Ahoy there mateys! Me noggin’ has a lot to keep track of like pillaging, plunder, and booty! But it’s that time again. So back in 2015 I was mesmerized by the John W. Campbell award finalists and was determined to read them all. Why that year versus any other year? I have no idea. But since that time me determination has not waivered. Getting copies of the novels and the time to read them were more of the problem. Then in 2018, I finally made it to the half-way point and made an official tally so the information be in one place. So where be I two years later? Currently 11/16.
Books Plundered in 2019 – book titles link to Goodreads
- the bees (Laline Paull) – a 19 in 2019 book, it’s been described as both “The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hunger Games” and “Charlotte’s Web meets the Game of Thrones.” I didn’t think it was either of those descriptions and it bee (ha!) it’s own very odd thing. I rather liked it and want to read more of the author’s work. For me review click here.
- wolves (Simon Ings) – this is about augmented reality and I have to admit that it didn’t sound super appealing. This was gonna be one of me 19 in 2019 books but the library didn’t have a copy. So then I was gonna read his book hot head instead but when I went to get it, the library had unloaded this book from their catalogue! Not a good sign. I ended up downloading an Amazon sample to see if I liked it. No. In fact I disliked it so much that I abandoned that book and I am gonna abandon this one too. The writing is just not for me.
Books Plundered Prior to 2019 – book titles link to Goodreads
- the race (Nina Allan) – I absolutely loved this book and it marked what I thought was the half-way point. It be a hard one to explain. For me review – click here. I am not sure if I want to read her 2019 novel but I would like to read some of her novellas.
- defenders (Will McIntosh) – this was a fun book from one of me favourite authors that deals with machines that humans create to defeat aliens. But then the machines begin to fight humans! I have reviewed five of Matey McIntosh’s novels here in me log but have read seven of them altogether. In the last two years, I have still not read his two 2017 novels or any of his novellas. I should work on that. To see me reviews of his work to date – click here and head to the letter “M is for Marooned!”
- afterparty (Daryl Gregory) – this be one of the earliest titles logged here. Though I thought the topic would not be to me taste, the excellent writing and fun plot made this a very good read. For me review – click here. I also have read and reviewed spoonbenders (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi), raising stony mayhall (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi), and pandemonium (Walk the Plank – Fantasy). I really need to read more of his backlist.
- the three-body problem (Liu Cixin, Ken Liu: translator) – this be sad to admit but I abandoned ship on this novel about 2/3 of the way through. The beginning was wonderful. But then it was so slow and bogged down with what I think was the hard science fiction part. I wish I could have finished it but didn’t feel intelligent enough to do so. Weird.
- station eleven (Emily St. John Mandel) – one of the best post-apocalyptic books I have ever read. Period. I was so sad that I didn’t have a log post of me impressions of the first time I read it that I re-read it and posted me Second Reflections. The audio book was great. I have since read the singer’s gun (Off the Charts – Murder Mystery) and mr. thursday (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi novella). Her newest novel the glass hotel comes out on 3/24/2020.
- lock in (John Scalzi) – I have read most of Scalzi’s work and featured him in me Broadside No. 5. This is was just an okay read for me and not one of me favourites by him. To see me reviews of his work to date – click here and head to the letter “S is for Starboard!”
- the martian (Andy Weir) – this was an absolutely fantastic book about a man who gets stranded on Mars. It is funny and dramatic. It had a surprisingly good movie adaptation too. Though I do think the book is leaps and bounds better.
- area x – the southern reach trilogy (Jeff VanderMeer) – I tried this book and got to the lighthouse section in part one before bailing in despair. This book has been described as “New Weird.” I describe it as “No Plot.” It has an interesting premise and some cool ideas and then does nothing useful with them. Just confusion. With more confusion in how they could possibly be making this into a movie. Ugh. I was extremely happy to abandon ship. The first mate spoiled the rest of the series for me and I be so glad I stopped when I did.
- a darkling sea (James L. Cambias) – okay so I apparently have read this one and promptly forgotten all about it. I did enjoy it, at least so says me Goodreads rating. A perusal of other crew members’ reviews did remind me of most of the plot and politics. But forgetting about it completely afterwards doesn’t truly bode well for it. Ugh. On the upside that means that I read another of the sixteen books so I am further along then I thought. Arrrr!
Books To Be Plundered –
books listed by priority and the titles link to Goodreads
- europe in autumn (Dave Hutchinson) – this is a spy thriller in the future described as “a thriller of espionage and the future which reads like the love child of John le Carré and Franz Kafka.” I’m in and I own this one now.
- the first fifteen lives of henry august (Claire North) – okay I own this one and have tried to read it twice. I made it partway through once and something distracted me and I had to put the book down. Lots of time passed before I could get back to it and by then me mood had changed. But I genuinely believe that I will like this book once I fully read it. I was introduced to her through the book touch which I enjoyed. I have at least five of her novels on me ports for plunder list.
- peripheral (William Gibson) – A game or a murder? Yup that still sounds like fun.
- echopraxia (Peter Watts) – this is book two of a series. I do own book one called blindsight and hope that I like it enough to read this one. I will not however read this one just to cross it off the list if book one turns out to not float me boat. But I have high hopes.
- bete (Adam Roberts) – the blurb about animal intelligence makes me not want to read this book. It sounds not to me taste. But me crew seems to like it and it’s on the list so I will give it a try. I did read an odd book of his called jack glass which I enjoyed and was super odd. Hopefully this novel will be more of the same.
Arrrrr me scads! And there be the list. Always remember:
Pillage first, then burn!
x The Captain