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Month: December 2015

Best Science Fiction Books of 2015: Lists from Around the Web and Amendments

by Paul

Categories: Books

Well, the end of the year has, as ever, brought with it a whole host of posts announcing the best science fiction novels of the year. Here’s a fairly representative selection: At i09 Andrew Liptak lists “The Very Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2015“. SciFi Now lists “20 Books you should have read […]

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Book Review: 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

by Boreas

Orbit (May, 2012), Cover by Kirk Benshoff   Science fiction was always a large part of my ‘golden age’ of reading as Michael Dirda once put it, and I find it’s remained a large part of my adult life, too. I love it for its visions of the future. These prognostications are the essence of […]

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Best Science Fiction Books to Read If You Love Star Wars

by Paul

Okay, so the force has awakened, we are back in the universe of Han and Luke and Leia. A universe where there is a mighty galactic empire threatened by a plucky rebel movement, a mysterious mystical movement, light sabers and space battles and lots more. It’s the American Revolution rewritten according to Joseph Campbell’s ideas […]

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Book Review: Edda by Conor Kostick

by Boreas

Firebird (2011), Cover by Tony Sahara   Reading Edda requires familiarity with both Epic and Saga, and this write-up will contain plot details from the preceding volumes of the Avatar Chronicles trilogy. Reviews for Epic and Saga, however, can be read without fear of spoilers. ————— Conor Kostick started an extremely entertaining trilogy for juveniles with Epic, his opener […]

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Book Review: The Vagrant by Peter Newman

by Boreas

Harper Voyager U.K. (Apr, 2015), Cover by Jamie Jones   Quests are ubiquitous in all cultures. Joseph Campbell carefully explained the hows and whys of every major story being a quest, a hero’s journey in some form or the other. Peter Newman’s The Vagrant (2015) is another quest narrative and follows the format of Campbell’s monomyth to a […]

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Ian Bank’s Culture Correct Reading Chronology

by Paul

Categories: Books

It took me a while, reading Iain M. Banks’s Culture novels, to realise that they aren’t written and published in chronological order. In fact there’s a period of more that 1,500 years between the earliest of the novels, Consider Phlebas, and the latest Surface Detail. But all of the books give us a clue as to when […]

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5 Best Classic Science Fiction Books by Angela Carter (The Underrated Female SF Author)

by Paul

Our A-Z of women sf writers brings us to C, and once again there’s a wealth of great work to choose from. We could pick Pat Cadigan, the first person to win two Arthur C. Clarke Awards for Synners and for Fools; or C.J. Cherryh, author of magnificent Hugo-winning space operas like Downbelow Station or Cyteen; or there are the baroque […]

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Book Review: The King’s Justice by Stephen R. Donaldson

by Boreas

G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Oct, 2015), Cover by John Jude Palencar   Like another novel I recently read, The Vagrant, the titular story in Donaldson’s The King’s Justice: Two Novellas (2015) is written in my least favourite perspective, the omniscient present tense. However, unlike the often clipped, adjective-heavy sentences of uniform length frequently found in the former novel, […]

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Award Winners

by Paul

Categories: Awards

We have various ways of deciding what are the best science fiction novels. We can look at sales figures, at the frequency with which titles are reprinted, at the recommendations of widely read and knowledgeable readers (see our main site); or we can turn to the awards. There are an awful lot of awards these […]

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Book Review: Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner

by Boreas

Arbor House HC (Nov, 1987), Cover by Thomas Canty   When examining society in a particular city through an historian’s eye, the series of incidents that Ellen Kushner’s novel concerns itself with would be considered an insignificant curiosity. Unusually, Swordspoint (1987) tells a rather small and private tale. Nothing in it leads to the unveiling of […]

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