Assembling a Christmas Break Reading List

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.

I’m thinking of authors like Peter Hamilton (Pandora’s Star), Alastair Reynolds (Pushing Ice), Ken MacLeod (Learning the World) and John Scalzi (Old Man’s War).

I do have a few books lined up. I’m going to pick up one of the two space opera anthologies on the market right now, either The New Space Opera or The Space Opera Renaissance. Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds is already on its way from, and although it doesn’t quite fit my criteria, I want to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Majesty series and read The Amber Spyglass.

What do you think should be on my holiday reading list? Post your suggestions in the comments. I’ll blog the final list on Dec. 26th; you can also follow my progress by checking out my¬† “Christmas Break 2008 Reading List” bookshelf on GoodReads.

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