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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Book roundup for 2016 
1st-Jan-2017 03:50 pm
Summer
It's interesting to me to see how I start each year with a surge of interest in long books, escapist books, and solid fantasy. I end the years with a few sequels, some dabbling in anthologies and short stories, and generally stewing around. My re-reads are almost mirror image. I start short and end with longer comfort reads. This is all, of course, handwavingly generally speaking.



The best book of 2016 was probably Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen. It wasn't so much an amazing OMG book as it was so accepting and affirming that life can definitely go on.

My reading list for 2016 included a LOT of short stories. At a glance, I'd say the *books* were about 25/75 stand-alones compared to series, while the short stories were mostly me catching up on Ursula Vernon and keeping up with Seanan McGuire.

Total new books read: 41 (last year was 30)
Total new shorter-than-books read: 41 (last year was 38)

Comics/graphic novels - 12
Fantasy Novel/Anthology - 15
Fantasy shorter than novel - 32
Science Fiction Novel - 6
Science Fiction shorter than novel - 9
YA - 1
Children's - 4
Non-Fiction - 3

Continuing the little Q&A, but again with some modifications and mostly referring to full-length books -

How many full-length books read in 2015?
41

Fiction/Non-Fiction ratio?
38:3

Ratio of Male/Female/Mixed team authors for those 41 books?
By book: 13/19/9
By unique author: 13/12/4

Favorite book?
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

Least favorite?
Scandinavia and the World - what a disappointment.

Oldest book read?
Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke from 1953.

Newest?
Unquiet Land - 11/20/2015

Longest book title?
Science: Ruining Everything since 1543

Shortest title?
Digger

Most books (not shorts) read by one author this year?
Vernon: Digger, Nurk, Seventh Bride, Harriet the Invincible and then Harriet II, It Made Sense at the Time, The Seventh Bride, Summer in Orcus

Any books in translation or not in English?
nope

Book that most changed my perspective
None. But I did think As You Wish was pretty fun for insights.

Favorite character
Desdemona from the Penric novellas

Favorite scene:
Toby Daye with the Ludeag over the latest murder.

Favorite quote:
"So far I had the god of evil and the god of terror on my side. My good-guy image was taking a serious beating. Maybe I should recruit some unicorns or kittens with rainbow powers to even us out."

- Magic Binds

How many would you actually read again?
Most of them.

And one more time for reference:
New-to-me books and stories
* denotes books published in this year/award eligible for 2016

January
1/2 - Digger Omnibus, by Ursula Vernon. Graphic novel. 860 pages. Keeping it. [omnibus published 11/15/13, vol 1 published 7/21/05]
1/3 - Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew, by Ursula Vernon. Children's book. Hardback, 131 pages. Keeping it. [7/1/08]
* 1/5 - "Heaps of Pearl," by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy. Short story in the October Daye universe, published online here
1/5 - An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, by Ali Almossawi. Non-fiction. Hardback, 55 pages. Keeping it to push around the office. [9/23/14]
*1/5 - "The Tomato Thief", by Ursula Vernon. Short story/Fantasy. E-publication within Apex magazine, available online here.
1/7 - The Seventh Bride, by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon). Fantasy. 226 pages. unsure. [Republished 11/24/15]
1/10 - As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride, by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden. Autobiography. Hardback, 259 pages. Keeping it. [10/14/14]
1/12 - Zen Pencils: Dream the Impossible Dream, by Gavin Aung Than. Graphic collection, Zen Pencils vol 2. Paperback, 175 pages. Keeping it. [10/13/15]
1/15 - Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible, by Ursula Vernon. Children's book. Hardback, 247 pages. Keeping it to loan out. [8/18/15]
1/18 - It Made Sense at the Time, by Ursula Vernon. Art sketchbook. Paperback, 88 pages. Don't know yet. [11/14/04]
1/23 - Cast in Honor, by Michelle Sagara. Fantasy. Paperback, 511 pages. Chronicles of Elantra book 11. Keeping it. [11/24/15]
*1/25 - "Razorback," by Ursula Vernon. Short story/Folk tale. E-publication within Apex magazine, available online here
*1/25 - "The Wolf's Bride," by Sharon Lee. Short story set in the Carousel universe. Published online on the Splinter Universe website here.
*1/30 - "Will-o'-the-wisp," by Sharon Lee. Short story set in the Carousel universe. Published online on the Splinter Universe website here.
*1/31 - Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, by Lois McMaster Bujold. Science Fiction. Hardback, 340 pages. Book 15 in the Vorkosigan Saga. Keeping it.

