Paul's Reading List
Last update: February 19, 2018
Incoming books | Currently-reading | Finished
Books I've read since about Oct. 1995
Recent acquisitions first, then my current selection(s),
then books I've finished, most recent to oldest
Books that deserve special attention have been listed in
cyan. If you read something here and enjoy it, or
don't, drop me an e-mail. :)
Inbound queue -- acquired and standing by:
- Dean King, Patrick O'Brian -- A Life
- Dudley Pope, Ramage and the Drumbeat
- Charlaine Harris, Dead Until Dark
- James P. Hogan, The Legend That Was Earth
- Bram Stoker, Dracula (ed. illus. by Edward Gorey)
- Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion
- Lloyd Alexander, The Book of Three
- Leslie Sheppard (ed.), The Dracula Book of Great Vampire Stories
- Mary Ann Mitchell, Sips of Blood
- E.E. Knight, Way of the Wolf
- Mark Anthony, Beyond the Pale
- Mark Anthony, The Keep Of Fire
- Ricardo Pinto, The Chosen
- Whitley Streiber, The Hunger
- Eric Garcia, Anonymous Rex
- Richard Matheson, I Am Legend
- David Weber, Oath of Swords
- Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Dune: Butlerian Jihad (hardback)
- P. C. Hodgell, Dark of the Gods (trade paperback)
- David Feintuch, Voices of Hope
- Michael Moorcock, King of the City (Brit. hb)
- Melanie Rawn, Dragon Prince
- Keith R.A. DeCandido, The Art of the Impossible (Trek lost era)
- David R. George III, Serpents Among the Ruins (Trek lost era)
- Gilbert, Thomas et al., Elric: The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (graphic novel)
- Peter David, Gods Above (Trek new frontier)
- Anne Rice, Blackwood Farm
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Night Blooming
- Anne McCaffrey, The Coelura
- Anne McCaffrey, Nimisha's Ship
- Anne McCaffrey, The Rowan
- Terry Goodkind, The Pillars of Creation
- Terry Goodkind, Faith of the Fallen
- Michael Moorcock, Fabulous Harbors
- Terry Pratchett, Wee Free Men
- Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris, The Temple and the Crown
- Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth
- Michael Crichton, Timeline
- Terry Pratchett, Strata
- Jacqueline Carey, Godslayer
- Suzie McKee Charnas, The Vampire Tapestry
- Tad Williams, Shadowmarch
- Karen E. Taylor, Bitter Blood
- George R.R. Martin, The Ice Dragon
- Caitlin Kittredge, Street Magic
- Eric Flint and Virginia deMarce, 1635: The Dreeson Incident -- 20% done, fair to good so far.
Most Recent Books First
- Eric Flint and Virginia deMarce, 1634: The Ram Rebellion -- good. The main story is decent but some of the short stories included are pretty poor or uninteresting.
- L. E. Modesitt Jr., The Eternity Artifact -- very good. Actually comes across as simpler than you'd expect.
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, A Flame In Byzantium -- excellent. This one is about Atta Olivia Clemens, Quinn's second-most-popular vampire, and is set in the days of the Byzantine Empire when it reached its largest extent.
- Rick Riordan, The Ship of the Dead [Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 3] -- Excellent! Another good completed YA series, this time a trilogy, from Riordan.
- Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon, 1636: The Papal Stakes -- Excellent.
- Stephen Baxter, Ark -- very good. Sequel to Flood. These two books were good, but something seemed a little "off" when it came to the victims' reactions sometimes. And the original 'flood' premise still seems a little iffy....
- Stephen Baxter, Flood -- very good. Despite initial appearances, this was not exclusively a global warming or climate-change novel. While the premise for the oceans' rise (kilometers high, eventually) is a bit far-fetched and some of the author's predictions are IMO off the mark (and he avoided a lot of grimmer details), I enjoyed it.
- Robert L. Forward, Dragon's Egg (re-read) -- brilliant. It's been a while and this is a remarkable work in SF. Great science extrapolation in the finest tradition of good SF.
- Robert L. Forward, Rocheworld -- very good to excellent. I'd read the predecessor story Flight of the Dragonfly years ago but this was expanded with 50,000 words added. Really good.
- Aaron J. French, Aberrations of Reality -- good to very good short-story collection. This book came to me courtesy Storm Constantine; it's a UK edition.
- Eric Flint, 1636: The Ottoman Onslaught -- excellent!
- Rick Riordan, The Trials of Apollo Book 2 -- The Dark Prophecy -- very good.
- Rick Riordan, The Trials of Apollo Book 1 -- The Lost Oracle -- very good. Nice to discover a "current" new series involving both the Greek and Roman demigods, after the war with Gaia.
- Rick Riordan, The Demigod Diaries -- very good. The final story in this is credited to Riordan's son Haley (age 16), and it's really good. It doesn't have Riordan's normal humorous quips and it's quite dark.
- Rick Riordan, Demigods and Magicians -- excellent. Three "framing" short stories showing the first meetups between the Egyptian and Olympian pantheon characters in Riordan's works, and they're really good.
- John Ringo, Through the Looking Glass -- very good.
- David Weber and BuNine, House of Steel -- re-read. Grabbed it for the warship stats, stayed for the excellent framing story about King Roger and his fateful decision to build-up the Royal Manticoran Navy's force-projection ability.
- John Ringo, Here There Be Dragons (re-read). Grabbed this one since it was handy and decided it'd be good to re-read it after finishing what is apparently the whole series, at least for now.
- Bathroom Readers Institute, Uncle John's Unstoppable Bathroom Reader -- very good to excellent. This one's an older one.
- Bathroom Readers Institute, Uncle John's Epic -- very good. This is BRI's first foray into large-format glossy pages and illustrated articles. I wouldn't want to pay the full $30 price-tag, but I got it for $10 at Sam's. :)
- James P. Hogan, Voyage To Yesteryear (re-read) -- still the classic utopian novel it was when I first read it. Not recommended for statists or progressives.
- Jude Fisher, A Visual Guide to Middle-Earth -- very good. Visually gorgeous with lots of stills from the movies, the layout and design is a bit odd, resulting in a fair amount of repeated info in the text.
- David Weber, At the Sign of Triumph -- re-read the ending, 'cause it's just THAT satisfying. :)
- Veronica Roth, Carve the Mark -- fair. Judging from her...unusual...grasp of stellar cartography, Ms. Roth probably needs to stick with earthbound stuff like Divergent.
- Anne Rice, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis -- very good to excellent.
- Anne Rice, Prince Lestat (via Kindle) -- Excellent! This is a fine return to form.
- John Christopher, The Coming of the Tripods via Kindle -- excellent! I had a renewed interest in the old Tripods series from the BBC, and discovered that Christopher wrote this prequel many years later. A tidy explanation of how the Tripods first conquered humanity.
- John Ringo, East of the Sun, West of the Moon -- good to excellent....although the happy ending is a bit confusing. Is the Council War over or not?
- Uncle John's Great Big Bathroom Reader -- good to excellent. Back to 1998 with this one.
- David Weber, At the Sign of Triumph -- Excellent! This apparently concluding volume leaves a lot unsaid at the end, but the ending is satisfying (if a bit "pat") and there are no lengthy, stultifying passages about weapons design to bog it down. In an Afterword, David Weber indicates that Merlin Athrawes' storytelling might not be done yet, but if so, the pace would need to speed up: at this rate the Safeholders will be able to challenge the alien Gbaba in about....40 more books.
- Rick Riordan, The Hammer of Thor [Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 2] -- Excellent!
- Rick Riordan, Serpent's Shadow -- excellent! Glad I finally read this trilogy, which I purchased as a box set.
- David Weber, Shadow Of Victory -- good to very good. I was disappointed to see that the book serves as more of a retrospective of past events -- framed by "wetwork" on planets in the Verge -- than all-new additions to the Honorverse timeline, until the very end where it gets current. Also, the dizzying array of planets and characters that form the framing backstory gets so confusing -- especially the one, lonely all-Polish planet in the entire League -- that it detracted from my enjoyment of the storyline. Still, it wasn't bad, just not a great entry in the Honorverse.
- Rick Riordan, The Throne of Fire -- Excellent!
- Rick Riordan, The Red Pyramid -- excellent! Going backwards a bit and reading these three Kane Chronicles books out of sequence. The story and plotting are a it more compact here since there are only two POV characters involved, but hey...Egyptian mythology is as cool as Greek, Roman or Norse.
- Larry Correia, Son of the Black Sword -- excellent! Got a free copy of this at ChattaCon in January and I finally overrode my misgivings at its resemblance to Stormbringer to read it. Looking forward to the next one.
- John Ringo, Against the Tide (Council Wars Book 3) -- very good to excellent.
- Battlestar Galactica -- The Official Companion Season 2 -- excellent! There are lots more fascinating insights into the series here.
- Battlestar Galactica -- The Official Companion -- Excellent! Great recap of Season 1 of this escellent series.
- John Ringo, Emerald Sea (via Kindle) -- very good. Council Wars book 2.
- Glen Cook, Chronicles of the Black Company -- excellent! Sorry I didn't read these sooner, but my prior experience with Cook ("Swordbearer") had thrown me off
- David Weber and Jane Linskold, Fire Season -- very good. Second in a series of "treecats on Sphynx" books for younger readers.
- Bathroom Readers' Institute, Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges Into California -- very good. We make fun of California a lot -- almost as much as THEY make fun of us here in "the flyover states" -- but it IS a pretty nifty place for trivia and random odd facts!
- John Ringo, There Will Be Dragons -- good to very good. Like many SF/fantasy crossovers this one was a bit contrived. The ending didn't really wrap things up too well, either.
- John Ringo, The Hot Gate -- very good to excellent. This would have been an "excellent" book across the board if the ending had been a little better-handled. The same issue also plagued the first two books in this trilogy.
- John Ringo, The Citadel -- very good to excellent.
- David Weber (with BuNine), House of Steel -- The Honorverse Companion -- very good to excellent. The background info is good and the framing story about King Roger is excellent.
- Robert Silverberg, The Gate of Worlds -- very good to excellent. Nifty alternate-history novel, although it's a shame the protagonist never succeeds in his quest.
- John Ringo, Princess of Wands -- very good. Apparently a certain "familiar" character mentioned prominently on the back cover dies fairly early in the book. C'est l vie, Kelly L.!
- John Ringo, Live Free Or Die -- very good. The ending is really abrupt, though, with no "wrap-up." I'll get Citadel, the next one in the series, soon.
- David Weber, A Rising Thunder -- excellent. Re-read this quickly before letting a friend borrow it.
- John Ringo, The Last Centurion -- very good to excellent. My liberal friends need NOT apply. :)
- Robert Silverberg, Lord Prestimion -- very good to excellent. I've read the third book in this series, but it's proving hard to find online.
- David Weber, A Call To Arms (via Kindle) -- very good.
- Robert Silverberg, Sorcerors of Majipoor -- very good.
- Robert Silverberg, Valentine Pontifex (re-read)-- Excellent yet again.
