lee Bahr – I don’t remember where I heard about this one from, but the quick description sounds… interesting… “a tripping-balls Los Angeles noir, where a mysterious dame drags you through a time-warping Bizarro hall of mirrors.”
  • Zero Saints by Gabino Iglesias – Looks like a quick read about a drug dealer turf war that veers into the supernatural. Not sure what to make of this, but reviews make it sound fun…
  • The Croning by Laird Barron – Another horror book that I added to my queue last year and again, I can’t remember where I heard about it, but it sounds interesting. Not really sure what this is about, even after reading the description. Can’t decide if that’s a good thing or not. I also have The Imago Sequence short story collection on my list.
  • Christine by Stephen King – More a placeholder for a Stephen King novel than anything else, but a friend really loves this novel and has told me it’s a lot better than the movie… which is a movie I really like (I mean, it is John Carpenter)! I’ve read a bunch of King, but nowhere near comprehensive. It might be worth checking out It before this new movie comes out, and there are a few others that could work too, but I think Christine might be the one…
  • Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts by Orrin Grey – Short story collection that is supposed to be themed around cinematic monsters, which seems appropriate for our primarily-movie-based Six Weeks of Halloween, no?
  • The Last Final Girl by Stephen Graham Jones – As a slasher fan, this seems right up my alley. “The Last Final Girl is like Quentin Tarantino’s take on The Cabin in the Woods. Bloody, absurd, and smart. Plus, there’s a killer in a Michael Jackson mask.” Sold!
  • Horror Movie A Day: The Book by Brian W. Collins – I actually picked this up towards the tail end of last year’s 6WH, so I didn’t really use it much and just skipped around a little, but I’m giving it a more thorough read right now in the hopes of finding some 6WH fodder. For the uninitiated, HMAD was a website where Brian Collins would watch a horror movie every day and review it. He did this for 6 years. The book is an interesting mixture of films,

    tons of deep cuts here, not stuff you’d see on every other “Best Horror” list (and indeed, Collins doesn’t shy away from truly bad movies, which keeps things interesting). This will almost certainly guide a week or two of this year’s marathon…

So there you have it. I definitely won’t get to all these, but look for some reviews during the 6WH…

The Book Queue

It’s been a long time since I posted a book queue, so naturally it’s been filling up with lots and lots of things that I want to read. For the most part, this is separate from the Hugo Award reading list which I’m also hoping to tackle in the coming few weeks (finishing up novels now, moving to short fiction this week).

  • Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement – I really enjoyed Clement’s Needle, so this one seems like a good next step. Often mentioned as a classic of hard SF, I’m looking forward to this one.
  • The Player of Games by Ian M. Banks – I started Banks’ loosely connected Culture series a while back and it seems like it gets better as it goes, so this one is up next. I’ve heard great things about the next book in the series, and even though I don’t think you need to read them in order like this, I guess I’m a completist and just want to go in order.
  • Jhereg by Steven Brust – Back when I finished up Bujold’s Vorkosigan series of novels and started going through withdrawal pains, I started seeking out a replacement series. Something that would give me that same high. This… has not been a successful effort. I’ve read some decent books, of course, but nothing that quite reached the level of Vorkosigan. Not even close, really. But one of the suggestions I found was Steven Brust’s long running Vlad Taltos novels, of which this one is the first. It’s a fantasy series, so it’s nothing like the Vor novels, but still, I’m willing to give it a chance.
  • Startide Rising by David Brin – I read the first novel in Brin’s Uplift series not too long ago, and thought it was fine, but I only really read it so that I could get to this novel, which has a great reputation. And yes, I’m cheating, I’m already in the midst of reading this book. And it’s quite good! More to come!
  • Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp – I’m not sure where this one came from, but I’ve heard good things and I’ve never read anything from this author, so there’s no time like the present. Or a few months from now, when I’m more likely to find time to read this…
  • Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach – I “read” the first two novels in this trilogy last year, but never finished it off… because I was listening to them as audio books and for some reason, this final installment isn’t available on audiobook. So I’ll just have to bit the bullet and read it. Poor me. Still, I’ve greatly enjoyed the series so far, so I’m looking forward to this one.
  • The Two-Bear Mambo by Joe R. Lansdale – I will, inevitably, become fed up with SF/F in the near future, so I’ll return to Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard series of Texas crime novels. I’ve read two so far, and greatly enjoyed both, so this third installment is next up…
  • Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury – And now we move on to the non-fiction phase of the book queue, and this one sounds fun. Art fraud, con men, and so on, what’s not to like?
  • The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage – I’ve read excerpts from this novel and greatly enjoyed them. It’s about telegraphs and the stairstep in communication that it represented. It turns out that many of the “strange” things about the internet (another stairstep in communication improvement) have happened before. History repeats itself. Sounds great.
  • Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time by J. Richard Gott III – I’m a sucker for time travel stories, and this book goes through some possibilities and supposedly references some fictional stories that I’ve read, so I’ll check this out at some point…
  • The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer – Another cheat! I’ve been reading this for, like, 9 months. Well, not straight. It’s a collection of short stories, so every time I finish a book, I take a break and read a short story or two. It is excellent! There are great stories here, and it seems to be giving a fantastic overview of hard SF throughout the history of SF, ranging from 19th century fiction to the 80s (the book was published in the early 90s). It’s a huge book, featuring stories from all the classic authors and more, but it’s going to take a while to finish. Over 1000 pages and it’s dense, small-type pages so it’ll take a while, but I want to finish it this year.

Well, that should keep me busy for a while, right?

A Non-Hugo Book Queue

As I wind my way through this year’s Hugo nominees, I’ve realized that there are several books coming in the near future that I really, really want to read. It’s almost enough to want to opt out of the Hugos (what with all the lame controversy), though I suppose there’s a fair chance that two of these will be eligible next year (and one the following year). There’s also the fact that I’ve already read 3 of the Hugo novels and am halfway through another, so I guess that’s still on the table. Still, These 4 books make me want to drop everything and read them first:

  • Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (May 19, 2015) – So close I can almost taste it, this is coming in the mail next Tuesday. Stephenson is my favorite author, so I don’t even really need to know what it’s about, but if you do want to know, I posted the official synopsis a while back.
  • Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold (February 2016) – Just recently announced, this is most exciting news. Bujold is my other favorite author, so this is another almost blind buy. Details are sparse, but Bujold has stated that the main protagonist is Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, which is most exciting. She’s also stated that “It is not a war story. It is about grownups.” which doesn’t really narrow it down much, though it may suggest that this novel takes place long after Cordelia’s previous entries in the series (Shards of Honor and Barrayar, both great) and perhaps during her stint as Vicereine of Sergyar (will Aral be there?) Honestly, this one is probably the most exciting on the list to me, if only because I have so much already invested in the series.
  • The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker (May 19, 2015) – Finally! Barker has been talking about this story since 1993. 1993! I know he doesn’t owe his fans anything, but it’s been 20+ years, which is a bit excessive… It supposedly features Harry D’Amour (from The Last Illusion and Everville) and Pinhead (from The Hellbound Heart and Hellraiser). This gets on the list simply because it’s been so damn long, but since it comes out on the same day as Seveneves, it will have to wait!
  • The End of All Things by John Scalzi (Serial, August 11, 2015)- I was a huge fan of The Human Division… right up until it ended on a cliffhanger. Well Scalzi’s finally gotten around to publishing the second volume (which supposedly will finish off the overarching story), which is supposed to happen in serial form over the next few months, but I’ll probably wait until the full collection is released in August.

There are tons of other books in the queue, but these are some of my favorite authors and they deserve special attention. Can’t wait for some of these!