February
*2/1 - Munchkin, volume 1, by various. Comic book.
2/2 - Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard. Dystopia. Hardback, 400 pages. First in the Red Queen series. Good, but likely giving it away. [2/10/2015]
2/15 - In Ashes Born, by Nathan Lowell. Science Fiction. e-book/362 page equivalent. Book 7 in the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, though he is calling it book one in a new series - A Seeker's Tale. [9/30/15]
*2/19 - "Swamp Bromeliad," by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy. Short story in the InCryptid universe, published online here
*2/26 - "Velveteen vs. The Consequence of Her Actions," by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Epub, short story in the Velveteen universe. Published on LiveJournal here.

March
*3/1 - Chaos Choreography, by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Paperback, 320 pages. Book five in the InCryptid series. Keeping it.
*3/9 - Marked in Flesh, by Anne Bishop. Urban Fantasy. Hardback, 399 pages. Book four in the Others series. Keeping it.
*3/13 - Fire Touched, by Patricia Briggs. Urban fantasy. Hardback, 342 pages. Book nine in the Mercedes Thompson series. Keeping it.
*3/16 - Hamster Princess: Of Mice and Magic, by Ursula Vernon. Children's Fantasy. Hardback, 227 pages. Book 2 in the Harriet series. Keeping it.
3/23 - Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke. Science Fiction. Paperback, 214 pages. Whether I keep it or not is not a question. It will live on in cyberspace due to the Gutenberg Project. [1953]
*3/23 - "Velveteen vs. Going Home Again," by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Epub, short story in the Velveteen universe. Published on LiveJournal here.
3/24 - The first eight chapters in Alliance of Equals, the upcoming Liaden book, as posted here at Baen

April
*4/5 - Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Hardback, 169 pages. Giveawaybox
4/7 - Good Reputation Is Overrated: Two Lumps Year 11, by Hines and Grant. Comics. Paperback, 158 pages. Book 11 in Two Lumps. Keeping it.
4/19 - Something from the Nightside, by Simon R. Green. Urban fantasy. Paperback, 230 pages. First in the Nightside series. Borrowed. [2003]
*4/23 - Chains of Command, by Marko Kloos. Science Fiction. Paperback, 384 pages. Frontlines book 4. Keeping it.

May
5/7 - "No Known Cure," by Janet Kagan. Republished on the Baen website here.
5/8 - "Love our Lockwood," by Janet Kagan. Republished on the Baen website here.
5/9 - "Space Cadet," by Janet Kagan. Republished on the Baen website here.
5/9 - "How First Woman Stole Language from Tuli-Tuli the Beast," by Janet Kagan. Republished on the Baen website here.
5/9 - "The Last of a Vintage Year," by Janet Kagan. Republished on the Baen website here.
*5/25 - "Waking up in Vegas," by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy. Short story in the InCryptid universe, published online here

June
*6/1 - "Stage of Fools," by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy. Short story in the October Daye universe, published only for Patreon subscribers.
6/11 - Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. Science Fiction. Paperback, 422 pages. First in a trilogy. Borrowed.
*6/16 - "Wise Child," by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Short story in the Liaden Universe. Published online here
* 6/29 - Penric and the Shaman, by Lois Bujold. E-book, novella. Second in the Penric series in the World of the Five Gods universe.

July
7/7 - Specters Anonymous, by Phil Budahn. Urban Fantasy. Paperback, 201 pages. First in the series. Giveawaybox.
7/11 - Technology Has Betrayed Me: Two Lumps Year 12, by J Grant and Mel Hynes. Comics. Paperback, 156 pages. Keeping it.
*7/14 - Genius Loci, Tales of the Spirit of Place, edited by Jaym Gates. Fantasy anthology. Paperback, 476 pages. (I read it in ePub due to Kickstarter subscription).
7/18 - The Nutcracker Coup, by Janet Kagan. Originally published in the December 1992 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction. 1993 Hugo winner in the Novelette category.
*7/18 - Wickedly Powerful, by Deborah Blake. Urban fantasy. Paperback, 292 pages. Book three in the Baba Yaga series.