- Robert Silverberg, Downward to the Earth -- very good to excellent. It's an older book, but it checks out.
- Robert Silverberg, Lord Valentine's Castle (re-read) -- excellent (again)! This is a great book, a true classic. I joked about it around Valentine's Day, and then decided I really should re-read it after many years away. It's still as captivating as before!
- Bathroom Readers' Institute, Uncle John Plunges Into History -- good. This one dates back to 2001 -- 16 years -- and the writing style seems at times to be a little too smart-alecky for its own good. This is part of a new batch of these books I bought up at McKay's Used Books in Chattanooga ($2 each!).
- Bathroom Readers' Institute, 24K Gold -- very good to excellent. I'm reading these in publication order, oldest to newest, and these most-recent books are much more up-to-date. This one is only a few years old!
- David Weber, Hell's Foundations Quiver -- very good to excellent. Sometimes the level of technical and military detail can be a bit stultifying, but these are still great reads. At this rate it will take about 30 volumes and about 40 years of writing before Mankind can regroup and kick the evil alien Gbabas' collective asses, though. :)
- Bathroom Readers' Institute, The World's Gone Crazy -- very good to excellent. I'm reading these in publication order, oldest to newest, and these most-recent books are much more up-to-date.
- Rick Riordan, The Sword of Summer [Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 1] -- Excellent! Riordan's previous young-adult series are really fun (and full of mythological lore), and this new series, involving Norse mythology, is even more fascinating to me personally.
- Uncle John's Fast-Acting, Long-Lasting Bathroom Reader -- very good to excellent.
- Uncle John's Legendary Lost Bathroom Reader -- very good to excellent!
- Uncle John's Ahhh-inspiring Bathroom Reader -- very good.
- Jody Lynn Nye and Anne McCaffrey, The Dragonlover's Guide To Pern -- good. Really kinda so-so as a Pern guide.
- Storm Constantine, MythoLumina -- very good to excellent. This collection of largely SF stories isn't quite as successful as Mythanimus, but it's still quite good.
- Storm Constantine, Mythanimus -- excellent! This may be the best of the short story collections she has republished under her own Immanion Press imprint.
- The Best of the Best of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader -- very good! I'd seen some of these articles and stories before, but still entertaining to read them.
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Darker Jewels -- Excellent! This Saint-Germain novel is set in Russia during the reign of Ivan the Terrible.
- David Weber, Path of the Fury -- excellent! Basically similar to, and on par with, his Honor Harrington novels.
- Jacqueline Carey, Dark Currents -- excellent! Here, she tries her hand at urban fantasy with excellent results.
- George R.R. Martin, Tuf Voyaging (Meisha Merlin edition) -- very good.
- Larry Niven and Edward Lerner, Fate of Worlds -- excellent! Great ending to this series, but it is at times a bit tricky to follow.
- George R.R. Martin et al, The Hedge Knight (re-read) -- graphic novel, really good. Ironically while reading this, I was "added" as a friend on Facebook by Jack Cowan, who is one of the jousting knights from "The Jousters" troupe.
- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Escape From Hell -- very good to excellent! This is a sequel to their legendary book Inferno and is in good company with Dante Alighieri.
- Storm Constantine and Wendy Darling (eds.), Para Kindred -- Excellent! This is the best overall Wraeththu story collection yet!
- Veronica Roth, Insurgent -- very good to excellent. I re-read this to compare its differences to the movie.
- Karen E. Taylor, Cellar -- good to excellent. This really reads like it could be a good horror film.
- Storm Constantine (ed.), Para Imminence -- re-reading the physical copy of this, kindly sent to me by Storm.
- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Burning City -- very good. This is a fantasy novel set in the same universe of The Magic Goes Away, where magic eventually fades when the local supply of 'manna' is depleted. I was unaware of its existence until now despite the book being published in 1990 (!). It is sometimes a bit tricky to follow, but still good.
- David Weber (ed.), In Fire Forged -- Worlds of Honor Pt. 6 -- very good to excellent.
- David Weber and Timothy Zahn, Call of Duty -- Excellent. First book in the Manticore Ascendent series, and it's a refreshing historical look at a Kingdom of Manticore that is still young, naive...and vulnerable.
- Tim Cooke, Atlas of History's Greatest Disasters and Mistakes -- very good. I'm a little surprised that the sacking of the Library of Alexandria didn't make the cut, though.
- Storm Constantine, The Moonshawl -- Excellent! I re-read the physical printed book with more of an eye toward enjoyment, after proofreading the manuscript earlier. I'm mentioned as proofreader in the Acknowledgements. I only detected two errors that I missed, too. :)
- Rysa Walker, Time's Edge via Kindle -- Excellent!
- Uncle John's Ultimate Bathroom Reader -- Very good. Published quite a while ago now, but still worth the $2 price used at McKay in Chattanooga....
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Come Twilight -- excellent! This novel of the vampire St. Germain is set in different periods during Spain's Moorish occupation spanning several centuries, and is even more historically informative than CQY's typical St. Germain novels!
- Clay Gilbert, Annah -- Children of Evohe -- good. Written by my friend Clay. There are some problems with the science, tech-level and astronomy, but Evohe and its inhabitants are rendered well.
- David Weber, ed., Beginnings -- Worlds of Honor #6 -- very good to excellent. The two Weber stories and the Tim Zahn stories were excellent; the other two were good.
- Rick Riordan, Blood of Olympus -- Excellent! Great end to the series, although the ending seemed a bit too "pat." Still, a great book series, a bit superior IMO to Harry Potter.
- Storm Constantine, The Moonshawl -- Excellent! I proofed the manuscript for Storm before it was sent for publication. :)
- David Weber, Like a Mighty Army -- re-read. It's on my Kindle and handy, so.....
- Veronica Roth, Divergent -- re-read. I skimmed this again after seeing the film.
- Sherrilyn Kenyon, Son Of No One -- very good to excellent. Not quite as compelling as Acheron or Styxx and with a bit more of the ol' "rumpy-pumpy" but still good.
- Rysa Walker, Timebound -- very good to excellent YA fiction. (Kindle free borrow)
- Storm Constantine, Mythophidia (Kindle edition) -- very good to excellent. With only one exception, all of the stories that were new to me were really good. There were a few repeats, though.
- Clay Gilbert, Dark Road To Paradise -- very good. Written by a good friend of mine, too!
- Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon, 1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies -- Excellent! I recommend not reading this on a Kindle, though, since the maps in the beginning are hard to read and would have been nice to refer to.
- Storm Constantine, Mythangelus -- excellent! A collection of 'angel' related short-stories, many of them new to me, from Storm C.? Great!
- Iver Cooper, 1636: Seas of Fortune -- Fair. There's no question the author knows a lot about South American and Japanese history, but the unnecessary inclusion of details and terminology make these two stories -- especially the Japanese one -- very hard to enjoy.
- Veronica Roth, Allegiant -- Excellent! Great trilogy!
- Veronica Roth, Insurgent -- excellent!
- Veronica Roth, Divergent -- excellent! Picked this up in trade-paperback at Walmart relatively cheaply since it was well-spoken of. Haven't seen the movie yet, though.
- David Weber, Like A Mighty Army -- Very good. The lack of maps (at least in the Kindle edition) makes this one a lot 'denser' to follow. There's too much exposition yet again, and at this rate it will take another 120 volumes in this series before humanity can challenge the alien Gbaba and retake the galaxy.
- Larry Niven, Neutron Star (via Kindle) -- Excellent! Great to re-read this, my first introduction to Larry Niven's great Known Space series!
- Eric Flint and David Carrico, 1636: The Devil's Opera -- good to very good (via Kindle). This novel is part police-procedural, partly about madness and obsession and partly about opera. Weird, but it (mostly) works.
- Larry Niven and Paul Chafe, Destiny's Forge -- A Man-Kzin Wars Novel -- excellent! (Via Kindle.) The resolution of the story is a bit quick and 'pat', and sometimes there's a bit too much biological detail thrown in, but otherwise this is a great story involving humans and the kzinti.
- John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice Book 11: The Lost Tales (via Kindle) -- very good to excellent! This is a collection of prequel short-stories.
- John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice Book 12: The Royal Ranger -- very good to excellent.
- Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Blessing -- Excellent! About as good an ending as you could ever want for a great series of books.
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Roman Dusk -- excellent! This novel of the vampire Saint-Germain takes place during the later, rough days of the Imperium.
- Maria J. Leel, Song of the Sulh -- very good. (Via Kindle)
- Storm Constantine (ed.), Para Imminence -- very good. The two Storm C. stories were excellent, the others good to okay. (Via Kindle Paperwhite trial)
- Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Curse -- excellent!
- Sherrilyn Kenyon, Styxx -- very good to excellent! Although filed under paranormal romance, the torment she puts her characters through is anything BUT romantic!
- Rick Riordan, House of Hades -- excellent! Nico de Angelo's brave act really "makes" this one.
- Terry Pratchett, Snuff -- very good to excellent. Not nearly as humorous as Pratchett's earlier Discworld books, though. This one, which centers on Commander Vimes of the Watch, is almost like a police-procedural.
- Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight -- very good to excellent! This book is QUITE 'dark' for a young-adult novel, too.
- Terry Pratchett, The Wintersmith -- very good to excellent! I think I may have skipped one of the Wee Free Men/Tiffany Aching books along the way, here....
- Harry Turtledove, The Guns of the South -- excellent! The premise: what
if the South had suddenly been armed with fast repeaters -- AK-47 rifles, in fact -- in large quantities not long after
the Battle of Gettysburg?
- Jacqueline Lichtenberg, House of Zeor -- very good to excellent. First in the Sime/Gen series which I've been told I need to read. :)
- Todd McCaffrey, Dragonheart -- fair to good. There really isn't that much actual conflict or drama here, and a lot of mysteries are left unresolved. A workmanlike effort.
- Ian Christe, The Sound of the Beast -- the Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal -- excellent! My metal IQ must have increased by 10 points just from reading this!
- David Weber, Bolo! -- Excellent! I've definitely read at least one of the stories in this collection before, but not all. Really amazing concept originally developed by Keith Laumer.
- David Weber, Heirs of Empire -- very good. This third book in the series more closely resembles the planetbound struggle between Church and "heretics" in Weber's Safehold series.
- David Weber, The Armageddon Inheritance -- very good. Second book in the series.
- David Weber, Mutineer's Moon -- very good. This earlier 3-book series is a clear predecessor to the starfaring part of Weber's Safehold books.
- Karen E. Taylor, The Vampire Vivienne -- good to excellent (re-read, I think).
- Kevin J. Anderson, Clockwork Angels -- the Novel -- very good. Based on Rush's Neal Peart's story and the album of the same name. The ending was a bit of a let-down, as I expected a bit more from it, but it was still good. There are numerous Rush lyrical references cannily embedded in the text, too.
- Harry Turtledove, Fort Pillow -- excellent! This is a novelized account of the actual Civil War battle at Fort Pillow, perhaps the most controversial battle of the war.
- Gail Z. Martin, Ice Forged -- good to excellent! Purchased this one from the author herself at ChattaCon (or maybe it was Connnooga), at her book-release room party. Really good!
