Visions of Paradise

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Books to Read

I keep several extensive lists on my computer, including Recommended Reading lists (which I have discussed here on 5/20/06) and Books To Read. The latter are books which I have already purchased but sit unread in my collection. Here are some of the sf books on that list with comments on each.

Inheritor, by C.J. Cherryh: I read the first two novels in this initial Foreigner trilogy, and I bought this third book about a month ago. I plan to read it during Christmas week when I will have much more uninterrupted reading time than I have during school.

Scout’s Progress, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller: This is the second Liaden novel in the collection Pilot’s Choice. The first novel was promising, so I hope to read this second one sometime in 2007.

Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, by Samuel R. Delany: Delany was one of my favorite writers of the 60s/70s, but I don’t read books in series until the entire series is complete. This novel was published in 1984, and a follow-up The Splendor and Misery of Bodies, of Cities was promised for 1985. 20 years later I guess it is time to admit that Delany lost interest in the second book and I should read the first one.

The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson: I started reading this book a decade ago when I was still recovering from my one-year burnout on sf, so I lost interest in it after about 20 pages. But a few years later I read and totally enjoyed Cryptonomicom, so I think I should give this book another try.

Galactic North, by Alastair Reynolds: Having loved his trilogy Revelation Space, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap, I ordered this collection from, and it arrived a mere two days after it was shipped. Since it is part of my Christmas present, I am resisting reading it until at least the morning of December 25th!

Resplendent, by Stephen Baxter: Like Reynolds, I have always enjoyed what short fiction I have read by Baxter in various anthologies and best-of-the-year volumes, so when this book was published in England, I ordered it from It is the book I am reading currently (alternating with The Space Opera Renaissance).

Stories of Your Life
, by Ted Chiang: If there is a better short fiction writer in sf I have not discovered him. Although I have read virtually all these stories previously, they are good enough to own and read in one volume.

Castle of Days, by Gene Wolfe: Having reread the entire Book of the New Sun series a few years ago, I bought this book as a bridge before starting Wolfe’s other two series Book of the Long Sun and Book of the Short Sun. But it is hard to find time to read such thoughtful, intertwined series, so I have been hesitating reading these books.

Off the Main Sequence, by Robert Heinlein: I always enjoyed Heinlein’s short fiction better than many of his novels, particularly The Past Through Tomorrow future history stories. I think this will be an enjoyable book when I find time to read it.

Temeraire, by Naomi Novik: great reviews, historical fiction, dragons! What more could I want in great reading? This is another book (or at least one of the 3 novels included therein) I hope to read during Christmas vacation.

Ilium / Olympos, by Dan Simmons. Since I loved his Hyperion Cantos so much, I have high expectations for these two books. But their length make finding time to read them inconvenient. Hopefully next summer.

I also have a considerably longer list of historical fiction and nonfiction which I have bought but not read. I’ll just list a few of those titles without comment:

Empress, by Shan Sa
The Last Witchfinder, by James Morrow
The Cider House Rules, by John Irving
The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
The March, by E.L. Doctorow
Ramayana, by Kamala Subramaniam
A Traveler in Rome, by H.V. Morton
Charlemagne, by Derek Wilson
Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling, by Ross King
The Empire of Genghis Khan, by Stanley Stewart

So many books, so little time!!!


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