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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Interesting Books Suggested by Jeff Vandermeer's Recent Omnivoracious Post

Recently, noted author Jeff Vandermeer had an Omnivoracious post about his best sff novels of 2010 so far with an addition of quite a few more books that he plans to read for possible inclusion here. The (extended) list offers great reading ideas and I want to present it here with my comments and links to our reviews when available.

From the original list I will present only the titles followed by *my comments*, while for Mr. Vandermeer's reasons why the respective novel is among his best, check the original Omnivoracious post.

The Golden Age by Michal Ajvaz
this one seems interesting, but I probably need to see it to fully decide if I want to buy/read it; the Kindle sample is a bit too short but I am inclined to get it after I finish my current batch of asap novels.

Noise by Darin Bradley
got an arc, took a look and had no interest in it, but if its subject tempts you the book seemed quite energetic

The Fixed Stars by Brian Conn
will look into, see if I can find it in a bookstore or library to decide if it's for me

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (FBC Review Robert)
excellent debut I greatly enjoyed

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
will try it from the library soon; the Kindle sample reads well

The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers by Thomas Mullen
checked it out on publication and while I did not dislike the writing, it was not enough to compensate for my utter lack of interest in its subject

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
tried and not for me

The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer (FBC Review Robert)
a moderate disappointment of mine since I had very high expectations for this one but the writing style just did not work for me

How to Live in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
I thought this one had no interest for me, but the mention here makes me want to take a closer look whenever I will see a copy in bookstores or library; the Kindle sample reads well but not enough to decide


Here I will present the last part of Mr. Vandermeer post (in italics) with my comments (normal font) interspersed:

"Also definitely worth your time and attention are:

Karin Lowachee's
The Gaslight Dogs ("a rich, morally ambiguous novel") - I thought it ok but nothing special - tons of morally ambiguous recent sff out there, so while the above is true it does not make the book special in any way ; the subject is pretty conventional, so it all depends on how much you like the emotional prose of the author.

and Ian McDonald's The Dervish House ("an audacious look at the shift in the power centers of the world") - big disappointment of mine; just could not believe in the author's Turkey which read to me like a Thomas Friedman (NYT) postcard one

as well as Julia Holmes' Meeks, to which I hope to devote a full-on Omnivoracious post in the near future.- will look into


Among the novels to be released between now and the end of the year, I’m especially looking forward to

Felix Gilman’s
The Half-Made World, - superb novel and a top read of mine for 2010; see my Goodreads mini-review for now, full FBC review October

Kathe Koja’s
Under the Poppy, - to check on publication; seems interesting and a likely buy/read for me

Ekaterina Sedia’s
The House of Discarded Dreams, - a more or less buy/read on publication

Richard Kadrey's
Kill the Dead, - not a fan of the author' style so no interest

Catherynne M. Valente's
The Habitation of the Blessed, - check on publication

Jon Armstrong's
Yarn, - little interest but will check on publication just in case

Orly Castel-Bloom’s
Dolly City (reprint), - little interest but will check on publication just in case

N.K. Jemisin’s follow-up to
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms. - an asap read and review


Not yet read but already released:

Daniel Homan's
The Queen of Hearts, - looked at it and the prose tempts me but not a big priority; will revisit in a while

Jean-Christophe Valiat's
Aurorarama, - just bought it based on this list and I am reading it now

Joshua Cohen's
Witz,- no interest

Ian McEwan’s
Solar, - tried it a while ago and utterly disliked it; not for me

Guy Gavriel Kay’s
Under Heaven, - FBC dual review with Cindy; good but many flaws

Adam Roberts’
New Model Army, - FBC review of mine; weaker Adam Roberts with too much discourse that reads like grad-lit pub talk

Mary Robinette Kowal’s
Shades of Milk and Honey, - FBC review of mine; I liked it but just a beach book with little depth

and Paolo Bacigalupi’s
Shipbreaker. - FBC review Cindy; sadly I am not a fan of the author' style so no interest


Meanwhile, juggernauts including

China Mieville’s
Kraken, - still stuck on page 200

Justin Cronin’s
The Passage, - FBC review of mine; better than my pretty low expectations but way too long in the second part

and Peter Straub’s
A Dark Matter all had their moments, but somehow just didn’t catch fire for me on a first read." - not a fan of the author' style so no interest


All in all a great selection of 2010 titles to look into; it is also worth looking at the comments from the original post since there are more suggestions there.


Anonymous said...

Interesting list. I haven't read most of the books on there, and there are quite a few that don't really interest me but it's always cool to see what authors recommend.

Booker said...

thankyou for your comment about Cronin's Passage. I completely concur!

Liviu said...

Sarah: Mr. Vandermeer always has interesting picks and many of those are books that I hear the first time there - Aurorarama which I am currently reading and enjoying here, Mercury Station/von Schelgell last year...

I do not care for many of the books in the list either, but they are good picks, different and offer a fresh perpspective

Derrick: I am happy not everyone got hyped


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