Two big story arcs have concluded in the comics universe over the last few weeks: Marvel's Secret Invasion mini series, in which the alien, shape-shifting Skrulls attempt to take over the Earth, and Batman R.I.P, in which the Dark Knight dies. Or appears to die, because really, what are the chances that he's actually dead?
As a result, we're into the clean-up phase of both story arcs, as their respective universes attempt to deal with the consequences that have been unleashed upon them.
My Chrismas Reading List for 2008 went well; I finished two novels (Revelation Space, The Last Colony) on the list and made a serious dent in the third (The Amber Spyglass), while also finishing a hefty graphic novel (Star Wars Omnibus: Tales of the Jedi, Vol. 1)
The mid-December edition of SF Site is online, with reviews of The Jack Vance Reader, which includes three novellas by scifi/fantasy master Jack Vance, Star Wars: Street of Shadows by Michael Reaves, takes place shortly after the catastrophic Order 66 in Episode 3, and Busted Flush, a new Wild Cards superhero novel edited by George R.R. Martin.
After a long, hard-fought autumn spent coding, organizing projects and reviewing way, way too many video games, I've got the urge to read. It's a compulsion really, a strong desire to find a quiet corner of the house (or even a noisy, chaotic corner of the house) and lose myself in a good paperback.
I'm also looking for some good inspirational material for my Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic campaign; not necessarily things I want lift to include in the story, but rather ideas that can serve as a spring board for my own creative wanderings.
I'm particularly interested in reading newer space opera, stuff published since the turn of the century (that would be the turn of the 21st century, for those who forget which one we're living in ... which happens to me from time to time). I'm also interested in some current hard SF, but with an emphasis on Thinking Big; give me super-sized space structures, transhuman wars or encounters with alien civilizations; anything but another round of grim, near-future cyberpunk derivatives. Yeah, I like that stuff too ... but it's not what I'm shooting for right now.
Halo fans have a new novel through which to explore the video game's continium. Halo: The Cole Protocol by Tobias Buckell. The new book chronicles humanity's desperate quest to erase any and all navigational data that could lead the fundamentalist (and xenocidal) Covenant to Earth.
The December edition of SF Site is online. It includes reviews of Dogs by Nancy Kress, a spy thriller in which man's best friend turns on him, Dragonforge by James Maxey, a science fiction novel in which dragons rule a far-future Earth, and Stonefather, the first novel in a new fantasy series by Orson Scott Card.
Wish you had a new episode of Radio Active to listen to? Never fear, a new one is on the way, but in the mean time you can listen to Episode 17 of The Secret Lair podcast, in which I talk with hosts Chris Miller and Kris Johnson about S.M. Stirling's alternate history/modernized pulp novel The Sky People.
The November 2008 edition of SF Site is online, with reviews of the far-future space opera House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds, the modern fantasy/demon hunting novel The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison and the Robert E. Howard-inspired Adventuers of Corwyn by Chad Corrie, which (like Conan) looks at the hero at different points in his lifetime.