August
*8/1 - "In Little Stars," by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy. E-pub only for Patreon backers. Set in the October Daye universe.
*8/2 - "Full of Briars," by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy. E-pub only. Set in the October Daye universe.
8/18 - Ravenwood, by Nathan Lowell. Fantasy. e-pub version. Book one in the Tanyth Fairport Adventure.
8/22 - Silver Shark, by Ilona Andrews. Science Fiction. e-pub version. A Kindsman novella.
*8/24 - "Velveteen vs. Everything You Ever Wanted," by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Epub, short story in the Velveteen universe. Published on LiveJournal here.
8/29 - The Awkward Yeti Presents Heart and Brain, by Nick Seluk. Comic book. Paperback, 143 pages. Book 1 of the compiled comics of The Awkward Yeti.
8/29 - Moon Called, Vol 1, by Patricia Briggs, David Lawrence, Amelia Woo, and Zach Matheney. Graphic Novel, 128 pages. Visual adaptation of the Urban Fantasy by the same name, which is book 1 of the Mercy Thompson series.
8/30 - Adulthood is a Myth, by Sarah Anderson. Comics. Paperback, 109 pages. Giveawaybox

September
*9/1 - Urban Allies, edited by Joseph Nassise. Urban fantasy anthology. Paperback, 410 pages.
*9/1 - "The Levee Was Dry," by Seanan McGuire. Science fiction. E-pub. Published only for Patreon subscribers.
*9/3 - Galactic Games, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt. Science Fiction anthology. Paperback, 303 pages.
*9/12 - Once Broken Faith, by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy. Paperback, 420 pages. Book 10 in the October Daye series. Keeping it.
* 9/15 - Night Shift, by Charlaine Harris. Urban Fantasy. Hardback, 320 pages. Book three set in Midnight, Texas.
9/15 - "They're Made out of Meat," by Terry Bisson. Science Fiction. found online, originally published in Omni in 1990.
*9/18 - Scandinavia and the World: 2015 Anthology, by Humon. Comics. 20-something pages.
9/20 - "Never," by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon). Fantasy. Short story posted online on the T. Kingfisher website
9/20 - "Bees," by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon). Fantasy. Short story posted online in December 2015 on Strange Horizons
*9/20 - Magic Binds, by Ilona Andrews. Urban Fantasy. Hardback, 336 pages. Book 9 in the Kate Daniels series. keeping it.
9/21 - "Jackalope Wives," by Ursula Vernon. Urban Fantasy. Short story posted online in 2014 at Apex Magazine.
9/21 - "The Sea Witch Sets the Record Straight," by Ursula Vernon. Fantasy. Short story posted online on the T. Kingfisher website.
9/30 - "Pocosin," by Ursula Vernon. Urban Fantasy. Short story posted online in 2015 at Apex Magazine.

October
10/2 - "Voice of Lions," by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy. E-pub only for Patreon backers. Set in the October Daye universe.
10/18 - "Toad Words," by Ursula Vernon. Fantasy. Short story posted online on the T. Kingfisher website.
10/18 - "Bluebeard's Wife," by Ursula Vernon. Fantasy. Short story posted online on the T. Kingfisher website.
*10/19 - Hamster Princess: Ratpunzel, by Ursula Vernon. Children's book. Hardback, 129 pages. Book three in the Harriet Hamsterbone series. Keeping it.
10/20 - "Elegant and Fine," by Ursula Vernon. Fantasy. Short story posted online on the T. Kingfisher website.
*10/26 - Cast in Flight, by Michelle Sagara. Fantasy. Paperback, 540 pages. Chronicles of Elantra, book 12. keeping it.
*10/30 - One Fell Sweep, by Ilona Andrews. Urban fantasy. Book three in the Innkeeper series. Online serialized chapter postings here.

November
*11/1 - "In the Before, When Legends were True," by Seanan McGuire. Fantasy. E-pub only for Patreon backers.
*11/8 - "Velveteen vs. The Retroactive Continuity," by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Epub, short story in the Velveteen universe. Published on LiveJournal here.
*11/20 - Unquiet Land, by Sharon Shinn. Fantasy. Hardback, 400 pages. Book four in the Elemental Blessings series. Keeping it.

