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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 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.

Off the Shelf: Expanded Summer Reading, Rainbows End, Harry Potter, Pushing Ice

by Ken Newquist / August 2, 2007
Cover: Pushing Ice

The summer reading list is going well. Since I finalized the list in Radio Active #51, I've finished Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, and Pushing Ice by Alistair Reynolds. 

The fiction pile is growing surprisingly short, with only Jim Butcher's Storm Front and John Scalzi's The Last Colony remaining.

With vacation looming large in August, I find myself in need of a few more books for the road.

Off the Shelf: The Difference Engine, The Light Fantastic, Analog Jan/Feb 2007

by Ken Newquist / March 18, 2007
Book Cover: The Difference Engine

My autumn reading jag, which saw me tear through a half-dozen novels, petered out this winter as I ran into the slow, meandering text of The Difference Engine, a book that promised a steampunk revolution but got bogged down in its own minutiae. I haven't done much better on the audio front, after a preachy opening to The Light Fantastic turned me away from audio books for a bit and inspired me to catch up on my podcasts instead.  Meanwhile, the double-sized January/February 2007 issue of Analog has been riding back and forth to work in my backpack for weeks, but I've only just started to work my way through its pages.

Off the Shelf: Jupiter, Deep Fires, The Matrix and Philosophy

by Ken Newquist / November 7, 2006

A Fire Upon the Deep Book Cover After a reading lull brought about by way too much painting in September, I've returned to my books with a vengeance.

Science fiction dominates my reading list this time around as I return to Ben Bova's "Grand Tour" of the Solar System with the hard science fiction novel Jupiter then have some fun with Vernor Vinge's high-minded space opera A Fire upon the Deep.

Off the Shelf: Lodestar, Ghost Brigades, X-Factor, Analog

by Ken Newquist / August 15, 2006

Cover: Lode Star One of the many pleasant surprises following the birth of my son Lucas on June 14 has been how much reading I've been able to do. This is partly because I chose some particularly good books to read, but also because I have a lot more time thanks to those early morning and late night feedings, not to mention those times when he just wants to be held.

Cradling the baby in the nook of your arm while perching a book just so is something of an art, but once I figured it out, I suddenly had an extra 45 minutes a day where I could just read. Being a veteran dad, I know this bubble of reading time is an aberration that will go away once Luc starts eating solid foods so I'm enjoying it while I can.

Off the Shelf: Analog, V for Vendetta, Hard SF Renaissance

by Ken Newquist / March 16, 2006

Analog SF May '06 Cover

I returned to reading science fiction with a vengeance this month, happily teleporting through the pages of the first issue of my Analog Science Fiction & Fact subscription (though thanks to the messed up temporal mechanics of magazine publishing, I'm reading the May issue in March).

I also fulfilled a years-long goal of reading the graphic novel version of V for Vendetta before returning to the never-ending Hard SF Renaissance, which I've been plowing through for the last year or so.

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May 2005