Dreams of the Space Age – Ian Sales

A slim volume of short stories, all very Space Age. I’ve banged on about Ian’s Apollo Quartet before (and this is me imploring you to read again, they’re excellent) but his Space Age stuff is genuinely among the best of that I’ve read. These stories don’t, perhaps, have the ambition of the novellas, but they’re none the worse for it.

No duds here, but my personal favourite is Our Glorious Socialist Future Among The Stars, where Yuri Gagarin leads an expedition to Mars. It’s a fun story, but the politics are a little more interesting than one tends to find in SF (imo).

Excellent stuff again.

Plan D – Simon Urban

I went into this wanting to enjoy it more than I did. It’s an alt-timeline Berlin where, instead of the fall of the Berlin Wall and DDR in 1989, there was, instead, the ‘revitalization’ which sought to maintain East Germany.

This setting was interesting enough and the police procedural/political thriller well enough plotted, but I lost interest due to an element of male-gaze which,
though I think it was part of the point, I ended up bouncing off a few times.

Not terrible, but far from essential.

The Stone Boatmen – Sarah Tolmie


Heard a lot about this one around the time it came out from folk whose opinion I respect and now feel a little daft I only just got around to this.

Glad I finally did though; it’s a smart meditation on time, culture distance, the fantastic and literature/literary culture. Smart use of structure too, if that kind of thing interests you.

Another good one. 🙂

 

 

The Beast With Nine Billion Feet – Anil Menon

We all do that thing where we get books recommended and they sound good at the time, but sink to the bottom of your pile in favour of the shiny. So, this year, I’m going to try and get through some of the things which have suffered this fate.

The Beast With Nine Billion Feet is well worth a read. I read it as an ebook, but in paper-form, it’d be a slim volume; for all that though, it still packs in a lot of ideas about big business, bio-tech and ethics. Nice to see an author who doesn’t waste your time.

Seen through the eyes of children, I think it could be something which younger readers would enjoy, but it’s not at all condescending to the reader.

A good one to provoke discussion.

Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I’ve been bad at reading lately and have been meaning to do something about it. This blog is primarily a way of keeping track of what I’ve read and to discipline my reading. Probably won’t review much, but will say what I thought and felt about things as I finish them. Do feel free to recommend anything you think I might like.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah was a great start to the year. It’s a wonderful novel which examines race, (post) colonialism, privilege, relationships, growing up and, well, everything. It might make you, if you think you’re progressive, feel a little uncomfortable. Good. 
 
I can’t recommend this highly enough.