December
*12/12 - Penric's Mission, by Lois Bujold. Fantasy. E-pub only. Third story in the Penric set of the World of the Five Gods novellas.
*12/22 - "Fall Like Snow," by Seanan McGuire. Fantasy. E-pub only for Patreon backers.
*12/27 - Drive: Act One, by Dave Kellett. E-book, 291 pages. Comics. This is the Kickstarter-patron's pre-release of the first hardcopy compendium (due out in 2017) of his comic strip Drive.
*12/27 - Science: Ruining Everything since 1543, by Zach Weinersmith. Comics. Paperback, 266 pages. Compilation of the most science-themed comics from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal online comic.
*12/29 - Overdue, by Gene Ambaum, Bill Barns, and Chris Hallbeck. E-book, 203 pages. Comics. This is the Kickstarter-patron's pre-release of the final Unshelved comic anthology (due out in 2017).
*12/30 - Summer in Orcus, by Ursula Vernon. Fantasy. Online serialized chapter postings.

Books abandoned
1/27 - An Ancient Peace, by Tanya Huff
10/26 - Dreamwalker, by C.S. Friedman

Re-reads
1/2 - Zen Pencils: Cartoon Quotes from Inspirational Folks (Zen Pencils vol 1)
1/7 - Cold Fire
1/11 - Castle Hangnail (skimmed it for the cute parts)
1/17 - Digger
1/19 - Written in Red (skipped the prolonged fight/flight scene)
1/20 - The Rose Daughter (Re-read because I couldn't remember it when FireandEarth was talking about it. It has interesting resonances with McKinley's other Beauty & the Beast story.)
1/30 - "The Night Don't Seem So Lonely"
2/4 - Magic Shifts
2/5 - the middle of Dead Heat
2/6 - the end of Magic Breaks
2/6 - "Magic Tests"
2/8 - later 2/3 of Shadows
2/12 - The Good, The Bad, and The Pugly (Sheldon comics book two)
2/17 - A Blizzard of Lizards (Sheldon comics book four)
2/20 - Penric's Demon
2/26 - "Heaps of Pearl"
2/27 - Digger
2/28 - "Redemption"
2/28 - "Hollow"
2/29 - Rose in Bloom [September, 1876]
3/4 - snippets and fun parts from Magic Breaks ("Are. You. Done!")
3/7 - 62% More Awesome (Sheldon comics book three)
3/11 - ending of Night Broken
3/12 - Nerds on Parade (Sheldon comics book five)
3/13 - second half of Blood Bound
3/14 - In Ashes Born
3/15 - Living Dangerously with Saturated Fats (Sheldon comics book six)
3/18 - Lines of Departure
3/18 - "The Star of David"
3/20 - Still Got It (Sheldon comics book seven)
3/24 - Delightful Jokes for High Class Folks (Sheldon comics book eight)
3/25 - second half of Penric's Demon
3/27 - Kevin & Kell: Quest for Content (K&K comics book one)
3/29 - Angles of Attack
3/30 - Kevin & Kell: Seen Anything Unusual? (K&K comics book two)
3/31 - "Razorback"
4/1 - The Sharing Knife: Horizon
4/3 - Kevin & Kell: Accepting Domestication (K&K comics book three)
4/8 - Quarter Share
4/10 - Kevin & Kell: Run Free (K&K comics book four)
4/12 - Half Share
4/12 - Full Share (yes, same day)
4/14 - Kevin & Kell: For the Birds (K&K comics book five)
4/15 - In Fury Born
4/15 - Kevin & Kell: Election Night Fever (K&K comics book six)
4/15 - The Seventh Bride
4/16 - Kevin & Kell: Booth Bunnies (K&K comics book seven)
4/18 - the second half of Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen
4/29 - the second half of Gunmetal Magic
5/1 - Sharing Knife: Beguilement
5/2 - The end of Paladin of Souls
5/5 - The Silvered
5/6 - pieces of Sunshine
5/9 - "Loch Moose Monster" from Mirable (Janet Kagan)
5/13 - Cryoburn
5/13 - The second half of Cry Wolf
5/18 - Imager
5/21 - Imager's Challenge
5/23 - The Ship Who Searched
5/29 - the first half of The Call of the Wild
6/4 - Every Heart a Doorway
6/6 - Imager's Intrigue
6/7 - Penric's Demon
6/7 - "Labyrinth"
6/8 - "Unappreciated Gifts"
6/8 - "A Sufficiently Advanced Christmas"
6/12 - Beauty (McKinley)
6/12 - the first chapters of Sharing Knife: Passage
6/17 - Scholar (minus about 30 pages of fighting towards the end)
6/19 - Princeps
6/21 - Imager's Battalion (skimmed the various battles)
6/23 - Antiagon Fire
6/24 - Rex Regis
6/27 - "Snake in the Glass"
6/27 - "Black as Blood"
6/28 - "White as a Raven's Wing"
7/10 - Silver Ships
7/12 - "The Gift of Music"
7/12 - "Will-o-the-Wisp"
7/18 - "Gray"
7/18 - "In Red, with Pearls"
7/20 - Marked in Flesh
7/25 - Libre
8/1 - "Stage of Fools"
8/1 - Good Reputation is Overrated
8/2 - last third of Magic Breaks
8/7 - the second half of Magic Shifts
8/25 - Joust
9/1 - Moon Called
9/2 - Penric and the Shaman
9/2 - Blood Bound
9/4 - "Alpha and Omega"
9/4 - Iron Kissed
9/5 - Bone Crossed
9/5 - Silver Borne
9/6 - The Curse of Chalion
9/7 - River Marked
9/8 - Sparrow Hill Road
9/9 - Hunting Ground
9/12 - Dead Heat
9/12 - "Heaps of Pearl"
9/17 - Technology Has Betrayed Me (Two Lumps book #12)
9/29 - Bryony and Roses
9/30 - Double Share
10/3 - second half of Enchantment Emporium
10/5 - Clean Sweep
10/7 - "The Nutcracker Coup"
10/7 - "Winterfair Gifts"
10/11 - Deerskin
10/13 - Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen
10/19 - The Goblin Emperor
10/26 - Lady Knight
10/31 - "Magic Mourns"
11/2 - Jeweled Fire
11/4 - second half of Dead Heat
11/5 - skimmed The Martian
11/10 - Castle Hangnail
11/11 - Nurk
11/12 - Silver Shark
11/13 - Working for Bigfoot
11/17 - Pure Ducky Goodness (Sheldon #1)
11/24 - The Good, The Bad, and the Pugly (Sheldon #2)
11/26 - Magic Binds
12/4 - Magic Bleeds
12/8 - Literature, unsuccessfully competing against TV since 1956 (a Sheldon collection)
12/12 - Marked in Flesh, the scenes where The Elders stalk the town
12/20 - Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen
12/23 - A Blizzard of Lizards (Sheldon #4)
12/24 - "Star of David"
12/24 - "Roses in Winter"
12/28 - "Redemption"
12/29 - Smoke and Shadows
Comments 
4th-Jan-2017 01:57 pm (UTC)
You inspire me.

