A starship, it's engines trailing smoke, descends toward a blue-white ring world

Consider Phlebas

Consider Phlebas is a sometimes thrilling, often meandering, always morally gray novel about people caught up in a galactic war. It’s antihero is Horza, a human shape changer working for the Iridans, an alien civilization of religious zealots hell bent on breaking the galactic strength of The Culture, humanity’s own star-faring civilization.

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Two warriors face off in a desert land broken by plateaus. In the distance, an orange/yellow storm rages.

Off the Bookshelf: Fractions, Words of Radiance, Shards of Honor

My annual vacation to Lake Champlain is still a ways off, but I’ve begun attacking my summer reading list with a vengeance. I’ve completed one book — Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold — have have launched into two more: Fractions by Ken MacLeod and Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve also found one of the books on my list is caught in the Amazon/Hachette crossfire.

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Two warriors face off on a vast plateau. In the background there is a vast skyscape, the left side filled with a storm cloud, the right with a sunset.

Off the Bookshelf: Ready Player One, Creative Fire, Way of Kings Re-Read

Late winter and early spring are my long dark teatime of the soul when it comes to books: I want to read, but I just don’t have time (or when I do have the time, the motivation) to do so. Fortunately, I have audio books, a daily commute, and a dog that needs walking. All of these combine to insure that I keep reading in the winter months.

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The helmet of a space-suited child appears in front of several geometric shapes.

Off the Bookshelf: House of Suns, Ender’s Game, Atrocity Files

It’s a slow time for reading at Nuketown. The frenzy of the summer reading list has given way to the crush of my fall work load (and, if I’m honest, too much time spent playing Civilization 5). Much of my reading these days is of the audio variety, on my way back and forth from work, and it continues to be dominated by science fiction … though I have snuck in a Lovecraftian spy novel.

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