- Harry Turtledove, Sentry Peak -- very good to excellent. I kinda read this trilogy backwards as compared to "real" Civil War history...oops! Gives a new appreciation to the area around "Rising Rock," i.e. Chattanooga TN.
- Uncle John's Bathroom Reader: Wise Up! -- Good. read this one cover-to-cover. Not quite as good as their regular books since it's basically a collection of factoids that they've featured as 'dogs' at the bottoms of pages.
- David Weber, Shadow of Freedom -- excellent! Even though this one is centered on Honor H.'s friend Michelle Henke, it's still really 'meaty' concerning the overall story arc.
- Harry Turtledove, Advance and Retreat -- very good.
- Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, A Memory of Light -- excellent! At last, this mighty (and mighty long) series is concluded! Sanderson has done a great job in finishing it for us, too.
- Uncle John's Bathroom Institute Salute to the Armed Forces -- read this one cover-to-cover. Picked up a used copy on Amazon for about $11.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (re-read) -- excellent (of course). Re-reading this for comparison to Peter Jackson's film, since it's been a while....
- Harry Turtledove, Marching Through Peachtree -- Very good. I'll need to get the prequel and the sequel at some point. Not as good as his Worldwar series, but Turtledove is hampered here by the need to emulate the actual Civil War batles of the Georgia campaign, but set in his inverted alternate universe.
- Michael Moorcock, The Best Of Michael Moorcock -- excellent! There are some stories here I hadn't noticed before that are very good!
- David Weber, Midst Toil And Tribulation -- Excellent! Weber does often depart into lengthy discussions about new weapons, technologies or tactics, but the overall quality of these books, including strong characterizations and a refreshing 'take' on traditional religion, makes up for that.
- David Weber, How Firm A Foundation -- Excellent!
- Rick Riordan, The Mark of Athena -- Excellent! Keeping up a good track record, here.
- Uncle John's Slightly Irregular Bathroom Reader -- Excellent. Picked up a used copy on Amazon for about $6. Well-worth it at twice the price!
- Eric Flint et al., 1636: The Kremlin Games -- very good. This book covers the situation in Russia from the arrival of Grantville in 1630's Germany up through 1636. It seemed a bit "by the numbers" in parts, but it was still very enjoyable.
- Uncle John's Unsinkable Bathroom Reader -- read this one cover-to-cover, too! Picked up a used copy on Amazon for about $6. Well-worth it at twice the price!
- John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice: The Emperor of Nihon-Ja -- very good to excellent. This is the last in the series, and it's quite good, although a little hard to believe in some spots.
- John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice: Halt's Peril -- excellent!
- Uncle John's Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader -- unlike previous in-stall-ments in this series of engaging books, I actually read it cover-to-cover instead of skimmed it. These are fun reads and perfect for bathroom reading, which is where I read anyway. :)
- Uncle John's Endlessly Engrossing Bathroom Reader -- actually read it cover-to-cover.
- Stephen Boyett, Elegy Beach -- Excellent. Long-delayed (20? 30 years?) sequel to Ariel and it didn't disappoint too much, although in both books the climax is oddly anti-climactic. There's also a subtly handled gay relationship in it.
- Stephen Boyett, Ariel (expanded reissue) -- Very good to excellent. This is mostly a re-read, but some material was added to it. Hard to spot it, really.....
- Suzanne Collins, Hunger Games -- Excellent! Re-read. Couldn't help but re-read this dark, yet uplifting, young-adult post-apocalyptic tale after seeing the movie, which was very good, but no match for the novel.
- John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice: The Kings of Clonmel -- very good. These have gotten somewhat better as they've progressed.
- John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice: Erak's Ransom -- very good.
- John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice: The Siege of Macindaw -- very good.
- David Weber, A Rising Thunder -- Very good to excellent! The Second Battle of Manticore is only slightly less bloody than the first.....
- Barry Hughart, The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox -- Brilliant! (re-read) These three stories, collected together, are excellent and fresh; high fantasy and mystery based in China and using Chinese myths! The first novel collected here, Bridge of Birds, is by a slight margin the best, but all three are great!
- John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice: Sorceror of the North -- good. Not as good as the other Young Adult fiction I've been reading thanks to my friends' kid Adam, but good enough.
- John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice: The Battle For Skandia -- good. Not as good as the other Young Adult fiction I've been reading thanks to my friends' kid Adam, but good enough.
- John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice: The Icebound Lands -- good. Not as good as the other Young Adult fiction I've been reading thanks to my friends' kid Adam, but good enough.
- John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice: The Burning Bridge -- good. Not as good as the other Young Adult fiction I've been reading thanks to my friends' kid Adam, but good enough.
- John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan -- good. Not as good as the other Young Adult fiction I've been reading thanks to my friends' kid Adam, but good enough.
- Anne McCaffrey, Dragondrums (re-read) -- Excellent. Found some first? edition paperbacks up at the Pendergrass Flea Market and had to re-read them to commemorate Anne McCaffrey's passing.
- Anne McCaffrey, Dragonsinger (re-read) -- Excellent. Found some first? edition paperbacks up at the Pendergrass Flea Market and had to re-read them to commemorate Anne McCaffrey's passing.
- Anne McCaffrey, Dragonsong (re-read) -- Excellent. Found some first? edition paperbacks up at the Pendergrass Flea Market and had to re-read them to commemorate Anne McCaffrey's passing.
- Michael Crichton, State of Fear (re-read) -- still excellent. Found a used paperback copy and bought it as a 'reading' copy.
- Suzanne Collins, Mockinjay -- Excellent! Somewhat better, in fact, than the reviews on Amazon led me to believe.
- Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire -- Excellent! Great, err, se-quell. :)
- Suzanne Collins, Hunger Games -- Excellent! Dark, yet uplifting, young-adult post-apocalyptic tale. Now I can't wait for the movie, scheduled for March 2012!
- Rick Riordan, Son of Neptune -- Excellent! This just-released hardback continues with the excellence of the prior book in this new series.
- Eric Flint, 1636: The Saxon Uprising -- Excellent! This one is more action-packed than its immediate sequel and there's even more large-scale battles and changes happening!
- Eric Flint, 1635: The Eastern Front -- Very good to excellent. There's a bit too much explanation and exposition going on, but there's a lot going on here that's important to the timeline.
- Rick Riordan, The Heroes of Olympus Book 1: The Lost Hero -- excellent!
- Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 5: The Last Olympian -- excellent!
- Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 4: The Battle of the Labyrinth -- excellent!
- Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 3: The Titan's Curse -- excellent!
- David Weber, A Mighty Fortress -- very good to excellent. As one review from, I think Publisher's Weekly put it, Weber tends to over-write a lot, but his engaging tone makes up for most of it. I'll buy the new one when it comes out.
- George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons -- good to excellent! Finally this book came! --And remember, whenever a fan complains about GRRM taking too long to finish the series, HE kills off a Stark. :)
- David Weber, By Heresies Distressed -- Excellent!
- Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 2: The Sea of Monsters -- excellent!
- Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 1: The Lightning Thief -- excellent! I'm borrowing these from friends whose young son has read them all. Good young-adult series although the film based on this book deviates substantially from the book.
- David Weber, By Schism Rent Asunder -- Excellent!
- David Weber, Off Armageddon Reef -- Excellent! I've had these for a while, but finally got around to reading them thanks to my friend Justin's recommendation.
- Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis, 1635: The Cannon Law -- very good to excellent. Slow-ish start and there are times when some aspects are belabored a bit too much, but the action picked up nicely. L:et's just say that this one REALLY diverges from 'regular' history regarding the ownership of Rome. :)
- Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Paul of Dune -- Very good. The flashbacks to Paul Atreides' childhood on Caladan were the best part of this one. Still, I'm interested enough in the back-story that I'll probably pick up the sequel at some point.
- Matt Wagner, Mean Deviation -- Three Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal -- Excellent! It's pretty cool because many of the bands, their members, and others in this book are personally known to me. I was surprised to discover that the author focused more on bands who are progressive (as in "being different and evolving") than Progressive (as in, sounding much like Dream Theater). Very highly recommended!
- Larry Niven, Protector (re-read) -- Excellent! I re-read this since it ties in closely with the new Ringworld-prequel novels I've just finished.
- Larry Niven, Tales of Known Space (re-read after many years) -- Excellent. Found a very old copy and wanted to return to this after reading more recent, updated Known Space stories (shown below).
- Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim #6 (graphic novel) -- very good. Fun series, but I still think some of the characters are drawn too similarly.
- Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim #5 (graphic novel) -- very good.
- Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim #4 (graphic novel) -- very good.
- Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim #3 (graphic novel) -- very good.
- Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim #2 (graphic novel) -- very good.
- Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim #1 (graphic novel) -- very good.
- Larry Niven and Edward Lerner, Betrayer of Worlds -- excellent!
- Larry Niven and Edward Lerner, Destroyer of Worlds -- excellent! Somewhat better than its immediate predecessor, too!
- Larry Niven and Edward Lerner, Juggler of Worlds -- very good to excellent. Not as bad as the reviews on Amazon would have one believe, but this IS a re-hash of some of Niven's best Known Space short-stories from different perspectives. Still, there is a lot of new cause-and-effect information presented, especially about Puppeteer involvement in Known Space. The finale, involving negotiations with the Outsiders, is pretty damned gripping!
- George R.R. Martin etc., The Hedge Knight (graphic novel) -- Excellent!
- Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, The Towers of Midnight -- excellent! Tarmon Gaidon has finally begun!
- Eric Flint and Virginia de Marce, 1634: The Bavarian Crisis -- fair to good. This one was a real foot-slog for a while, but luckily, the action finally picked up. Still didn't think it was quite worth all the effort, and the ending seemed rather "pat."
- Storm Constantine and Wendy Darling, eds., Paragenesis: Stories From the Dawn of Wraeththu -- very good. Some of the stories in here, including Storm's new story, Wendy's, and "The Burned Boy" by Gwyn Harper, were really good. I had already read a couple of the others on fan-fiction sites so they were already familiar; one of the stories, "Building Immanion," was somewhat disappointing despite the grandiose title. At times the editing and proofreading on this book really made me wince, but overall, it was a good read. Readers should read the other Wraeththu Mythons books first, though. Also, Storm's retrospective on her original inspirations for Wraeththu is quite interesting.
- Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis, 1634: The Galileo Affair -- very good. Nowhere near as exciting as The Baltic War, but I just discovered this was actually written BEFORE that one. :)
- David Weber and Eric Flint, 1634: The Baltic War -- Excellent! No kidding...there's a lot of war in this. :)
- Dr. Robert L. Forward, Dragon's Egg (re-read) -- Excellent!. This is a legendary work of good, creative "hard" SF. Don't expect too much character development here -- of the humans, anyway -- but the science and the then-fresh concept are what good SF is all about.
- David Weber and Eric Flint, 1633 -- very good to excellent! Not quite as action-packed as the first one, though.