Not enough to make lists of my reading, mind you, but to use your lists as ideas for my next books to read. I just finished Wen Spenser's Black Wolves of Boston and everything else I pick up just isn't as fun. Of course, before that I read the complete new Honorverse novel, which was 98.35% a complete waste of time. David Weber must have really intimidated a newby editor, who utterly failed to do their job. So perhaps Black Wolves of Boston was simply wonderful by comparison.....
4th-Jan-2017 02:11 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to inspire people to read more. Yay reading. Digger was amazing, and if you are ok with comics, I strongly recommend it. If you are reasonably caught up on the Vorkosigan Saga, then Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen is a really nice grey-day comfort read. If you don't want anything with backstory, the Penric novellas (now numbering 3) are good as a tripart unit, though they are available only on Kindle.

Thanks for the recommendation: I put Wolves of Boston on my list.

As far as bad editing, believe me, I get that. The latest Elantra book suffered from Editor in Absentia to the point that even I noticed, and usually I'm pretty forgiving of that.

Edited at 2017-01-04 02:13 pm (UTC)
6th-Jan-2017 02:27 pm (UTC)
:-( I read Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen twice last year (once, and then again in audio book when driving/from Albuquerque with T. He got into the Miles books, which was nice. Plus there were so many of them when we desperately needed to fill the long hours....). And I already gobbled the latest Penric novella. *sad sniff*

I started reading Imager. It has been on my list for a while (my note even says recommended by you). It is..... going well. Very thought provoking.
6th-Jan-2017 02:51 pm (UTC)
I'm really hoping that Penric novellas continue. There is a lot of room for that size story all over his timeline. And then maybe a hardcopy book to follow...?

Yay Imager! I've read the first three and the prehistory five and then the first of the middle-times set. I need to go back and re-read Madness in Solidar before I go on to the latest. Unsurprisingly, I prefer the second of the Renn trilogy and the first and second of the Quaeryt novels the best. I like the part of the evolution when the characters have enough power to execute change but are still learning about themselves the best.

