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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

Currently reading

The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Saturdays' Reads: A Spaceship Did It

Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie Blindsight - Peter Watts Incandescence - Greg Egan Falling Free - Lois McMaster Bujold Northwest of Earth (Complete Northwest Smith) - C.L. Moore

If I keep making short recommendation lists, you won't notice that I haven't written any new reviews in a while, right?


This week's list is all Space Opera all the time. And in spite of the name, there isn't a single Ian M. Banks Culture novel on it. Those books basically deserve their own list. 


  Ancillary Justice won all the awards last year. On the off chance that you live under a rock or spent the last two years dead and only recently got a new body, you may have somehow missed this one. It is part revenge tale, part contemplation on empires, part afternoon tea mixed together with a narrator that can't distinguish gender. The sequel made me cry, but in a good way. If you start right now, you'll be ready when the third, and final book drops later this year.


 Vampires in space! Okay, maybe just one vampire. In space. Our narrator's journal takes us through an ill fated first contact mission. Whether you're looking for exploration of the nature of consciousness, horror in space, or a lengthy bibliography examining how vampires could have existed and why crosses were protection against them, this is the book for you. 


 It's a rare book indeed that makes me wish there were more mathematical figures in the text. Adventurers get the opportunity to investigate a region of space typically sealed off to outsiders. A species of insect like creatures with a pre-industrial civilization derives relativity from first principles. This is a pretty unforgettable journey.


 This is the definitive space welding adventure. I know you're thinking, but DMS, every one of the expanse novels features at least one welding scene, and what about that Academy book where space welding saves the day? You aren't wrong, but this is still the best welding action out there. Also, some genetically modified humans, or something. WELDING IN SPACE.


 It's my list, I can add a collection of stories from the 30's if I want. Unlike the last three, this one isn't any degree of hard scifi. Han Sol - uh, Smith, yeah, that's it, Smith gets into scrapes with mythological space horrors. Really a lot of fun!


Anything else I absolutely should have included?