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2012 Books

Some of the books I read last year.

2012 Books

  • 21 Pins

Sympathy for the Devil, edited by Tim Pratt ~ A collection of short stories about the devil, whether it is the Capital-D devil, dark oppositional deities, or mysterious unnatural forces, they are all in here.

Lightspeed: Year One, edited by John Joseph Adams ~ An awesome collection of short stories from the online SF magazine Lightspeed's first year. Some of them are funny and light, some of them are hard-hitting and powerfully dark.

Lavinia, by Ursula K. Le Guin ~ Lavinia, from Virgil's The Aeneid, is given a voice and a life in this book. Le Guin winds parts of the epic poem into her work and adds depth to the woman whom Virgil gave no words. She takes readers from Lavinia's childhood through the war and past the abrupt end of Virgil's unfinished poem to her death, though she can never really die. Definitely worth the read.

The Telling, by Ursula K Le Guin ~ Anthropological science fiction in Le Guin's usual gentle voice. The heroine searches for the cultural history of another world and finds understanding of her own. A pleasant and quick read.

Ursula K. Le Guin: The Telling - Fantastic Reviews book review

Blindsight, by Peter Watts ~ Hard SF with vampires, AI, and aliens. The plot is intense and the aliens are very, very alien. A good read, but difficult to get into at first.

Joe Golem & The Drowning City, by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden ~ A fun and quick read, similar in feel to Hellboy for a reason.

The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan ~ This book is stunning. It's alien and completely unbelievable, yet somehow it strikes close to home. "The Clockwork Rocket is Science Fiction as a fireworks display of ideas." Click through to read the review, because I cannot do it justice in only 500 characters.

The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan – Book Review

Saddle the Pale Horse, by Darryl Levings ~ Based on real characters and events, Levings follows several characters and groups, both rebel and federal; no one could leave this book without feeling the loss and pain of both sides during this troubled time. Though most of the book is written as a novel, the last third of the book contains maps, pictures, and detailed notes supporting each chapter, for the more enthusiastic historian.

The Kansas City Store

The Doctor and the Kid, by Mike Resnick ~ Steampunk/alternate history/wild west, AND the writing is superb! Doc Holiday vs Billy the Kid, with Geronimo, Tom Edison, Kate Elder, and numerous other notables as supporting characters.

Hearts of Smoke and Steam - A Society of Steam novel by A. Mayer ~ Book 2 in the series, and after reading the disaster of the first, it can only get better, right? Wrong. The characters are depthless and there's an incongruous romance between the incompetent heroine and a new character with a terrible Italian accent. Yes. Mayer WROTE the Italian accent. There's a cliffhanger ending on this one, too, but I've learned my lesson- I'm not picking up another one of his books.

The Falling Machine - A Society of Steam novel by A. Mayer ~ Two words: steampunk superheros. Excited yet? Don't be. It's all downhill from there. This is his first novel and you can tell. It's written poorly by someone who has done minimal (if any!) research on the late 1800s, from the view of a young female socialite, and he doesn't know what that view should be. It has a cliffhanger ending, so no satisfaction there either.

Ganymede - A Clockwork Century novel by Cherie Priest ~ Summary of the book by Priest herself: "[M]y Hunley version 4.0 submarine book about Andan Cly and his crew having a damp misadventure in a Texian-occupied New Orleans, plus Bonus! guerrilla warfare, other assorted historic pirates, and a madam whose brothel serves as a front for a Union spy operation.” A blast to read, with yet another strong female lead. (Priest spoils us readers so.)

Dreadnought - A Clockwork Century novel by Cherie Priest ~ Another strong female lead, but the plot for this story is strongly intertwined with the neverending Civil War than the first novel. Just as much fun to read, though, and it's not necessary to have read the first book.

Boneshaker - A Clockwork Century novel by Cherie Priest ~ "Zombies, steam-powered technology, airships, pirates, and mad scientists—What more could you want? How about great storytelling, compelling characters, and an interesting plot? Priest combines all of these things and somehow even more." A review by the Library Journal that I couldn't agree with more.

The Prestige, by Christopher Priest ~ I am glad that I watched the movie before I read the book. The plot of the book is a lot more supernatural and spiteful than the movie even portrayed, with a rivalry that spans generations. Any reader with half a brain is able to discover Borden's secret within the first quarter of the book; the rest you just spend waiting for it to end.

Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon - Book 3 of the Burton & Swinburne trilogy ~ The final book in the series! In this installment, there is a lot of movement back and forth between three different times, which can be a little confusing, but the result is amazing. This book has the most satisfying ending I have ever read.

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man - Book 2 of the Burton & Swinburne trilogy ~ This installment leans a bit farther into the fanasy genre than the first, with psychics and zombies (among other things), but it is still thoroughly enjoyable. With so many different subplots it's hard to see the forest for the trees, but in the end, it all wraps up nicely.

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack - Book 1 of the Burton & Swinburne trilogy ~ An excellent read! Time travel and steampunk could not be better.

The Immorality Engine - Book 3 of the Newbury & Hobbes Investigation series ~ Strongly steampunk in this installment. Lots of emotional development and an exciting conclusion. And all those Earl Grey interruptions from the first two books did not make it into this one. Definitely worth reading!

The Osiris Ritual - Book 2 of the Newbury & Hobbes Investigation series ~ Exciting and fast paced, but only very mildly steampunk. Hobbes seems flat, and there is little character development. Worth the read, if only to enjoy the company of the characters from the first book a little longer.

The Affinity Bridge - Book 1 of the Newbury & Hobbes Investigation series ~ Late 19th century setting, male and female investigators for the crown: Steampunk in the most traditional sense of the genre. Definitely worth the read. Although, there is a little too much time wasted on the Earl Grey.