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marthawells

Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus


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marthawells

Book Recs

I'm looking for something to read, so rec me books! New books, or books that are about to come out, including your own books. Comment with title, author, and why you liked it/are looking forward to it.

ETA: Fantasy, mystery, science fiction, romance, it's all good.
ETA2: And historical fiction or non-fiction!
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I just read Bareback by Kit Whitman yesterday and it blew me away. The heroine's one of the 0.4% of the population who have a birth defect which means they don't turn into wolves at full moon. All barebacks are co-opted into an organisation that polices the curfew on the normal people. A dystopic urban fantasy, pretty cool.

I've always liked the Miss Read series of books about a teacher in a small village school, written between the fifites and the eighties- very little happens, but the characters and atmosphere are charming and evocative. A little bit like lake Wobegon (but completely different in voice.)

Mad Kestrel! I hear it's pretty exciting... *grin*

I just read Anathem, by Neal Stephenson. A novel of *ideas* in every way.

I'm really looking forward to Half a Crown, the finish of the Farthing trilogy by Jo Walton. England in an alternate universe.

Also desperately wanted: Nation, by Terry Pratchett.

How do you feel about non-fiction? I read more non-fiction these days than fiction, because there's no plot to keep track of so it fits better with the snippets of time I seem to get.

Just saw your second ETA. So, recent books (last couple of years) in history:

The Discovery of France, by Graham Robb. The immense and covert diversity of non-Parisian France and how it was "discovered" and integrated (or not) into the dominant culture.

Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body, by Neil Shubin. Okay, so it's evolutionary history instead of strictly human history. But to me that totally counts!

Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World, by Roger Crowley: fantasy writers, for the use of.

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann. If you haven't read it yet you should -- it's actually moving to my "list of books I keep referring to again and again because they explain the world".

Well, the few people who have read my A Marriage of Insects have mostly said good things about it. It's fantasy, it's romance in a married-person style, and the world feels vaguely 18th century. It's not wholly unlike your own writing.
(Author: Bard Bloom. It's on Amazon, or I've got some around too.)

Delurking to rec the Inspector Rostnikov series of mysteries, by Stuart Kaminsky. I stayed up too late last night in order to finish "The Man Who Walked Like a Bear," which is somewhere in the middle of the series. They are police procedurals set in Russia starting in the mid-80s until the present day. In addition to the mystery plotlines they also go into the personal lives of the main characters, and are full of rather dry humor. (When I read them I really feel immersed in the world of the characters, which is something I admire about your books as well.)

I'll have to check those out. I've read a bunch of Kaminsky's mysteries set in 40s Hollywood and really liked those.

And thanks!

I just enjoyed Devon Monk's Magic to the Bone. I'd sum it up as urban fantasy set in Portland, Oregon, with a bit of romance thrown in, too.

I love you for asking this question. Am frantically taking notes ;)

A very old fantasy love: Spiderworld: The Tower, Spiderworld: The Delta, and Spiderworld: The Magician by Colin Wilson.

Another old favourite: Thraxas by Martin Scott

Haven't read anything spectacular lately, though I did enjoy Iain M. Banks' Inversions and want to work through more Culture novels because The Player of Games was really cool too. Am currently rereading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch even though the new book doesn't come out until the new year.

How about a combo fantasy/romance?

I really love Jean Johnson's Sons of Destiny series. You can read about it here on her site: http://www.jeanjohnson.net/destiny/destiny.html

If you decide to give it a try, the reading order is:
The Sword
The Wolf
The Master
The Song
The Cat
The Storm
The Flame (released in Dec)
The Mage (released in April)

The elemental talents series by Laurie Marks, beginning with Fire Logic. It's fantasy about a kingdom invaded, but with a different path taken.

Gateway and the subsequent Heechee novels by Frederick Pohl--they're old school sci-fi but they captured a sense of wonder and mystery which is hard to find, and the absolutely incomprehensible artifacts and ruins reminded me a little of City of Bones and the gate makers in Fall of Ile-Rien.

Missile Gap by Charles Stross. Flat Earth + Cold War

Solitaire, by Kelley Eskridge. A very powerful account of recovery after losing everything.

I love these kinds of book recommendation threads, as there's so much good out there that's just hard to find.

I loved Gateway. I really like that sense of wonder feel, where not all the mysteries are solved. It has the feel of real world archaeology, where the neatest finds are the ones where you can make guesses about the purpose of the structure or artifact, but you're never really sure.

Um, well, since you ask. Would you like an advance copy of Irons in the Fire, first of my new trilogy due out from Solaris next spring?

More information here

Sure, that would be great! :) Thanks. My mailing address is POB 15305, College Station, TX 77841-5305.

A few of my favorites have been mentioned by I'd like to give a very hearty second to John Connelly. Blend of mystery, and supernatural, dark without being icky. Plus read The Book of Lost Things which isn't part of his series.

I just finished The Heretic's Daughter - the story of Martha Carrier as told by her daughter Sarah, written by a descendent of Martha. Fascinating book, here's an essay she wrote on how she came to write it: http://www.powells.com/essays/kathleenkent.html.


Also, William Kent Krueger if you haven't already read him, and CJ Box. And Louise Penny.

And I read a great book earlier this year called the Outlander by Gil Adamson. Won a lot of awards in Canada when it was published there. Story of a woman running from her inlaws after killing her husband. Set at the turn of the century.

Yes. William Kent Krueger is great. I've read all of his Cork O'Connor mysteries -- I just finished Thunder Bay, one of the better books in the series, I thought.

Add me to the list of John Connelly fans, too.

I don't think anyone else has mentioned Giles Blunt.

Also, Ann Cleaves Shetland Island quartet although only two books are out. Raven Black is the first. She's been writing for years, and this is so different from what went before. I believe it won the Cloak and Dagger award for best mystery in the UK when it came out.

None of these are new. I suck. But they are all good

Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Dies the Fire by SM Stirling
Nightlife by Rob Thurman

In case you haven't tried these authors yet...

I recently enjoyed Patrice Sarath's well-written first fantasy novel, Gordath Wood. It has strong women characters, horses, and lots of battles.

A. Lee Martinez has written several good books, all of which are standalones. In the Company of Ogres is humorous military fantasy, reminiscent of Asprin in his prime but with better female characters. And The Automatic Detective is a fun noir detective novel set in a futuristic city with a robot PI.

Jay Lake's mainspring was a well-written alternate cosmology novel, where the Earth moves around the Sun on gears because the solar system is actually a giant orrery. The giant clock mechanism that runs everything is starting to slow down, and a young apprentice has to go on a big adventure to save it.

Jasper Fforde has two wonderful cross-genre sf/fantasy/mystery series going. His first book, The Eyre Affair, has special agent Thursday next trying to stop an evil madman from using a machine to change the plots of classic works of literature. Equally fun is the Jack Spratt series of Nursery Crime mysteries, starting with The Big Over Easy.


Have you read the Liaden Universe books? S/F and romance. Pretty fun, and there are many, which I always consider a plus...