Well, the past couple of months have been wild ups and downs in the book department. Over the holidays I read the three volumes of the Wild Shore Triptych by Kim Stanley Robinson. Each of the books is a possible future for Orange County, CA—The Wild Shore, which was post-apocalyptic, The Gold Coast, an urban dystopia, and Pacific Edge, an up-and-coming ecological utopia. All of them were good, but the last was probably the best read.
I have also been diving head-long into John Varley, who writes some of the most enjoyable science fiction I have read in a long, long time. Several months back I read his Gaea Trilogy—Titan, Wizard and Demon. Very good. More recently I picked up Red Thunder, which was AMAZING; Mammoth and The Ophiuchi Hotline. The latter two were good, but not great…but still well worth the read.
Robin Hobb’s most recent book Forest Mage, the second in the Soldier’s Son trilogy, came out a few months back. The first in the series took off rather slowly, and didn’t seem to have a specific direction, but this one was well worth the effort. Hobb jsut keeps getting better at writing fantasy novels.
And finally, one which caught me by surprise, kept me up at night, and left me awe-struck: The Terror, by Dan Simmons.
The Terror is historical fiction mixed with some gothic horror and a light touch of the supernatural. It explores the Franklin Expedition, where 128 men disappeared while looking for the Northwest Passage.
I wish I could find the words to express the wonder of Simmons’ books. If you have read the Hyperion Cantos, or any of Simmons’ horror novels then you have an idea what you may find here. It is not a quick read, being almost 800 pages, but if you do dive into The Terror you will find your time and money very well spent.