Monday, May 4, 2015

Book Club - April 2015 Reading List

Here's what I read in April.

Originator by Joel Shepherd
This is the end of the second trilogy about Cassandra Kresnov (Sandy to her friends), the synthetic human. Good hard science fiction with a dose of future politics and real human interest. Sandy may be a hard assed cyborg, but she's just Mom to the three kids she adopted. This series has evolved greatly from it's early days when Sandy, built by The League for it's war against the Federation, escaped from the League and sought asylum in the Federation. Now she's a high ranking combat officer in the Federation security services facing problems of synthetic human emancipation, parenthood,  and threats from an alien race.  Pretty good series.

These Are The Voyages, Volume 1
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know that I'm a big Star Trek fan, especially of the original series. Using internal memos, shooting schedules and interviews, Cushman dissects each episode of season 1 of the original season.  It's a great exploration of the creative process of a team of people putting a weekly television show on the air. I'm all ready reading Vol. 2.

Terminal World by Alistair Reynolds
The city of Spearpoint is the last human city on earth. The city is built on the threads of what appears to be a giant auger which dug itself out from the depths of the world. At the far highest point, pushing near the boundary of space, live the angels, humans evolved with wings, who have the highest technology. As you descend through the city, the technological level decreases until you reach the ground where not even steam powered machines work. There is a lot unexplained in this novel which reads like the first book of a series. According to Reynolds, however, he doesn't intend to continue it. The plot was OK, but the book is filled with unpleasant characters whom it was hard to care about. Reynolds is one of my favorite SF writers but I didn't really care for this one.

1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music by Andrew Grant Jackson
I was 13 years old in the summer of 1965 and the music discussed in this book was the soundtrack of my early teenage life. The book did a good job of tying together the music of the year to the historical events of the year and has great stories about how a lot of the songs came to be written. I liked it but I can't imagine anyone under the age of about 55 really caring much.

The Importance of Being Seven by Alexander McCall Smith
This is the 6th (written in 2012) of the 44 Scotland Street novels and the 3rd I've read. It's about the inhabitants of an apartment building in Edinburgh and their friends. One of the characters is precocious 6-year-old Bertie Pollack, who thinks that his life would be so much better if only he were seven. This is a pleasant "slice-of-life" series which in turns is funny and sad. I've been reading this on audio book and the reader has a delightful Scottish accent I could listen to all day.

The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy
It's 150 years after a devastating global flu pandemic followed by a nuclear war. For all the people of St. Louis know, they are the last people on earth. The city survived because early in the pandemic the inhabitants were ruthless in keeping the flu out. And they had the luck that a bomb wasn't dropped on them. Things are hard in St. Louis. It hardly ever rains and the merciless sun beats down through the tattered ozone layer. But then a woman shows up at the city gates with tales of Oregon and rain. An OK book but it has the same problem as "Terminal World", the characters are unlikable.

1 comment:

Fuji said...

The Dead Lands sounds like it has a pretty cool plot. Love post apocalyptic story lines. Unfortunately... I mainly read young adult books. Tiny print and long stories tend to make me sleepy.