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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Off the Bookshelf

Off the Bookshelf: Cole Protocol, Skies of Pern, Century Rain

by Ken Newquist / March 15, 2010

Cover: The Cole ProtocolAfter a fiendishly busy January and February, I've finally had a chance to take a deep breath and spend some time reading. First up on my early spring reading list is The Cole Protocol by Tobias Buckell, a Halo Universe novel involving the quest to prevent the alien Covenant from securing navigation data leading to Earth.

On deck is The Skies of Pern by Anne McCaffrey, one of her last in the classic science fiction setting which features telepathic dragons and their human riders battling the alien, sky-borne menace of Thread, followed by Century Rain, near-future apocalypse/time travel/alternate reality book by Alistair Reynolds.

Off the Bookshelf: Twilight, The Gathering Storm, Star Wars Atlas

by Ken Newquist / January 23, 2010

Cover: Twilight

Over Thanksgiving break, my wife and I made a deal: I'd read Twilight if she read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It took me a month of on and off reading, but I finally did so. Completing that teen romance horror novel let me read the book I've been waiting months for: The Gathering Storm, Book 12 of the Wheel of Time.

In between the two I've been sneaking quick reads of Star Wars: The Essential Atlas, which is sure to become an indespensible reference for my Star Wars RPG campaign.

Off the Bookshelf: Redemption Ark, Dreaming Void, Far Side of the World

by Ken Newquist / August 12, 2009

I'm off to a good start on my Summer 2009 Reading List, having made a considerable dent it during my early summer vacation by reading Alistair Reynolds' Redemption Ark, Peter F. Hamilton's The Dreaming Void and finally finishing the audio version of Patrick O'Brain's The Far Side of the World.

Off the Shelf: New Space Opera, Open Game Table, Space Opera Renaissance

by Ken Newquist / May 23, 2009

The spring hasn't been a great time for fiction reading. After my winter reading spree, I fell into back into my video game reviewing routine, but I did manage to get a few new books in: The New Space Opera, The Open Game Table, and The Space Opera Renaissance.

Off the Shelf: Revelation Space, Force Unleashed, The Last Colony

by Ken Newquist / January 27, 2009

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)

Assembling a Christmas Break Reading List

by Ken Newquist / December 20, 2008

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.

Off the Shelf: Moon of Skulls, Quicksilver, Analog: Sept. 2008

by Ken Newquist / November 15, 2008

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I got off to a great start to my summer reading list, but it slowed down significantly after July, when my spring-summer run of work conferences ended (which had given me plenty of time to read on cross-country plane trips), and I had to double-down on my projects to meet start-of-semester deadlines.

The other problem? I ran into Moon of Skulls, a collection of short stories by Robert E. Howard.

Off the Shelf: Market Forces, The Sky People, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

by Ken Newquist / April 12, 2008

My reading list this month is dominated by books demands spawned by the two book clubs I've joined: the Secret Lair Book Club and my gaming group's own graphic novel book club. The first two books are Market Forces, a Car Wars meets Wall Street novel by Richard K. Morgan and The Sky People, a tale of Venus as a pulp-style jungle world colonized by Americans and a Sino-Russian alliance by S.M.

Off the Shelf: Hyperion, The Golden Compass, American Gods

by Ken Newquist / January 12, 2008
Book Cover: Fall of Hyperion

The end of the summer saw me pick up a bunch of new books, including Hyperion and its sequel, The Fall of Hyperion and autumn actually gave me enough time to read one of them!

As we moved into December, the movie release of Phillip Pullman's The Golden Compass – and the religious controversy that surrounded it – led me to pick up the book, and the subject of gods and religion inspired me to return to this summer's audio book listening project, Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

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