Thursday, December 15, 2022

What I've Been Reading

Herewith, some of the more memorable books Your Humble Narrator read this year:


The Ballad of Black Tom: Say what you will about Cthulhu, at least he isn’t a damn racist.


Between Two Fires: Demonic hordes invade western Europe during the Black Death. Piling on, one might say. This is - no lie - the best fantasy novel I’ve read since N.K. Jemisin’s Fifth Season.


Danubia: Essentially, the Habsburgs were all magic-users.


The Dawn of Everything: Very long, and not entirely convincing. But Graeber and Wengrow have persuaded me that inequality is not a prerequisite for complex societies.


Echogenesis: A crashed-spaceship story infused with eau d’Edge of Tomorrow. All of the parts are derivative, but the execution is original.


Invisible Sun: Stross didn’t want to write this novel, but he did so anyway, and did so competently. Yay?


Lost Tribes Found: The “Indians are the Ten Lost Tribes” trope was invented by whites but employed by some Native Americans for political reasons.


Midwest Futures: The Midwest has always been a Gernsbackian sci-fi story disguised as a self-satisfied just-so story.


Ogres: Another “is it sci-fi or fantasy?” mystery. Well plotted and a quick read.


The Power Broker: “Baby Screamed; Rat in Crib” should have been Robert Moses’ epitaph.


Saga, volume 10: Superbly written; worth the three-year wait.


Superman: Red Son: This is the only Superman movie I’d willingly watch.


Tobacco Road: Reading this was like spending all night in a cheap brothel, then taking a bath in a pig wallow.


Walking to Aldebaran: A science-fictional First Contact story meets Dungeons and Dragons, with lots of bloody body-horror mixed in. Whoever is re-making Alien should film this instead.


William Howard Taft: Several American presidents didn’t really want the office. Taft was one. What he really wanted was a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. And so it came to pass.

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