Year of Science Fiction Update

It’s been a while since I discussed my ongoing Year of Science Fiction, so I figured I should post a few remarks about some of the novels I’ve read since June. Like before, some of it I’ve really enjoyed, and some of it not so much, for a variety of reasons.

Fringe: The Zodiac Paradox: I’ve posted before about my love for the TV show Fringe, so naturally I had to pick up this novel tie-in by Christa Faust. These kinds of novels can be hit or miss, but Faust crafted an excellent story. The show’s canon characters are handled expertly and the scenario is reminiscent of some of the most exciting episodes of Fringe. Looking forward to reading the next two books in this series.

Ender’s Game: Also an excellent novel, and the first I’ve read of Card’s fiction (though his Guide to Sci Fi and Fantasy is a permanent fixture in my office). Card has created such deep, tragic characters who are all trapped by the necessity to safeguard humanity, and the most captivating part of this novel is seeing how they deal with the choices they have to make. My only criticism of the novel is the ending, which seemed to drag on considerably, almost as a deliberate set-up for the next 3 or so sequels that Card wrote. Not a huge issue, of course, and one that didn’t detract from the excellence of the rest of the story.

2312: I chose this book as my first experience of Kim Stanley Robinson’s writing … and found it to be kind of mediocre. Sadly, 2312 is a bit too literary for my tastes. The world that Robinson has created is just as compelling as Card’s, but it feels like the people in it are just floating around without much idea of what they’re doing. Now, if this was Robinson’s intention as part of a wider theme, sweet – but it’s still not for me. Hopefully Red Mars is more my taste.

Metro 2033: It’s not every day that I read works by Russian writers. Glukhovsky’s novel is interesting in the way that he imagines life post-nuclear holocaust, as humanity struggles to survive underground. I was surprised by the novel’s supernatural elements, and to be honest skipped over a few sections where the story dragged through tunnel descriptions and historical overviews, but overall it was a decent novel. Definitely a good choice for fans of the post-apocalyptic genre.

Next on my List:

  • Wool (Hugh Howey) – still waiting on my copy from the library
  • Neuromancer (William Gibson)
  • Red Mars (Robinson)
  • House of Suns (Alastair Reynolds)
  • The Snow (Adam Roberts)
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