Soliciting books for my Summer 2009 Reading List

It’s almost summer again, which means it’s time for me to start assembling that long-running Nuketown tradition: the Summer Reading List. (check out Radio Active #50 for my 2007 reading list, and Radio Active #69 for my 2008 one).

The reading list is my chance to catch up on stuff I missed during the rest of the year, as well as to read some books I’ve meant to get, but never did. This time around, I’m sticking mostly to science fiction in general and space opera in particular. I’ve got a few books already lined up, but I’m looking for suggestions: send me yours by posting a comment or emailing me at I’d also love to know what’s on your summer reading list, so post those books as well!

Here’s what I’m already reading:

  • Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds: The sequel to his earlier book, Revelation Space. Aliens are invading the galaxy, and humanity’s only hope is for a cybernetically enhanced, group-mind joined soldier named Clavain to find an ancient weapons cache.
  • The Space Opera Renaissance: This is the second of two space opera anthologies I got for Christmas. I finished the first one — the New Space Opera — earlier this spring and I’m looking forward to digging into this more traditional collection (the New Space Opera had a decidedly transhumanist bent)
  • The Dreaming Void by Peter Hamilton: A follow-up to his Pandora’s Star/Judas Unchained books sees humanity investigating what could be a mini-universe at the center of the Milky Way galaxy (instead of the mega black hole everyone thought was there

What I’m enjoying most about Reynolds’ and Hamilton’s books is that they think big. Revelation Space had a great, species-threatening hook at its core, and was self-contained enough that I didn’t have to read the follow up (but I wanted to). Meanwhile, Hamilton can be verbose, but he does a great job of setting up galaxy-spanning challenges. I’m looking forward to more of the same from both authors (as well as any others I can find).

I’ve also got the The Bloody Crown of Conan by Robert E. Howard sitting on my shelf, but I think it may stay there. I love fantasy, but I suspect I won’t really start jonesing to read some until the release of George R.R. Martin’s next Song of Fire and Ice book (or the final book in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, which ever comes first).