Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Books that surprised me this year

Since I tend to screen carefully what books I buy to read, I rarely am really dissapointed in a book, so this year I do not have yet a major dissapointment like Romanitas by S. McDougall last year (could not read it and I ordered it from England so I paid the shipping on it too; this author is on my ignore list from now on), or Iron Council by C. Mieville in 2004, which I read but was dissapointed by after the stellar Perdido Street Station and (my favourite) Scar.
The politics of Iron Council hammered at me the wrong way (I hate marxism/socialism with a passion after living in an workers paradise state for 21 years) and there was nothing new from the BasLag universe for me to gloss over the politics. But China Mieville is still on my bop list and I got Looking for Jake and enjoyed the stories that I've read so far (maybe I had too high expectations for Iron Council), and I am looking forward to his next novel scheduled for 2007.

This year the big positive surprises were:

- books by Steve Jordan a self-published ebook author of which I purchased all and read almost all, 2 of them Evoguia and Factory Orbit being as good as anything print published, while the others were good to ok, but still enjoyable and containing interesting ideas
(http://www.stevejordanbooks.com/author.htm)

- Eclipse by KA Bedford - I got both books of Mr. Bedford and once when leafing through my unread pile to decide what to read next, Eclipse grabbed me and I finished it that night; very very good

- Infoquake by D. Edelman - books about bio/nano/cyber whatever that flatten the human society to one or two characteristics are in general hit or miss for me depending on characters and style (I never got W. Gibson, N. Stephenson or B. Sterling for example, all being on my ignore list, but I like MM Buckner, C. Moriarty, the early JC Grimwood and Justina Robson books for example); so after reading some excerpts on Mr. Edelman's web site I decided to get Infoquake, what surprised me is how much I liked it and the sequel is read on release.

Also though not a surprise strictly speaking, Gradisil by Adam Roberts is a brilliant literary sf book. The only reason I did not mention in my earlier post is that is a book you do not finish in one reading, like a meal by a brilliant chef you gotta stop and enjoy the texture.

Liviu

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