- S.M. Stirling, Dies the Fire -- very good. I have a feeling the author's politics and mine don't precisely coincide...and do all Wiccans really behave THAT silly? A good read, although I felt the end was a bit rushed.
- David Weber, Mission of Honor -- excellent! Weber will sometimes take a bit too long explaining or belaboring something, but overall, this series is terrific! For those counting the costs of war, the millions dead in this novel eclipse the total even from the Battle of Manticore....
- Eric Flint, 1632 -- excellent! My only complaint is that the author seems to be really "taken" by the labor-union culture, but it's a minor quibble. I'm looking for the sequel now.
- Tanya Huff, Blood Lines and Blood Pact (collected together) -- Excellent! These books about the vampire Henry Fitzroy are really good, and criminally undernoticed.
- Michael Moorcock, The Chronicles of Corum -- Excellent! (Re-read, of course.) This is the hardcover White Wolf edition, found used at McKay's in Chattanooga. Great to revisit the first three Books of Corum!
- John Linder and Neal Boortz, FairTax: The Truth -- very good. I ordered a copy of the actual first FairTax book from DeepDiscount.com and AFAIK, it STILL hasn't been shipped 3 months later...highly unusual.
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Burning Shadows -- excellent! A novel of the Count St. Germain, this time set in c. 480 CE in the disintegrating Eastern and Western Roman Empires, with Attila the Hun rampaging through the Carpathians. CQY's historical vampire series is great!
- David Weber, Worlds of Weber -- Excellent! This collection had its desired effect, encouraging me to check out more of Weber's non-Honorverse stuff. :)
- Cecil Adams, Triumph of the Straght Dope -- very good. This is another of BenMech's leftover books. A bit dated now, and the formatting still leaves a lot to be desired, but still fun reading.
- Stephen Boyett, Ariel -- very good for a first novel. Written in 1983 and a bit dated, but the concept is still fun: what if electricity, gunpowder and many other technologies suddenly failed...and magic (like unicorns, dragons, griffins, spellcasting, etc.) was suddenly, and sometimes dangerously real? The ending is quite bittersweet and casts a pall over the rest of the book, keeping it from being "great."
- Terry Pratchett, Unseen Academicals -- very good. This installment in the enormously popular Discworld series is allllll about "footie," i.e., football, i.e. soccer. This might be why I found the book on the bargain table at Barnes & Noble; Americans don't get into footie as much as, say, the Brits do and some of the references are no doubt lost on me.
- C.J. Cherryh, Hunter of Worlds - very good to excellent. Written back in 1977, this was one of C.J.'s earlier works and it shows a bit. Good story, but I think an over-usage of italicized alien concepts distracts from the narrative rather than helps it.
- Robert A. Heinlein, Have Spacesuit - Will Travel -- excellent! My list shows that I've actually read this before...but the plot didn't seem familiar. Still great either way. One of Heinlein's better, more enduring "juvies."
- Jake T. Forbes (story) and Chris Lie (illus.), Jim Henson's Return to Labyrinth Vol. 3 (manga) -- very good.
Continuing the authorized revisit to the world of the movie Labyrinth. There is a 4th concluding volume which I'll get shortly.
- Jake T. Forbes (story) and Chris Lie (illus.), Jim Henson's Return to Labyrinth Vol. 2 (manga) -- very good. Continuing the authorized revisit to the world of the movie Labyrinth.
- Sherrilyn Kenyon, Born of Night -- good. The first book in her SF-based series of League romances, it's pretty decent, but shows a bit of unfamiliarity with science-fiction writing, either on the part of a young Sherrilyn Kenyon or her editors, who in fairness might not have been used to editing SF.
- David Weber and Eric Flint, Torch of Freedom -- Excellent!
- David Weber and Eric Flint, Crown of Slaves -- Excellent! A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2003, probably due to its egalitarian anti-slavery content. I can't see them making such a fuss over Weber's normal libertarian fare! (Shame on them....)
- Robert Jordan and B. Sanderson, The Gathering Storm -- excellent! One annoying sidebar character killed off, two Forsaken get a faceful of Balefire, one really well-executed death of a long-running character, one long-foretold battle, a major rift healed...and Zombietown to boot! :) Very impressive Wheel of Time debut for Brandon Sanderson, who will be finishing out the series!
- (script) George RR Martin, A Game of Thrones -- apparently incomplete at c. 60 pages, but it seemed like a good start for a possible movie.
- Popoff, Martin, Blue Oyster Cult: Secrets Revealed! -- very good. I have a much higher opinion than he does of the Imaginos album, and a lower opinion of the more recent CDs....
- Jacqueline Carey, Namaah's Kiss -- Good to excellent! Set well into the future after the initial Kushiel trilogy, this one is not as compelling -- Carey might never equal those! -- but it features excellent characterization and a broader scope. And China! And a dragon!
- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged -- excellent (re-read). I revisited this because the book is startlingly topical right now, with America's accelerating march toward European-style Socialism. If I feel up to it, I might write a blog comparing the book and contemporary America.
- Jake T. Forbes (story) and Chris Lie (illus.), Jim Henson's Return to Labyrinth (manga) -- very good. An authorized revisit to the world of the movie Labyrinth? Heck, it's as if a sequel has already been storyboarded! I ordered the following two Labyrinth manga stories as well as a Dark Crystal one.
- Jacqueline Carey, Santa Olivia -- excellent! This is totally different from her Kushiel series, a near-future postapocalyptic tale -- but engrossing and of course well-written.
- David Weber, Storm From the Shadows -- good, but not great. Some of Weber's detailed descriptions of new weapons and such can be a little dauting, but paramount of my criticism is that there's way too much talking and meeting and conferencing, and not all that much acton. And the ending is a bit too open-ended, too.
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, A Feast In Exile -- Excellent! This St. Germain/vampire novel is set in the time of Timur (known as Tamerlane in the West) and his sacking and destruction of Delhi.
- Sherrilyn Kenyon, Sins of the Night -- excellent! For a book-series tagged as paranormal romance, these books are long on plot and surprisingly short on the 'mushy stuff.' Nicely developed world, too.
- Sherrilyn Kenyon, Fantasy Lover -- good to excellent! First in the Dark-Hunter saga. Tagged as romance primarily for sales purposes, methinks, as they're surprisingly deep.
- Michael Kerrigan, A Dark History of the Roman Emperors -- Excellent! This was a pretty good bargain for $15, a coffee-table sized, lavishly illustrated look at the dark underbelly of Imperial Rome. It's startling to realize that Nero and Caligula probably weren't the worst of the bunch!
- John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In -- Excellent! The movie, in Swedish with English subtitles, was great, one of the best vampire movies I've ever seen!
- Sewell and Richmond, Red Star Rogue -- very good. The story of how a Russian missile sub sank in 1968...and whether it was in the act of firing a nuclear missile at Pearl Harbor at the time. Based on the evidence presented, if secondhand accounts of evidence are accurate, then I think it DID happen, and that's truly scary.
- Sherrilyn Kenyon, Acheron -- excellent!
- David Weber and John Ringo, We Few -- Excellent! Good ending to the series, although there are a number of loose ends. An epilogue would have been great!
- Sherrilyn Kenyon, Seize the Night -- excellent! I'll have to read some more books from the Dark-Hunter series. Although they can be classed as romance, the steamy scenes aren't ALL that steamy....so far, at least. :) These books seem to transcend the 'paranormal romance' genre, which may be why Sherri is consistently a #1 NYT bestseller.
- David Weber and John Ringo, March to the Sea -- Excellent. Second book in this series; I read the third, then the first, then this one. The fourth and final book should be here any day now.
- David Weber and John Ringo, March Upcountry -- good to excellent. Yes, I had to go backwards in the series; this is the first book. :)
- David Weber and John Ringo, March to the Stars -- good to excellent so far. Some of the military detail can get smothering, but it's a good story based on the historical march of Xenophon. I picked up the prequels. :)
- Storm Constantine, Student Of Kyme -- Excellent! Just as with The Hienama, the prequel, this isn't a story about mighty forces or huge events in Wraeththu history...just the lives and relationships of regular hara. You'll want to read The Hienama first, though.
- Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner, Fleet of Worlds -- Excellent! This has some great background info on Niven's celebrated alien species, the Pierson's Puppeteers!
- C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle -- excellent, of course! Re-read.
- C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew -- excellent, of course! Re-read.
- C.S. Lewis, The Horse And His Boy -- excellent, of course! Re-read. This will make a great movie if the movie series gets this far.....
- C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair -- excellent, of course! Re-read. This book will also make a great movie if it's made. (This volume is also the source for the bandname.)
- C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe -- excellent (of course). Re-read.
- C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader" -- excellent (of course). Re-read.
- C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian -- excellent. I re-read this after seeing the movie, to compare the changes.
- Michael Moorcock, The Metatemporal Detective -- very good to excellent. This is a collection of short-stories featuring Sir Seaton Begg as the title character. The steampunk universe MM presents here is kinda neet, but the more political stories -- including one with, IMO, a relatively ham-handed treatment of George W. Bush and co. -- don't fare as well. Still, it's a good collection of stories, some old and some new.
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Tempting Fate -- excellent! It's a bit odd reading a Saint-Germain book that's set so close to contemporary times, especially after reading one set in ancient Rome!
- Anne McCaffrey, The Skies of Pern -- very good.
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Blood Games -- Excellent!
- Mercedes Lackey, Magic's Price (used copy) -- very good to excellent (re-read). My reasons for not ever buying a new book by Ms. Lackey are by now well-known. I'd forgotten how annoying her over-use of capitalization ("Border") and italics could be. Still, this trilogy was a seminal influence in my formative years....
- Phillip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass -- excellent! This has shaped up to be a truly great series!
- Phillip Pullman, The Subtle Knife -- excellent!
- Phillip Pullman, The Golden Compass -- excellent! The differences between this book and the film are intriguing; some make sense and some don't.
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, The Palace -- excellent! Great historical details even if the plot is a bit formulaic (for CQY, anyway)
- Tanya Huff, The Blood Books, Vol. 1 -- excellent!
- Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes, Beowulf's Children (re-read) -- Very good to excellent!
- Terry Pratchett, Making Money -- very good to excellent! Hooray, a new Discworld book!
- C.J. Cherryh, Downbelow Station -- Excellent! I thought the ending was a bit "pat," but it's great to read a story set on the 'other side' but in the same universe as CJ's mighty Chanur books!
- Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel's Justice -- very good! The only serious flaw in this novel is that the climax occurs too early in the narrative, leading to a long denoument. Still, it's a great storyline!
- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- excellent!
- Mercedes Lackey, Magic's Promise -- Very good. (Re-read, of a used copy as per my personal dictum.)
- Mercedes Lackey, Magic's Pawn -- Very good. (Re-read, of a used copy as per my personal dictum.) In many ways this is the book that started it all.... When I first read this book, I didn't realize how annoying Lackey's constant over-use of italics could be!
- Storm Constantine, The Ghosts of Time and Memory -- excellent! This is the Tor/Orb U.S. edition, which does not reflect my edits on the British edition. It has some odd editing errors, too.
