Frustratingly, I haven’t read any books published in 2015. I have in my possession two books of 2015 (The Vorrh by B. Catling and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers) but I won’t get to them till next year. Other books from 2015 that are still on my list are Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora and Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves. Ever since I discovered reading somewhere around 2006 I have been playing catch-up with the last 150 years. Slowly but surely I am discovering all the classics of Fantasy and Science Fiction though, while the new ones just pile up.
Total Books Read:
- 42 (32 fiction, 10 non-fiction)
- Ted Chiang – Stories of Your Life and Others (2002)
A collection of his short stories and some of the best SF ever written. Chiang is one of the best SF writers alive and working today.
- James Branch Cabell – Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice (1919)
A very old book with an old, unfamiliar sense of the fantastic. The journey of Jurgen is both funny, wry and breaks my heart.
- Mark Lawrence – The Broken Empire trilogy (2011-’13)
My greatest personal discovery in epic fantasy since R. Scott Bakker’s unfinished Aspect Emperor books. Lawrence is a masterful storyteller, but his books are very grim. Very dark.
- Alastair Reynolds – House of Suns (2008)
Great original space opera ideas in this book. I like how Reynold manages to construct a galaxy-spanning setting without using faster-than-light technology. The scales of space and time are mind-expanding.
- Greg Egan – Diaspora (1997)
When Egan is good, he is the final frontier in science fiction. His ideas about constructing AI, duplicating minds and the breakup of the human race in new species are so complex that he is hard to follow sometimes. All I know is that the future is almost beyond comprehension.
- Patricia McKillip – The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (1974)
A short and sweet fantasy tale that merges mythology and psychology. A story about opening up, letting go, trusting others, love, family, and mythical monsters. In ways it reminds me of Hazao Miyazaki’s animation films.
Other Books That Were Pretty Good:
- Jonas Jonasson – The 100-Year Old Man who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
- Gene Wolfe – The Book of the Short Sun
- Peter Watts – Echopraxia
- Philip K. Dick – The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
- Samuel R. Delaney – Babel 17
- Alastair Reynolds – Pushing Ice
- Stanislaw Lem – The Futurological Congress
- Katherine Addison – The Goblin Emperor
- Jim Butcher – Summer Knight (2002)
This was the one that made me decide to stop with the Dresden Files, and I had been doubting for a while. The characters are juvenile, the plot is reused again, the catchy phrases make me cringe and the author adds Coke advertisements in his books.
- Carlo Collodi – The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883)
This is not much of a story, it’s more like an endlessly looping morality tale of Pinocchio being bad and getting into trouble. It gets tiresome quickly.
Longest Books Read:
Please let me know what you think! Did you read any good books this year?