I just know I will have forgotten some.Books 2013: 139-160
139. Timothy Zahn, Star Wars: Scoundrels
. Del Rey, 2013.
I have always loved Zahn's Star Wars
is Star Wars
meets Ocean's 11
, with Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian the only original trilogy characters really appearing - and with Han in the role of the man organising the Grand Heist. It takes place some time before the Battle for Hoth, between A New Hope
and Empire Strikes Back
(A couple of my favourite extended universe characters - Kell and Winter - also appear here.)
It is a really well done heist narrative, with complications and recomplications, although I think one of the withholding-information tricks Zahn used in order to work another familiar character in did not, in final analysis, actually pay off.
Still really fun.
140. Martha Wells, Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge
. Del Rey, 2013.
Another novel set after A New Hope
and before Empire Strikes Back
. Wells is an excellent writer and tells a good story - but for a novel purporting to focus on Leia, her character carries nearly none of the story's emotional freight. So that was a little disappointing.
Not disappointing at all, however, is how filled with interesting female characters Wells' vision of Star Wars is.
141. Nalo Hopkinson, Sister Mine
. Grand Central, 2013.
A delightful urban fantasy with weird gods and weirder family dynamics set in Toronto. Well recommended.
142. D.B. Jackson, Thieves' Quarry
. Tor, 2013.
Urban fantasy set in Boston in the 1770s. Entertaining, but not especially my cup of tea. Characters felt a bit flat, and the central mystery felt more People Running Around At Cross Purposes than actively compelling.
143. Diane Duane, Star Trek: The Wounded Sky
. Titan, 1989.
Duane's Star Trek
novels are always interesting space opera.
144. Kelly McCullough, Blade Reforged
. Ace, 2013.
Entertaining second-world urban fantasy with assassins and a coup and Deeply Laid Plots. Fourth in series. Recommended.
145. Jeanne Lin, The Sword Dancer
Romance set in historic China. A bit odd (but that is a function of it being a romance), at points a bit slow, but entertaining.
146-147. Helen Lowe, The Heir of Night
and The Gathering of the Lost
. Orbit, 2010-2012.
Oh dear sweet overblown Grand Epic Fantasy. These books have serious structural problems and occasional line of direction fail. And yet. I would have loved these when I was thirteen, and they still curled into the Fond Of Overblown Destiny and COOL SHIT corner of my heart.
148. Madeleine E. Robins, Sold For Endless Rue
. Forge, 2013.
Historical novel based on the bones of a Rapunzel story. I am a sucker for female doctors and Salerno, but I don't think the structure worked as well as it might have. Still, very good book.
149-150. Alex Bledsoe, The Hum and the Shiver
and Wisp of a Thing
. Tor, 2011-2013.
One of these is a very good book: The Hum and the Shiver
is an excellent work of small-town fantasy, playing up its liminality and strangeness. It does not resolve all its threads, but it resolves many...Wisp of a Thing
, on the other hand, is full of manpain, has some dodgy SPECIALNESS, and resolves with an extra dodgy nod at a happy ending which SKEEVED ME THE FUCK OUT, okay. Thanks for ruining The Hum and the Shiver
for me, Wisp of a Thing
151-153. Andi Marquette, Friends in High Places
, A Matter of Blood
, and Edge of Rebellion
Fun, pulpy, not excessively well-written (but on the other hand far from terrible) space opera. With lesbians. That is not a lesbian romance in terms of its focus. With a feel somewhere between Star Wars
154-155. Gaie Sebold, Babylon Steel
and Dangerous Gifts
. Solaris, 2011-2012.
I do not know how to talk about these books. I love them a lot: they are like a cross between noir and sword-and-sorcery in the Conan mould - except centering women. It is sword-and-sorcery for the girl who wanted to grow up to be Conan (except better), and I'm very happy with that.
156. Elizabeth Bear, Book of Iron
. Subterranean Press, 2013.
A brilliant standalone novella in the same world as Bear's Range of Ghosts
and Bone and Jewel Creatures
. Read it.
157. Robert Graves, The White Goddess
. Review copy, 2013 reprint.
I want those hours of my life back.nonfiction
158. Charlotte Delbo, Auschwitz and After
Which I spoke of here
159. Pál Engel, The Realm of St. Stephen: A History of Medieval Hungary 895-1526.
English translation by Andrew Ayton. I.B. Tauris, 2005.
Which I spoke of here
160. Daniela Dueck, Hugh Lindsay, and Sarah Pothecary, Strabo's Cultural Geography: the making of a kolossourgia
. Cambridge University Press, 2005.
An interesting collection of papers on Strabo's work.This entry was originally posted at http://hawkwing-lb.dreamwidth.org/580426.html. There are comments there. Comment where you like.