- David Gemmell, The Lion of Macedon -- Excellent! Some of Gemmell's historical details are wrong -- preusmably intentionally so -- but this was well-written, as you'd expect from Gemmell.
- Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer -- very good to excellent! This was a bit outside my normal sphere, but a co-worker lent it to me. :)
- Robert A. Heinlein, The Green Hills of Earth -- excellent! Finding a new (to me) Heinlein short-story collection is like finding $20 in the back seat of your car. :)
- Alexander Kent, Midshipman Bolitho -- very good to excellent! I'll have to get more of these.
- Dudley Pope, Ramage -- very good to excellent. (Re-read.) First book in the well-regarded Lord Ramage seafaring series; my list shows I have the second book, but I don't see it here. This was good, so I want to continue the series....
- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Footfall -- Excellent! I'd read it before, of course, but my friend Derek found a nice hardback copy and it was a pleasure to read it again. I dunno if it's "The best alien contact novel ever written," as the cover blurb says, but it's wayyy up there.
- Ellen Kushner, The Privilege of the Sword -- Excellent! The ending seemed a bit rushed and a bit too 'pat,' but I liked this a lot more than The Fall of the Kings.
- Bill Fawcett (ed.), How to Lose a Battle -- Good. A nonfiction collection of articles about battles and plans that went south, with some good articles and some worse ones (mostly those written by Thomsen). Very lackluster proofreading, too. One of the articles was written by my
friend Ed Kramer. Fawcett's mealy-mouthed epilogue, a thinly-veiled attack on George W. Bush, didn't sit too well with me. Bill, just come out and say it. Who are you afraid of?
- James M. Ward, Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe -- poor. The author would benefit greatly from reading Patrick O'Brian. And this is being somewhat kind....
- Larry Niven, The Draco Tavern -- Excellent! It's cool that all of these stories have finally been collected in one place, along with some new ones. The Tavern's a great concept vehicle for alien interaction.
- Michael Moorcock, The White Wolf's Son -- excellent! This is apparently the true end of the Elric Saga, and was cool seeing almost all of the aspects of the Champion Eternal....well, except for Corum, darnit....
- Peter S. Wells, The Battle That Stopped Rome -- good. An historical account of a pivotal defeat of 3 entire Roman legions by Germanic forces in 9 AD, the author tended to belabor many points...probably to 'fill out' the work into a thicker book. Still, a fascinating true story.
- John Myers Myers, Silverlock -- re-read; excellent! Even more fun now that you can 'cheat' by going online to find out Myers' more obscure literary references!
- Storm Constantine, The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure -- Re-read; excellent! Some of the details had gotten misty, so it's great to be "home" again!
- Judith Tarr, Lord of Two Lands -- re-read; excellent again! I pulled this out while we were sorting my books upstairs. It's as great as it was before!
- Robin Lane Fox, Alexander the Great -- very good! This is the pre-eminent biography of Alexander for modern times.....
- Various, Alexander the Conquerer -- very good. A big coffee-table sized book with lots of photos and illos, it was only $4.
- Michael Moorcock, The Skrayling Tree -- very good to excellent!
- Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel's Scion -- Excellent! This one starts a bit slowly, but is well-worth the journey as we see Imriel de la Courcel develop as a character. Great to return to the world of Terre D'Ange!
- Arthur C. Clarke, 3001: Final Odyssey -- fair to good. There really wasn't too much going on, here, and the 'final' ending seemed a bit underwhelming.
- David Weber et al, The Service Of the Sword (shared-world anthology) -- Very good to excellent! Some stories have been excellent, while others, notably John Ringo's, seemed a bit silly.
- Robert Jordan, Knife of Dreams -- Very good! Lotsa stuff is finally happening as we approach Tarmon Gai'don. But, the book is overwritten as usual and features JR's curiously misogynistic worldview. Sometimes the reader doesn't need to know how big a woman's 'bosom' is.
If I had a dollar for every time a woman gets spanked, whipped, birched or otherwise abused -- ten bucks if she's nekkid at the time -- I could buy gas for a week.
- Mary Renault, Fire From Heaven -- Excellent! Good research-notes in the back of the book, too!
- Mary Renault, The Persian Boy -- Excellent! This is a fictionalized, but mostly historically accurate, account of the life of Bagoas, the eromenos of Alexander the Great.
- Katherine Kurtz and Robert Reginald, Codex Derynianus -- great reference work!
- Katherine Kurtz, The Bastard Prince -- Excellent! Nice to get back into the great Deryni series with a good book!
- Robert Jordan, Crossroads of Twilight -- very good to excellent. Two -- or is it three? -- more books to go, if RJ lives that long....
- Frederik Pohl, The Boy Who Would Live Forever -- very good to excellent. A new Gateway novel! A bit choppy, but a good story.
- Storm Constantine, Grimoire Dehara: Kaimana -- a guidebook for deharan Chaos Magick, this isn't really my 'thing' but it's fascinating, looks good and it's almost worth the steep import price for the illustrations alone!
- Terry Pratchett, THUD -- excellent! Vampires and trolls and dwarves, oh my!
- David Weber, At All Costs -- excellent! Don't let the cover art fool ya; there's enough combat and carnage in this book as in the other books of the series combined. (!)
- George R.R. Martin, A Feast For Crows -- Excellent! Even though this is only half the story, it's still a great read. Criticized as being the 'lesser half' of a new two-volume installment in the Song of Fire and Ice trilogy, I wasn't that disappointed in it.
Be advised that you might want to re-read the prior book (or all of them) before embarking on this one.
- Stephen R. Donaldson, The Runes of the Earth -- The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant -- very good to excellent! This is assuredly an evanescent return to The Land. As always with SRD's prose, readers with only a vocabule or two might want to have a dictionary handy. :)
- Jacqueline Carey, Banewreaker -- very good to excellent! Not quite as compelling as her Kushiel trilogy, but still good fantasy stuff. Looking forward to the next installment.
- Victoria Copus, Terzah's Sons -- very good to excellent! A nice look at the lives of everyday hara in Megalithica, this is a Wraeththu mythos novel.
- Clint Willis, ed., High Seas -- Stories of Battle and Adventure From the Age of Sail -- very good collection of stories and first-person 'real life' accounts.
- Christopher Chant, The History of North American Rail -- notable more for its terrific collection of photos than the text, which is relatively minor.
- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince -- Excellent! Quite sad, though. It's fair to say that this series is no longer a Young Adult series.
- (Proofing/copyediting assignment) Storm Constantine, The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire (UK omnibus ed.) -- completed! A paid copyediting assignment for Immanion Press (UK), not that I wouldn't have done it for free... :)
- (Proofing/copyediting assignment) Storm Constantine, The Bewitchments of Love and Hate (UK omnibus ed.) -- completed! An assignment for Immanion Press, proofing one of my favorite novels is like sitting down for a great steak dinner. :)
- (Proofing/copyediting assignment) Storm Constantine, The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit (UK omnibus ed.) -- completed! Another assignment for Immanion Press, this time for a new, definitive Wraeththu omnibus UK edition. :)
- Storm Constantine, The Ghosts of Time and Memory -- Excellent! I read this in its final form to detect any proofing errors I made -- I found three. Not too bad either!
- Storm Constantine, The Hienama (novella) -- Excellent! I found only one copyediting error, so I'm reasonably proud of my handiwork. :)
- "Raien Takarai," untitled Far Eastern Wraeththu piece -- reading and editing. Workmanship is excellent, and Storm C. made some suggestions regarding the action sequences. Now if only Raien can write faster...like, constantly, until he finishes it. :)
- Barry Hughart, Bridge of Birds -- re-read, and still excellent! This is a wonderful and slyly humorous tale.
- Larry Niven (ed.?), Choosing Names: Man-Kzin Wars VIII -- Good. There's some pretty lousy editing on this one, and some of the stories contradict..
- Evan Thomas, John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy -- Excellent! JPJ was not the paragon of leadership that you'd expect. This was an excellently-balanced look at JPJ.
- Immanion Press, Wraeththu -- From Enchantment to Fulfilment (roleplaying game) Magick section -- copyediting assignment completed.
- Patrick O'Brian, Hussein - An Entertainment -- Excellent! I thought this would be a children's book, but it was much more involved and adult than I thought it would be! A story of an Indian boy's growing of age, it even has some spycraft in it!
- Immanion Press, Wraeththu -- From Enchantment to Fulfilment (roleplaying game) Rules section -- copyediting assignment completed. I wish I'd had full editorial control on it.
- Michael Crichton, State of Fear -- Brilliant! While I don't believe that enviro-kooks go to quite the violent extremes Crichton shows in the book, there's no question that most of his observations are true...and that we have all of us been "had."
- Various, Writers of the Storm (Wraeththu shared-world anthology) -- excellent! All the stories were very good to excellent. There were some proofing errors, but overall this was worth the price.
- Larry Niven, The Magic Goes Away -- Excellent! I thought I'd read this before, but apparently I hadn't. Reading a 'new' Niven book is like finding an unexpected present under your Christmas tree. :)
- Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events -- The Bad Beginning -- good, very dark, but quite pricey for the short length.
- Karen E. Taylor, The Vampire Vivienne -- Excellent! I have a soft spot for historical fiction in general, and this book is largely historical. :)
- Mike Ashley (ed.), Men O'War -- Stories From the Glory Days of Sail -- very good to excellent. A bit uneven but the really good stories and excerpts make up for the lousy ones, like (gasp) Herman Melville's....
- David Gemmell, White Wolf -- Excellent. Maybe I'll read all of these books in order someday, without skipping over some. :)
- Storm Constantine, The Ghosts of Blood and Innocence (advance galleys) -- Excellent!
This was a (most-welcome) proofreading assignment; the book was published in March, 2005 by Immanion Press in the UK.
Without giving away too many spoilers, the action moves to a somewhat larger scale, there are lots of new realms to explore, and some almost-forgotten characters who reappear. And one longtime character who pulls a real surprise.
- S.P. Somtow, Vampire Junction (re-read) -- very good.
- Keith R.A. DeCandido, Star Trek IKS Gorkon: A Good Day To Die -- very good. The ending is a bit too much of a lead-in for the following book, though.
- S.E. Hinton, Hawke's Harbor -- good to very good. Overall, a sad book.
- M. Moorcock and Walt Simonson, Elric -- The Making of a Sorcerer Vol. 1 (graphic series) -- Excellent!
- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal -- excellent! Yet another great installment in the Discworld legacy!
- David Weber, The Shadow of Saganami -- very good to excellent! Worthy sucessor to the regular Honor Harrington series, although a bit less yakking about the politics of the Talbott Cluster and a bit more action would have made it splendid. :)
- J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan -- very good to excellent. This is the original version, which oddly enough I'd never read before.
- Larry Niven, Ringworld's Children -- Excellent! My only complaint is that it's relatively short.
- Karen E. Taylor, Blood Red Dawn -- Very good. Reading this is a bit jarring after reading the Kushiel trilogy, since it seemed like about one-fifth the size!
