Wednesday, October 19, 2016

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

"His Majesty's Dragon" was the Hugo Award winner for 2007. I've had this book in my collection for a very long time. I think it was a first in a series special offer from Kindle a few years ago. I wonder why I waited so long to read it. This is one of my favorite reads of this year. It did give me pause when I saw there were 9 books in the series, the last one being published this year, so that probably means the author is not done. This one had a good ending so I can probably wait a while before diving into the others.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

“Bone Clocks” by David Mitchell, won the World Fantasy Award in 2015. It was also nominated for the Locus Award in the same year.

This audio book was divided into 6 sections and read by 5 different people. It is a very complex novel and I admit to having to rely on internet synopsis help occasionally. In the first part we meet Holly Sykes who is a fifteen-year-old runaway. Just as you are really getting into her story, the next section starts and then the books progressively jump ten or so years in each of the remaining five sections. Another person reads each section and all have ties to Holly. The last section is again narrated by Holly and brings all the plots and subplots together.

I got kind of bored in the middle. I am glad I stuck with it because the ending was really good. Overall, I liked the book and thought it was well worth the listen.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Nightwings by Robert Silverberg

“Nightwings” was written in three parts. The first part, “Nightwings”, was the 1969 Hugo Novella award winner. Two other parts, “Perris Way” (Paris) and “To Jorslem”(Jerusalem) were added later. 

The first part, takes place in Roum (Rome).  At a time in the far distant future, humanity has been divided into guilds, each with a specific job to do. In the first book, the Watcher travels to Roum with a guileless changing and a young, female night flyer. The Watchers job is to watch the sky for alien invasion. So much time has passed, that the Watchers are thought to be unnecessary and are not treated with much respect. While the Watcher is in Roum, the aliens strike. He sounds the alarm, but routine has gotten so lax, that the defenses fail and the aliens easily take over.

In “Perris Way”, the Watcher travels to Perris in the company of the blinded, displaced prince of Roum. The Watcher applies to become a member of the guild of remembrance since watchers are no longer needed. 

In “To Jorslem”, the Watcher makes a pilgrimage to Jorslem, where he again finds the night flyer and where he finds renewed hope and redemption. 

Robert Silverberg is the Grand Master for 2004.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Rolling Stones by Robert Heinlein

The Rolling Stones by Robert Heinlein - written in 1952 is very much a book of its time. Written for Scribner’s “juvenile boys” series, it follows one family’s foray into space. The main focus is a set of teenage twin boys who seem to land in all sorts of trouble including jail on Mars. The father is a writer of television sci-fi, the mother is a doctor, there is an older sister and a baby brother. Grandma is also along for the ride. The father very much reminds me of a man of the 50’s. I was a young child in the 50s and his “I should forbid you…” to his wife and his “I send my daughter to school and she is just going to get married…” are echoes of men of the 50’s (60's & 70's) backward thinking. There is also talk of punishment with belts and a lot of people yelling at their children to “shut up”. Grandma laments that the young girl would make a wonderful pilot, but everyone is so hesitate to take on a female pilot. I have to admit, it was hard to read at times and I am so, so happy that we have moved past, or at least I hope as a society we have moved past, that way of thinking.

Robert Heinlein was the Grand Master for 1975.