Greg (gmalivuk) wrote,

Books of 2013

Alright, so I guess this has become my book journal. Here are the ones I've read so far in 2013 (to be updated as I read more, as usual).


1) David Brin: Otherness (paper, finished 01-06) A collection of short stories exploring the quite interesting theme Brin calls "otherness", hence the title. Mostly involving alien life, but also touching on elements within humanity itself that are sufficiently different from the values and mores of the protagonists to be called "other".
2) Stephen Hunter: Black Light (Kindle, finished 01-24) The sequel to Point of Impact, which I read about 15 years ago and which was made into a pretty good movie adaptation in Shooter.
3) Stephen Hunter: Time to Hunt (Kindle, finished 02-06) The next sequel in the Bob Lee Swagger series. Something I quite enjoy about Hunter is that he has a lot of the same attention to detail that I used to like in Tom Clancy, without all the politicizing. Even when writing about Vietnam, which this one does in the first half of the book, which is a kind of extended flashback.
4) David Brin: Kiln People (Kindle, finished 02-20) From what I understand, the movie Surrogates explores a similar view of the future, in which flesh-and-blood people send out copies of themselves to do much of their day-to-day work for them. This one was a lot of fun, and included some really quite terrible puns, which are the best kind of puns, in both the dialogue and in some of the chapter titles themselves.
5) Terry Pratchett: Dodger (paper, finished 03-07) Similar in feel to some of the Discworld stuff, but set in Victorian London, allowing the main character to meet the likes of Charles Dickens and Benjamin Disraeli. It did feel a bit more... "silent" than the Discworld novels, though, perhaps because I've listened to so many of those as audiobooks that I've somewhat internalized the tone and voices of the characters (to the point where those are the voices I hear when reading one on paper).
6) Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter: The Long Earth (paper, finished 03-16) The excellent first installment in what will apparently be an ongoing collaboration between these two, it explores the effects of some kind of quantum fluke that opens up an infinity of parallel Earths to most of humanity, which are themselves completely devoid of sapeint competition for the space and resources we'd need to live there. I should probably read more (or any) of Baxter's own stuff, since thus far it's only been this and his other collaboration with an author nearing the end of his own career, Arthur C. Clarke.
7) Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter: The Long War (Kindle, finished 06-26) After a long stint of spending almost all my transit time listening to various podcasts, I finally read another book when I saw that this one was coming out. It was very good, as was the previous one, but is definitely building up to events in a future third book, which is kind of unfortunate given how much Pratchett's most famous novels (Discworld) can each stand on their own apart from the rest of the series.
8) Terry Pratchett: Snuff (Kindle, finished 07-03) Excellent continuation (possibly conclusion?) of the Night Watch characters' story lines. It does seem like Pratchett is perhaps wrapping up Discworld, as he knows he won't be able to keep writing as prolifically for very much longer. As with the past few I read in text form, it seemed to miss something from the audio books, but it did inspire me to relisten to some of the earlier ones.
9 - 30-something) Reading Snuff made me decide to listen to a bunch of the older Discworld books I have in audio format. I went through most of them by early October.
10+Discworld) Scott Sigler: Bones are White (audio, finished early October) This was his second podcast audiobook short story collection (after Blood is Red, which I listened to last year), which conveniently finished being uploaded as a podcast shortly after I finished relistening to Discworld.
11+Discworld) Scott Sigler: Infection (audio, finished...mid October?) In one of the Bones podcasts, he mentioned coming to Boston on his January tour for the third book in the trilogy this one started. It was pretty gruesome, which is especially hard to get through in an audiobook, so I think I'll read the next one as text. (That way, I can skim over the detailed descriptions of, say, people cutting alien parasites out of their own legs instead of listening to the author read it.)
12+Discworld) Scott Sigler: The Crypt (Book One: The Crew) (audio, finished late October) Some of the short stories I'd just listened to were set in the same universe at around the same time as some parts of the Crypt plotline, which made me want to check it out. Of the three Sigler novels and two short story collections I've listened to, this one was the best. It had hints of Heinlein without the problematic stuff, and set the scene for what I hope is a really excellent series of books.
13+Discworld) Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde: Sleights of Mind (Kindle, finished late November or maybe early December) I'd started reading this one a long time ago, but non-fiction just doesn't grab me the way novels usually do, so I put it on hold every time I got into some compelling fiction. It's a really excellent book, though, investigating magic and magicians as they relate to things we now know (as well as things we've learned through such investigations) about Neuroscience.
Tags: books
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