- Voltaire, What Is Goth? -- Very good to excellent. Pricey for the size, but otherwise it's great...and funny. Voltaire has a unique perspective on the goth scene, since he's part of it, but can poke fun while being taken seriously. His defense of Marilyn Manson is eye-opening.
- Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel's Avatar -- Excellent! This was an excellent trilogy. This final book is more wide-ranging than the others in both distance and resolution.
- Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel's Chosen -- Excellent! I had to run out and get the final book right away!
- Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel's Dart -- Excellent! Great new fantasy series, looking forward to the next one...
- The 9/11 Report: Final Report From the Commission On Terrorist Attacks In the United States -- should be required reading for everyone, no matter their politics. Only $10, too!
- R.A. Salvatore, Stars Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones -- Very good. Not too much extra material here, but it's competently written.
- Jerry Pournelle, S.M. Stirling and Dean Ing, The Houses of the Kzinti -- Excellent! I'd read "Cathouse" before, but not the other two novellas.
- Storm Constantine, The Shades of Time and Memory UK edition -- Terrific! At last, a new and credible threat to all Wraeththukind! Great new sequel to this series!
- L. Frank Baum, The Oz Chronicles Vol. 1 -- Very good! It was fun and fascinating to read the original versions again, after c. 25 years! I'll have to get Vol. 2.
- Anne McCaffrey, Lyon's Pride -- good. The action is often described, rather than directly narrated, considerably reducing the punch of this book.
- Dudley Pope, Ramage (Vol. 1 of the series) -- Very good to excellent. Not quite as stunning as C.S. Forester or Patrick O'Brian, but very good. There are a few odd capitalization and typesetting errors, though.....
- Karen E. Taylor, Resurrection -- Excellent! Now I'll have to find the intervening books I'm missing. And, it definitely needs a sequel, too.
- Terry Pratchett, Thief Of Time -- Excellent! One of the best Discworld books in years! (And it didn't even have the A-M City Watch in it (!))
- C.J. Cherryh, Chanur's Legacy -- very good to excellent. Not quite as good as the parent series that leads to it, but still well worth reading.
- C.J. Cherryh, Chanur's Homecoming -- Excellent! Highly recommended series!
- C.J. Cherryh, The Chanur Saga -- Brilliant! I'd read these before years ago and they're still great.
The only problem is, the last book in the trilogy isn't included in this "omnibus" collection...so I got it separately.
- Terry Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment -- Excellent! Always a pleasure to delve into the Discworld!
- Karen E. Taylor, Blood Ties -- very good. Relatively simple/short vampire/romance novel.
- JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
- JRR Tolkien, The Two Towers
- JRR Tolkien, The Return of the King -- I re-read these after seeing the last film. Peter Jackson actually improves on the original works in a few places. (!)
- Robert Jordan, New Spring: The Novel -- Excellent!
I was gonna pass this one up for a while, but my roommate Tim read my copy
and pronounced it great, so I had to try it, too. It is much more tightly written than
Jordan's other WoT books.
- Storm Constantine, The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire (2003 Edition) -- Excellent!
This new version has only minor changes from the original text, as near as I could tell,
notably some expanded dialogue between Ferminfex Jael and Calanthe and some minor tweaks to
re-align technology (presumably to "gel" with the forthcoming RPG). There is a small added
bit to the appendices in back. Same font-size as the other two revised editions.
- Storm Constantine, The Bewitchments of Love and Hate (2003 Edition) -- Excellent!
Not only is this book my favorite of the original trilogy, but this edition
also includes a blurb from my review on the back
cover (!) Storm's changes are not as widespread here as in
Enchantments, which is good, since the original still stands as a
fine example of Storm's writing style at its best. A few added scenes and
passages here and there and some re-editing throughout. Despite having
the same font problems as the revised Enchantments, I highly
- Storm Constantine, The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit (2003 Edition) -- Excellent!
I also read the original version of this book side-by-side to compare the added scenes and the changes that Storm made. I
loved some of them and am ambivalent towards others. This is like a 'directors-cut' version of the original book, with
added scenes, dialogue and background. Highly recommended. Note: the font is smallish and different, but you get used to it.
Additional review comments are at Amazon UK.
- Wendy Darling and Bridgette M. Parker, Breeding Discontent -- Very good! This is a shared-world Wraeththu story based in Storm Constantine's realms and published by her Immanion Press imprint.
- Dan Simmons, The Rise of Endymion -- Excellent! This has become one of my favorite recent SF series.
- Dan Simmons, Endymion -- Excellent!
- James P. Hogan, The Anguished Dawn -- Very good. Hogan's attempt at a utopia here isn't as workable as in Voyage to Yesteryear, and there's some odd planetary and bio-science thrown in...apparently intentionally. It seems a bit fishy
(although Hogan provides some references), and I have to wonder if he's just trying to make a point, here.
- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -- Excellent!
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Hotel Transylvania -- Excellent! I'll need to find the rest of these someday.
- Anne Rice, Cry To Heaven -- re-read. This one is unfairly overshadowed by Anne's vampire/ghost fiction.
- Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, The Fall of Kings -- Excellent! The ending is a bit "weak" or inconclusive and seems to cry out for a sequel, though.....
- Storm Constantine, The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure -- Excellent! Storm continues the Wraeththu series after a nearly decade-long hiatus, and it -really- feels good to be "home."
Wraiths is a more-than-worthy sequel to the first trilogy, Wraeththu (Tor/Orb), and I highly recommend reading Wraeththu before this, so you have a better "feel" for this new novel.
- Karen E. Taylor, Blood of My Blood -- Excellent! My friend Brian's mom writes a good book....some scenes were overwritten but overall this was really good.
- Storm Constantine, The Thorn Boy -- Excellent! To my delight, this edition has many added stories, all set in the same universe as her Magravandias books. Sweet!
- Robert Silverberg, The King of Dreams -- Excellent! These three books are so much better than Mountains of Majipoor I almost wonder if the latter wasn't ghostwritten
- Robert Silverberg, Lord Prestimion -- Excellent!
- Robert Silverberg, Sorcerors of Majipoor -- Excellent!
- Ellen Kushner, Swordspoint (re-read) -- excellent! Even better than I remembered!
- Terry Pratchett, Night Watch -- excellent! Discworld AND time-travel in one book!
- Barry Hughart, The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox -- Brilliant! These three stories, collected together, are excellent and fresh; high fantasy based in China and using Chinese myths!
- Terry Pratchett, Jingo -- re-read, courtesy Robert "nojay" Sneddon from Scotland :)
- David Weber, The Short, Victorious War -- re-read
- David Weber, Honor of the Queen -- re-read
- Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Dune: House Corrino -- excellent!
- Dan Simmons, The Fall of Hyperion -- Excellent! THIS one has a more-complete ending. :)
- David Weber, War of Honor (hardback) -- very good to excellent. The slow beginning eventually got more active, and it was worth the wait. :)
- Patrick O'Brian, Master and Commander -- re-read, still excellent. :)
- David Weber, On Basilisk Station -- re-read, and also still excellent :)
- David Weber (ed.), Worlds of Honor -- Excellent!
All the stories are good except the last one, which is okay-y-y-y-y......
- David Brin, Foundation's Triumph -- very good.
- Greg Bear, Foundation and Chaos -- very good.
- Gregory Benford, Foundation's Fear -- Very good. There were
a few trouble spots, but overall not too bad.
- Andrew Collins, From the Ashes of Angels -- The Forbidden
Legacy of a Fallen Race -- fascinating! This is a treatise that
also forms the basis for Storm Constantine's Grigori "fallen angels
amongst us" trilogy. I don't hold with much of the theology behind
it (and apparently, neither does Collins), but his presentation of
historical evidence for "the Watcher culture" is excellent.
- Dan Simmons, Hyperion -- Very good. I was a bit
startled by the non-ending. Don't expect much of a conclusion
here; this is basically a "teaser." It's great storytelling, but
I'm startled it won the Hugo and the Nebula with such an abrupt
ending (and, at the time, no following volume). Still, it's clear
the Hugo and Nebula voters could see the brilliance here, and with
- Storm Constantine, Way of Light -- Excellent! The ending is a bit too "pat," but this is still a tidy ending to the trilogy.
- Terry Pratchett and Paul Kidby (illus.), The Last Hero -- Excellent! The illustrations alone are worth the hefty price!
- Terry Pratchett -- The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents -- Excellent! Although marketed as a Discworld book for juveniles, it's as good as any of the other standalone books.
- Larry Niven and Stephen Barnes, Saturn's Race -- very good. Not quite up to their usual standards, however.
- Larry Niven, Rainbow Mars -- Excellent! This is a collection of old and new time-travel stories featuring Svetz, Niven's reluctant but staunch chrononaut. The new story is excellent; perfect Niven form.
- Robert A. Heinlein, Have Spacesuit Will Travel -- excellent! Discovering that, hey presto, there's a Robert Heinlein book I haven't read is like finding a $20 bill stuffed in your couch. Unlooked-for treasure!
- Larry Niven, Crashlander -- Excellent. Beowulf Schaffer has always been one of my favorite Niven characters. The framing story is good, too.
- Tad Williams, Otherland Vol 4: Sea of Silver Light (hardback) -- Excellent! Great ending to this series!
- David Brin, Heaven's Reach -- Excellent! I waited far too long to finish this series....
- Tad Williams, Otherland Vol 3: Mountain of Black Glass -- Excellent!
- Anne McCaffrey, The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall -- very good to excellent. It's neet to see the 'historical connection' between the original settling of Pern and the loss of most of their technology.
- Anne McCaffrey, The Dolphins of Pern -- I'd forgotten I'd read this before, and bought it again. :)
- Tad Williams, Otherland Vol 2: River of Blue Fire -- Excellent!
- Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Dune: House Harkonnen -- Excellent!
- Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Dune: House Atreides -- Excellent! Not as good as Dune but that's hardly a condemnation, either. :)
- Tad Williams, Otherland Vol 1: City of Golden Light -- Excellent! Much better than the back-cover blurb implied! Don't want to give too much away, but VR is involved. Time to hunt down the next book!
- David Weber, Worlds of Honor #3: Changer of Worlds -- Excellent! BTW, what happened to #1 and #2? :)
- Anne McCaffrey, Dragonseye -- Excellent! This one is set during the second Pass, and it's neet viewing the Pern colony in a state of transition from advanced technology to none.
- Michael Moorcock, The Dreamthief's Daughter -- Excellent! Slow start but a great Von Bek/Elric novel. Nice return to form by my friend in Texas.
- Harry Turtledove, Colonization: Down to Earth -- Excellent! Second book in the series.
- Harry Turtledove, Colonization: Second Contact -- Excellent! Great continuation of this series, c. 20 Terran years later....
- Harry Turtledove, Worldwar: Striking the Balance -- re-read the last part to get ready for the Colonization series. :)
- Anne McCaffrey, The Masterharper of Pern -- Excellent! Nice return to the timeframe of the first series. I hadn't kept up with the recent books in the Pern saga.
- Michael Moorcock and Storm Constantine, Silverheart -- Excellent! This came as a complete surprise; I didn't know they were done with it. Great collaboration between two author-friends of mine!