Inside of this series, Modesitt has a lot of essays about civic organization and social structure that I find both thought provoking and repetitive. I do re-read parts of the books on occasion, and discover new angles on both the religious/moral lectures and the socio/political examinations.
6th-Jan-2017 02:58 pm (UTC)
Actually, do you have any series recommendations for audio books to listen to with T?
* We are up to date on David Weber's Honor Harrington series. Well, as up to date as he wants to be. I'm not subjecting him to the most recent waste of time (which didn't progress the plot more than about 5 hours in book-time anyway).
* I'm currently checking to see if we are up to date on JD Robb's In Death series. T relates to Roarke. ...Ok, yeah, downloading the latest. Happily she writes quickly.
* He really liked the Miles books. Laughed ourselves silly in Ivan's book. But they are done now... *sigh* I've tried to talk him into her other books, but anything that smacks of "romance" or "fantasy" and he is out. I only managed to have him agree to listen to these by swearing up and down they are hard scifi.
* We just finished Ready Player One. Which went well with the huge arcade game sitting in the corner of our TV room now.

So got any long series recommendations? Something I won't hate (I don't like Terry Pratchett, though he does)? He rejects anything with magic, vampires or werewolves, though he did like Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series (yes, it confuses me too). I've been trying to talk him into PN Elrod's Vampire Files (on the theory that he likes gumshoe stories) to no effect.
6th-Jan-2017 03:17 pm (UTC)
I don't listen to many audiobooks, and so the only sci fi set I can recommend are the first four of Nathan Lowell's six Golden Age of the Solar Clipper books. They are light on the science, but they are definitely sci fi. There is NO MAGIC involved beyond that of personal faith.

Ancillary Justice was really good as a book - hard sci fi with an interesting problem set to solve. I need to get it back from my mom for a re-read before I go on in that trilogy. NO MAGIC.

Terms of Enlistment was a bit myopic, but a good strong start to what currently has four books in the series. Marko Kloos does a good job of balancing science fiction with the people who have to use the weapons and systems. I've read all four and can recommend them as a set. They aren't all evenly good, but even with the huge obvious hole in the fourth book, I'm still willing to go on with the next one if/when it is published.

Price of the Stars (Doyle/MacDonald) is fabulous, but there is both magic and science fiction in it. The main character just wants to be a starpilot, and she is all about gravity wells and jumps through space, but the magic is there because her little brother is a mage. I love love love that book, and the other two in the first trilogy aren't bad either.

If Honor Harrington is your speed, you could try the Kris Longknife series. I've only read one of them - which was not the first one in the series - and it was the sci fi version of a beach bag book: interesting but predictable.

There are some Modesitt sci fi, too. The Forever War was quite good, and I think it has a sequel.
8th-Jan-2017 01:18 am (UTC)
*writing it all down* Thank you!
8th-Jan-2017 03:18 pm (UTC)
Aack. That's "Parafaith War" and "Forever Hero."

Edited at 2017-01-08 03:19 pm (UTC)
12th-Jan-2017 05:56 am (UTC)
I meant to jump in earlier on this, finally getting around to it.

I'd second the Price of the Stars series, and I'd say it's 'magic' doesn't come across as such, especially early. It's more like the force in Star Wars (starts even less pervasive, does build to be at least as important an element later)

Also second the Ancillary series.

While I like Modesitt, his series tend to be fantasies, his sci-fi stuff leans towards stand alones or dualogies. Parafaith War has a sequel in that it shares one character, but I'd argue it's more of a stand alone in the same universe a hundred years later. Forever Hero I think was a trilogy, but I'll be honest, not my favorite of his. Maybe the Ecolitan books? It's at least a dualogy with at least one additional prequel several hundred years earlier. If you are interested in possibly just running a couple of his stand alones I'd suggest Adiamonte, Gravity Dreams, and either Flash or Octagonal Raven (those felt very similar to me).

One author I haven't seen mentioned is Peter Hamilton. He has several well known sci-fi series. I'm familiar with the Nights Dawn Trilogy and the Commonwealth Saga (two long novels for the original core and there have been a number of other books set in the same universe). Two totally separate universes with slightly different takes on technology and the resultant societal adaptations. I'd recommend trying either/both, I really enjoyed his world building.
24th-Jan-2017 02:04 am (UTC)
Thank you! Having a list like this is a huge relief. It's bad when he gives me that look and I don't have a new book ready. ....He turns on the tejano music. I'm not kidding. He set aside an entire radio button just to play music he knows I don't like to get me to hurry up and find him another book. *sigh* I think he learned it from the cat.
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