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A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5)
George R.R. Martin


Embassytown - China Miéville Just wonderful. Mieville steals into yet another genre and makes it his own.

Name of the Rose

The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco Came back to this book after a long absence, it was everything I had remembered and so much more. The long diversions into philosophy, theology and eschatology, oft criticized by some, are perfectly pitched by Eco for readability.Credit also to his translator, who does a magnificent job with what must have seemed an impenetrable text.

Revelation Space (Revelation Space Trilogy 1)

Revelation Space  - Alastair Reynolds Hard SF meets Lovecraftian galaxy spanning dystopian vision.

MASKERADE : A Novel of Discworld #18

Maskerade - Terry Pratchett Came back to this book after a long hiatus, and I am so glad I did. this book is wonderful, a delightful satirical romp through the world of opera.

Deadhouse Gates : A Tale of Malazan Book of the Fallen

Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2) - Steven Erikson Glorious epic fantasy, this book does it all. I wept openly, laughed aloud, in short I gave myself up completely to Erikson's creation. The tale of Coltaine and the Chain of Dogs, the terrible consequences of complete civil breakdown, it all is perfectly realised in every way. From the grand sweep of battle sequences to the earth-shattering simplicity of the phrase "Children are dying". As is Erikson's wont, there is just so much more in this book, far too much to go into. But the Wickans! the Wickans!

God's War (Bel Dame Apocrypha)

God's War - Kameron Hurley Okay, so this book isn't perfect. The war it depicts is simply logically unsustainable, particularly on the planet it takes place on. But really, such points are quibbles, for this is an outstanding work of science fiction. Hurley's world building is outstanding, her characterization if her leading cast is powerful, her narrative is sparking.Don't think that this is an easy book to get into, it really isn't. Like Mieville's Perdido Street Station, it confronts the reader rather than welcomes you in. It is hugely rewarding to the careful reader who allows their mind to inhabit the world of Nyxnyssa and her band of violent murderers. Outstanding.

To Say Nothing of the Dog

To Say Nothing of the Dog - Connie Willis There is a point early in this book where the flowery language and elliptic monologues of two of the main characters almost made me stop reading this book. I gave it five more pages, and am so glad I did. Just a great book, a period mysterty with so much wonderful period detail, all with Willis' fabulous charming style.

Lustrum (Em Portugues do Brasil)

Lustrum (Em Portugues do Brasil) - Robert Harris Brilliant. Just wonderful in every way. I actually would rate this above the predecessor, as the Cicero in this book is far more flawed and imperfect than the earlier portrayal. You won't need to have read Imperium to enjoy this, but it certainly would help you to understand the motivation of many of the lesser characters. For Pompey and Caesar, however, the motivation is clear to all - power and the attaining thereof. Can't speak highly enough of the delicate multifaceted conspiracy tale woven here by Harris, as it finally unfolds its wings the reader is left grasping for certainties as much as poor old Marcus Tullius.


Pollen - Jeff Noon A proper curates egg of a book. Interesting in large measure, exhilarating in many respects, but the overall impression is of a book trying too hard to live up to the reputation of its predecessor.

The Wise Man's Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2)

The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss Not as polished, or as fully realised, as the first book, still rather excellent fantasy, with a roaring good yarn as the beating pulse of the tale.

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1)

The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss Fantastic book, thoroughly gripping, with a brilliantly written central character and world. Will try and write more once I've gotten my head around how much I loved it.

Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome

Imperium - Robert Harris Very enjoyable historical fiction from Harris. Delighted to reach the authors note and read his sources,plenty of ideas for more reading on Cicero and Atticus. Hugely recommend this.

The Rapture of the Nerds: A tale of the singularity, posthumanity, and awkward social situations

The Rapture of the Nerds: A tale of the singularity, posthumanity, and awkward social situations - 'Cory Doctorow',  'Charles Stross' hugely enjoyable stuff from doctorow and stross. I've not read any Doctorow before now, will have to make amends directly.

The Compass Rose

The Compass Rose - Ursula K. Le Guin I excitedly came back to the near future world of Halting State. Instead I was served a warmed over pastiche, an empty husk of an exciting novel, devoid of the charm of the earlier work.It is hard to enumerate just what's wrong here. Stross tries and tries, and sometimes it nearly comes good. The overwhelming mood of the book is one of failure, of glimpsing success, tantalisingly close. It is still a decent workmanlike system of a book, but it fails to engage the reader in its own intentions.

The Hydrogen Sonata

The Hydrogen Sonata (A Culture Novel) - Iain M. Banks Just finished. Overwhelming impression is one of a deep and abiding sorrow, a keening lamentation for the vicissitudes of real life. Banks started the Culture in a dark place, but one which held, in the form of the Culture, the prospect of a better greater future.Now, 10 books later, the mood is instead a bitter, exasperated nihilism. The Culture retains its stature, but the rest of the Galaxy remains a nasty vicious mire, with different gauzy decorations.


Railsea - China Miéville Wow. Bit of a slow starter, mainly due to the sheer immensity of the imagination needing time to find expression, but after about thirty pages this just sank its harpoons into my mind and refused to let go. Moldywarpe, ferronaval, philosophy, blood rabbit & &. Even the description of that last is worthy of inclusion in literature, never mind the rest of the book. Simply wonderful in every way, the tale of Sham ap Soorap, the moletrain Medes and the orphaned Shroake siblings deserves a far wider audience than that the YA label can achieve. This book is handily as imaginative as Perdido Street Station, as politically aware as The Scar or Iron Council, and it is as accessible as The City & The City.One aspect which needs, nay deserves, highlighting in appreciation is the role of female characters. There is no gender-roling here, none of the weak damsels needing rescue, or strong men growing into protectors. There are just people, trying to get by in a hard and difficult world. In a word: outstanding.