- Michael Moorcock, Sailing to Utopia -- Varied. Contains three relatively short novels plus a novella, which tended to increase in quality during the book.
- David Feintuch, Patriarch's Hope -- Very good. There are still some serious problems with this series -- the notion of a fleet of around a hundred warships bringing food in from out-system to save Earth's teeming billions from starvation is quite laughable,
and Feintuch's sudden preoccupation with environmentalism seems a bit silly. Still, the ending is as gripping as you'd ever want.
- Raymond E. Feist, Krondor - The Assassins -- Excellent! Another great entry in the realm of Midkemia. (I'd still looove to see some more stuff written about the Tsurani side.)
- Raymond E. Feist, Krondor - The Betrayal -- Excellent! Better than I'd expected for a game tie-in, but then again, Feist insisted on writing it himself. :)
- Terry Pratchett, The Truth (Hardback) -- Excellent! There's a reason why Pratchett is the bestselling author in England. :)
- Anne Rice, Memnoch the Devil -- Excellent! I'd skipped this one by accident, but went back and found it used after finishing Armand. She has returned to form.
- James W. Huston, The Price of Power -- Very good. Not quite as good as Tom Clancy's stuff despite the Washington Post's blurb. :)
- Robert Jordan, Winter's Heart -- Excellent! Actually worth the wait. Still overwritten, but the ending makes up for it.
- George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords -- Excellent! This series is quite a ride!
- George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings (reread) -- excellent, but I've read it before. Wanted to get reacquainted with the realm. :)
- Anne Rice, The Vampire Armand -- Excellent! Much better than Tale of the Body Thief.
- Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent -- Excellent! See, there's a reason why Terry is Britain's best-selling author!
- Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant (Brit. hardback) -- Excellent!
- Tom Clancy, Executive Orders -- Excellent! Clancy writing about Jack Ryan as President is every bit as good as Clancy writing about Ryan the spook. :)
- Storm Constantine, Crown of Silence -- Excellent! Sequel to the first book in the Magravandian Trilogy, Sea Dragon Heir, this one has a very bittersweet ending. It's also similar to its counterpart in the Wraeththu trilogy in that the story starts out with mostly new characters...but never fear; there's a clear link back to book 1. :)
- David Weber, Ashes of Victory (hardback) -- Excellent! The ending is perhaps a bit "pat," and it's easy to see where David's going with it, but wow, talk about sudden changes in government!
- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire -- Excellent! These really are as good as the hype.
- Patrick Robinson, H.M.S. Unseen -- very good techno-thriller. Characterization in some spots seemed a bit off....
- James P. Hogan, Star Child -- Excellent!
- Tom Clancy, Debt of Honor -- Excellent!
- Niven, Pournelle and Barnes, Beowulf's Children -- Very good to excellent. I'd read the prequel a long time ago; this one is a worthy successor. Only complaint is that the Star Born seemed to act a bit too rashly in spots.
- James P. Hogan, Minds, Machines and Evolution -- Excellent! His fictional short pieces are a bit hit-or-miss here, but his nonfiction pieces make up for them, particularly "Know Nukes," which any anti-nuclear activist should be required to read. :)
- Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum -- Excellent! Quite a bit of action in this one, and the vampires are genuinely nasty. :) (British paperback)
- Terry Pratchett, Hogfather -- Excellent! (A re-read, to my surprise; I'd forgotten I'd read it :)
- David Weber, Echoes of Honor -- Excellent! As Anne McCaffrey puts it, "Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!" Damnit, where's the next book?
- David Weber (ed.), More Than Honor -- Very good to excellent collection of stories. Finally, we get to see what happened on Haven during the Leveler Uprising!
- S.P. Somtow, Vanitas -- Very good. Not quite as compelling as the previous books in the series, though.
- David Gemmell, The Legend of Deathwalker -- Excellent!
- David Gemmell, Waylander -- Excellent!
- Alfred Lansing, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage -- Excellent!. Incredible true story.
- David Gemmell, Druss the Legend -- Excellent!
- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban -- Excellent! These really are as delightful as you've heard. Great kids' books but fun for adults as well.
- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets -- Excellent!
- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone -- Excellent!
- S.P. Somtow, Vampire Junction -- Very good to excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, Blue at the Mizzen -- Excellent! If this is truly
the end of the ride for Captain Aubrey and his particular friend Dr. Stephen Maturin, then it's been a great ride, for all love!
O'Brian is the world's greatest living novelist and the world's best-ever historical novelist. :)
- David Weber, Honor Among Enemies -- Excellent!
- David Weber, Flag in Exile -- Excellent!
- David Weber, Field of Dishonor -- Excellent!
- David Weber, The Short Victorious War -- Excellent!
- David Weber, The Honor of the Queen -- Excellent! Always love a good military space/SF tale!
- Tom Clancy, Rainbow Six -- Excellent!
I've skipped a few of these in the meantime, oops, but I'll remedy that
shortly. It's kinda weird picking the series up after a few books and
wondering how the hell Jack Ryan got to be President -- not that he didn't
- Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm -- Very good to
excellent. The only weak point: we really don't quite know -how-
Andrea Gail sank, or when. Otherwise, a great book.
(recommended by a co-worker, Jim McGoldrick; thanks Jim!)
- S.P. Somtow (Somtow Suchariktul), Valentine -- Very good.
I'd have enjoyed this one more had I read its prequel Vampire
Junction. A bit silly in parts but overall very good.
- David Gemmell, In the Realm of the Wolf -- Very good.
This one also, I should have preceded with its prequels.
I'll have to find them soonly. :)
- Storm Constantine, Sea Dragon Heir --
Excellent! First book of a new trilogy which Tor Books has
(finally!) picked up for publication in the States after a long Storm
drought. Only caveat I have is that, like most first books in a
trilogy, it has a slightly less-than-complete ending...but them
again, the first and last Wraeththu books had similar endings and
they're still terrific. :) This is the British edition from Gollancz,
kindly sent to me by Storm, in exchange for good incense which we
apparently have at better prices here in the States. :)
- Storm Constantine, The Thorn Boy -- Excellent.
This is a quite racy short-novel published in Australia --
homoerotic, but that shouldn't dissuade anyone who's read Storm's
best stuff in the past, either. Kindly sent to me by Storm as
part of the incense trade. :)
- Terry Pratchett, Maskerade --
Excellent! I somehow managed to bypass this one when it
- Michael Moorcock, The War Amongst the Angels -- Good.
Has one of the slowest starts of ANY book I've ever read (the
first c. 35 pages are all exposition and no dialogue, period), but
the middle and ending tighten up a lot.
- Storm Constantine, The Oracle Lips -- Very good to excellent.
This is a story collection and although some aren't great, most of them are. :)
Published (and kindly sent to me gratis) by Stark House,
which is quite ironic considering I've just read two books by George
R.R. Martin featuring "House Stark." :)
- Storm Constantine, Thin Air -- Very good! A
contemporary dark fantasy/horror crossover, with some neet
concepts. Kindly sent to me by Storm from the UK.
- George "Railroad" Martin, A Clash of Kings --
excellent! Easily the best new fantasy series I've started
in the last year.
- George "Railroad" Martin, A Game Of
Thrones -- excellent! Great start to a fantasy series,
now I have to go buy book two. :)
- David Brin, Infinity's Shore -- Very good! The only problem
is the reallllly fuckin' annoying abrupt ending. Worse, there's a sizeable
glossary and such in the back, so you come upon the end with no warning. Aggh!
- Terry Pratchett, Jingo -- Very good! Gotta love the Ankh-Morpork City
Watch, an inspiration to police officers everywhere. :)
- David Weber, On Basilisk Station --
Excellent! I'll have to get more of these. Much like C.S.
Forester/Horatio Hornblower in space, these are a bit better than
David Feintuch's Midshipman's Hope series.
- Terry Goodkind, Temple Of The Winds --
excellent again! Can't wait for book 5, now. :)
- Terry Goodkind, Blood of the Fold -- Excellent again!
- Terry Goodkind, Stone of Tears -- Excellent again!
I'm very happy now to have discovered his Sword of Truth series.
- Patrick O'Brian,
The Hundred Days -- very good. Two important character
deaths didn't seem to be handled too expressively by O'Brian,
whose real last name, we now discover, is actually Russ. If
you're gonna kill someone off, at least use it as fodder for the
main characters to deal with.... This is apparently the second to last
book in this outstanding, landmark series. Highly recommended!
- Robert Jordan, Path of Daggers (hardback) -- Very
good, although the standard disclaimer applies: couldn't we have
accomplished this in about half the pages with less "fluff"?
- Robert Jordan, Crown of Swords -- reread the last fourth of
the book to get reacquainted with Jordan's infamously complex plotting. :)
- Terry Goodkind, Wizard's First Rule --
Excellent! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this
fantasy series. Thanks to several friends who recommended him
- Tom Cool, Secret Realms -- Good. This was a
gift from the author himself (we shared a cab back to BWI from
Worldcon in Baltimore in August). Much like Ender's Game
plot-wise, but there are unique wrinkles here. Some parts were a
bit "pat" and the proofreader at Tor wasn't too hot. :)
- Tom Clancy, The Sum Of All Fears --
Excellent! No-one does it like Clancy does.
- Elizabeth Moon, The Legacy of Gird -- Excellent!
Trade-paperback prequel to The Deed of Paksennarion.
- Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times --
Excellent! Much better than Feet of Clay; indeed,
this is the best Discworld novel in a couple of years!
- David Brin, Brightness Reef -- Excellent, but there is
no discrete ending. Oh, well; the next book is also out in
- Larry Niven, Destiny's Road -- Excellent, although the
ending lacks a bit of "punch." Great concept work here, reminiscent of
John Myers Myers' legendary Silverlock.
- Michael Moorcock, Fabulous Harbors (story collection)
-- uneven, but generally better than I expected.
- Linda Nagata, The Bohr Maker -- Good. Some of her
details seem a bit on the "SF for SF's sake, damnit!" side, but
otherwise this is fine. Some fun with gender roles, here, too.
- Harry Turtledove, Worldwar: Striking the Balance --
Excellent. Great series!
- PADI Open Water Diving Manual. A gift from a diver
concerned about my "underwater coke bottle" scuba-tank page.
Someday I'll take lessons. Came with its nifty recreational dive
table, of course.
- Terry Pratchett, The Carpet People -- Very good. Co-written with
Terry Pratchett, age 17.
- Terry Pratchett, Hogfather -- excellent!
- Final Truth: The Autobiography of Mass Murderer and Serial
Killer Donald "Pee Wee" Gaskins -- Unquestionably the most chilling
-- and yet, oddly engaging -- book I've ever read. Not for the
- Harry Turtledove, World War: Upsetting the Balance -- Excellent!
This is really good alternate-history stuff. It's 1941. World War II is
raging full-force -- and at that moment, a powerful, advanced alien invasion
force enters the fray....
- Harry Turtledove, World War: Tilting the Balance -- Good to excellent!
