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Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus

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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!

I recommend Simon R. Green to everybody I meet, particularly his Deathstalker series. It's extremely over-the-top space opera and I can't get enough of it. (There's an entire storyline in the third book, Deathstalker War, which is essentially Heart of Darkness at Disneyworld. It's both hilarious and quite possibly the most disturbing thing I've ever read.) He also has an urban horror series (Nightside), a fantasy cops series (Hawk & Fisher), and his newest series is urban fantasy evocative of James Bond (The Secret History; the first one is called The Man With the Golden Torc.)

His writing is very far from perfect. He's very repetitive in terms of descriptions used for characters and reusing certain phrases ("blood flew on the air," and "death's head grin" are notoriously overused in all of his books) and everything he writes tends to be grandiose to the point of ridiculous in a lot of ways. But it's got a lot of heart, he's got a wonderfully vivid way of putting you in a scene, and his characters--even the minor ones--are some of the most memorable I've ever read. And he's funny.

If all else, I'd recommend trying to track down the Deathstalker audio books. They're unabridged and partially done in the style of a radio play, with actors doing the different character voices. It's a great way to pass time on long car drives!

Hidden City: The House Wars by Michelle West. An epic fantasy, but atypical. No armor, no elves, but street urchins, particularly a girl who foresees the futures, but only erratically, an antiques scavenger (on the surface) and magic wielded by demons. The characters are fully fleshed and compelling while the setting is completely believable.

I loved this book and can't wait for the remaining.

'Sunshine', by Robin McKinley. I got tired of conventional vampire schtick years ago, but this is not conventional: the viewpoint character is a twenty-something baker and pastry chef who works in her family's coffeehouse, in a world where there have always been vampires. I love how she warped both history and language to accommodate this, as much as I love the mention of the different desserts, such as Killer Zebras and the Death of Marat.

My favourite book I've read so far this year:

"Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal"


No idea what to categorize it as--absurdist fiction, I guess.

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day 1) by Patrick Rothfuss

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is one of his best.

I second the Vatta's War recommendation.

I've had trouble getting into new fantasy series recently. Tried several that just didn't grab me, but here are two that did. One is the Elantra series by Michelle Sagara. The first is Cast in Shadow. Fantasy with a heroine who is not TSTL but nevertheless can't manage to stay out of trouble, several interesting races coexisting in an empire, romance subplot. I especially enjoy the heroine and her interactions with her colleagues and enemies.

The other series I enjoyed starts with Magic Lost, Trouble Found, by Lisa Shearin. Again, it's the heroine's character (smart and something of a smartass, but not stupidly smartass, if you knwo what I mean) and relationships I enjoy.

Non-fiction, this may sound a little weird, but I really enjoyed Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets, by McMillan. I'm by no means an economist, but I thought it made a lot of sense and it's changed the way I think about the pluses and minuses of both markets and regulation of them.

I suck at LJ, I get around to catching up on people once a week if I'm lucky.

Wen Spencer - Tinker and Wolf Who Rules. A blend of fantasy and SF that is very light and fast paced. Young heroine an interesting strong character, nice quantum mechanics magic effects.

I second the recommendation for Elizabeth Moon, anything by Elizabeth Moon. And nearly anything by Terry Pratchett in the humorous fantasy vein. You can pop in anywhere after the first three or four in Discworld and get hooked. The latter ones get much better and deeper with astute observations about our world than the first.

Kate Atkinson's mystery series, starting with Case Histories. There are three novels in the series, and each one has been better than the previous.

Also, Phil Rickman for his hybrid mystery, horror series with Marilee Watkins, episcopal exorcist.