- Harry Turtledove, World War: In the Balance -- Good to excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, The Unknown Shore -- excellent!
Ahh, it's great to "ship out" once again under the watchful, expert eye of
Mr. O'Brian, a right capital seaman and one of the world's finest living
writers. This book describes the same real-life journey as in his excellent
The Golden Ocean, but from the perspective of two characters who weren't
quite as lucky.....
- Storm Constantine, Three Heralds of the Storm (3-story
chapbook) -- Good. This little tome was dedicated to me. :)
- Mary Rosenblum, Stone Garden -- Very good. Same-sex
and hetero relationships of all kinds here, refreshingly
portrayed in a decent SF setting.
- David Gemmell, The King Beyond the Gate -- Very good. Sequel
to Legend, this book is almost as good. Oddly enough I had
read it a while back but had forgotten all the details, prompting
me to think I had started reading it and lost it before I could
finish. As I read the book, I kept experiencing deja vu and
when I got to the end, I realized that I had actually finished it
at some point but had flagged it as "lost, unfinished" in my
memory. Really weird feeling!
- Janny Wurts, Master of White Storm -- Pretty good.
Although the adventures of the main character are interesting, it
seemed to me the ending lacked some luster; maybe he could have
exacted some revenge on the slavers who'd enslaved him back in the
- Storm Constantine, Stealing Sacred Fire -- Excellent!
Third in the Grigori trilogy, this is the widest-ranging, most ambitious book in the
series by far. It really makes me start thinking about travel plans for the
New Millenium. :)
- Clive Barker, The Great and Secret Show -- very good, weird and twisted,
though not quite as compelling as Imajica was.
- J. Gregory Keyes, The Waterborn -- Excellent debut fantasy novel.
- Michael Moorcock, Tales From the Texas Woods -- Very
good. Surprisingly I enjoyed the "historical" stories the most,
some Westerns (one old, one new) and a Sherlock Holmes adventure.
- Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay -- Very good. Not quite
as fun as most of Terry's Discworld books, but still quite
- Larry Niven, The Ringworld Throne -- Very good. I actually
reread this again 'cause I got a bit confused at the end. Still, it's
better than I expected from unfavorable online reviews.
- Patrick O'Brian,
The Golden Ocean -- Excellent! This is perhaps a bit more
accessible than his Aubrey/Maturin series since it's
self-contained, and it has at least as much, maybe more, dry humor.
- L. Ron Hubbard, Ole Doc Methuselah -- Only fair, and now
quite dated. Some of the SF is still a bit too "gosh-wow."
- Storm Constantine, "Paragenesis" -- Excellent!
A beginnings-of-Wraeththu short story, to be published in the
forthcoming Crow anthology!
- C.S. Forester, The Good Shepherd -- Excellent WW
II-era depiction of escorts protecting a convoy from U-boats.
- Rex Miller, Spike Team -- manuscript for 23,000-word
novella that needed lots of cutting (or better yet, burial). A
freelance editing assignment; frankly, this stank.
- Michael McCollum, The Sails of Tau Ceti -- Good, but a bit clunky.
- Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies -- Great!
- Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms -- Great!
- Larry Niven, Flatlander -- very good to excellent stories.
- Raymond Feist, Rage of a Demon King -- Excellent! Doesn't end like the third book in a trilogy, either....
- Michael Moorcock, Blood -- A Southern Fantasy -- Good, although
MM's take on racism in the South is more than a little disturbing.
- Michael Moorcock, Lunching With the Antichrist -- Some
stories good, some fair.
- Elizabeth Moon, The Deed of Paksennarion -- Excellent!
A look at life in a mercenary company. Good, strong female lead
- Clive Barker, Imajica -- Outstanding! This would make a terrific film!
- Christopher Priest, Indoctrinaire -- Very good. An old book but not too dated. Weird going for a long time, but it finally sorts out. Sad ending, though.
- Storm Constantine, Aleph -- Very good! Sequel to Monstrous Regiment
- Storm Constantine, The Monstrous Regiment -- Very good; much better
than I thought it would be from the back-cover blurb and online comments.
- Rob Wyche, Alien -- A co-worker's manuscript; needs a lot of work.
- Yvonne Navarro, Afterage -- Very good. I might have
saved a few more of the main characters, but hey, it's horror. :)
For a debut novel, it's excellent.
- Allan Cole & Chris Bunch, The Far Kingdoms -- Good. A
bit clunky in spots and I think the characterization was a bit off, but not bad.
- James P. Hogan, Endgame Enigma -- Very good; better than I was expecting. Still like his straight SF better, though. :)
- Dean King et al., Harbors and High Seas [nonfiction] -- Good reference
- Storm Constantine, Scenting Hallowed Blood -- Excellent!
Sequel to the also-excellent Stalking Tender Prey; second in
her Grigori trilogy about angels on Earth after the Fall. These books will
finally be published in the States in 1998 by Meisha Merlin Publishers.
- Patrick O'Brian, The Yellow Admiral (hardback) -- Excellent!
- Storm Constantine, Sign for the Sacred -- Very good!
Much better than the back-cover blurb had me thinking! Many of
Storm's books feature characters with mesmerizing charisma;
Resenence Jeopardy from this book is one of them.
- Tad Williams, To Green Angel Tower Part 2 -- Excellent! I was quite impressed with this series, and it now ranks among the best fantasy series I've read -- and I'm not exactly untraveled in that department. :)
- Tad Williams, To Green Angel Tower Part 1 -- Excellent!
- Tad Williams, The Stone of Farewell -- Excellent!
- Robert L. Forward and Julie Forward Fuller, Rescued From
Paradise -- good, but sometimes drags into a technical lecture
at the expense of the plot and the characters.
- Tad Williams, The Dragonbone Chair -- Excellent!
- Terry Pratchett, F/a/u/s/t/ Eric -- Excellent. Funny as usual for Pratchett, but just a bit too short. Nice to see the return of the Luggage. :)
- David Brin, Glory Season -- Excellent, although the bittersweet ending lacks a bit.
- Raymond E. Feist, Rise of a Merchant Prince -- Very
good. Not as world-shaking as the preceding book but then again, I
knew it wouldn't be when I started. :)
- Mercedes Lackey, The Eagle and the Nightingales -- Fair. Her target for preaching seems to be big-business this time
around, and the ending and the culprit were telegraphed a mile away. The rather pat solution to the Church's unhealthy
involvement in Book 2 was disappointing, too.
- Robert Jordan, A Crown of Swords -- Excellent. A bit slow starting out of the gate, but at the end of this one we reealllly feel the bite of knowing it'll be a year before the next one!
- Storm Constantine, "Remedy of the Bane," Realms of Fantasy August 1996 -- good short-story. I've been missing out. :)
- Mercedes Lackey, The Robin and the Kestrel -- Good, although a little preachy and there's way too many italics.
- James P. Hogan, Out of Time -- Fair. Cookie-cutter characters, and it's way too short for the price.
- James P. Hogan, The Immortality Option. -- Good, although a bit corny in parts (goes a bit too far for the occasional pun).
- Michael McCollum, Procyon's Promise -- Good. (reread)
- Patrick O'Brian, The Rendezvous -- short stories, variable in quality.
- Storm Constantine, Stalking Tender Prey -- Excellent! It's either dark fantasy or horror, but great either way.
- Patrick O'Brian, The Commodore -- Excellent!
- Mercedes Lackey, Storm Warning -- Very good, but she uses so many italics. You can tell a woman is writing these.
- Patrick O'Brian, The Wine-Dark Sea -- Very good!
- Patrick O'Brian, The Truelove -- Excellent!
- David Feintuch, Fisherman's Hope -- Excellent. The end to this trilogy, but the series was extended. Guess the money was too green for David F.
- David Feintuch, Prisoner's Hope -- Very good (reread)
- Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation -- Excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, The Thirteen-Gun Salute -- Excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, The Letter of Marque -- Excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, The Reverse of the Medal -- Excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World -- Excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, Treason's Harbor -- Excellent!
- Anne McCaffrey, The Dolphins of Pern -- Good.
- Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission -- Excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, The Surgeon's Mate -- Excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, The Fortune of War -- Excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, Desolation Island -- Excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, The Mauritius Command -- Excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, HMS Surprise -- Excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, Post-Captain -- Excellent!
- Patrick O'Brian, Master and Commander -- excellent! This historical novel (British age of fighting sail) begins
the mighty Aubrey/Maturin series.
- Terry Pratchett, Soul Music -- Very good.
- David Feintuch, Prisoner's Hope -- Very good. Yet
more Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey in space. :)
- David Gemmell, The King Beyond the Gate -- Very good
sequel to Legend.
- Pratchett and Gaiman, Good Omens -- Excellent!
- Robert Rankin, The Book of Ultimate Truths -- Excellent!
- Philip K. Dick, Galactic Pot-Healer -- good, quirky
SF from a master.
- Vernor Vinge, The Witling -- Very good to excellent. Better than I was led to expect!
- Barbara Hambly, Those Who Hunt the Night -- Good, though with one faux-pas.
- Keith Laumer, Retief: Emissary to the Stars -- Good.
- David Feintuch, Challenger's Hope -- Very good.
- Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash -- Very good, but it has a
- David Gemmell, Legend -- Very good. A freebie at
Dragon*Con, and glad I am of it.
- Terry Pratchett, Small Gods -- Excellent!
- Michael McCollum, Antares Dawn -- Fair to good.
- Storm Constantine, Calenture -- Good (and delightfully
weird). Floating cities and more fun.
- Robert Silverberg, The Mountains of Majipoor --
Disappointing. Too short, for starters.... Not a worthy
continuation of one of my favorite series.
- Judith Tarr, Throne of Isis -- Very Good.
- Clifford Stoll, Silicon Snake Oil -- Excellent!
Cliff's views are guaranteed to be annoying to devoted netheads,
but he makes ya think. The Atlanta paper recently printed a
letter I sent to them making the same points
that Cliff does in his book and live presentations.
- Robert Jordan, Lord of Chaos -- Excellent!
- Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven (re-read) -- Very Good
- David Feintuch, Midshipman's Hope -- Excellent! Horatio Hornblower or Jack Aubrey in space.
- Storm Constantine, Wraeththu -- (reread) Excellent!
- Glen Cook, Swordbearer -- Disappointing! Seemingly a
cheap pastiche of Moorcock's soulstealing Stormbringer stories,
and poorly-written in spots: referring to a demons' convention in
the middle of a fantasy book is a good way to drop me out of
- Tom Clancy, Without Remorse -- Very Good.
- Storm Constantine, Hermetech -- Very Good. Her first
book after Wraeththu, this one also features some
delightful blurring of traditional sexual roles, this time in a
well-imagined SF setting.
- Storm Constantine, Burying the Shadow -- Excellent! A more-adult version of the vampire myth, well-crafted.
- Mark Shepherd, Elvendude -- Good. "Elves in the
mall." Well, cool, especially if they're cute. :)
Books finished |
Inbound books |
Paul Cashman's home page |
My current musical vibes