Sci-fi author David Brin's recommended reading list

Science fiction author and futurist, David Brin, has put together an excellent list of sci-fi books to read. He posted this list years ago, but has re-surfaced it to remind people that now is a great time to READ.

He has the books divided up into interesting categories, like Harbingers of Hope, Sci-Fi for Kids, the Hard Stuff, Fantasy - with Brains, etc. Hundreds of great recommendations here.

Image: Glogger CC BY-SA 3.0 Read the rest

Get lost in one of 50 contemporary books over 500 pages long

Door stop books. Baby booster seat books. Boat anchor books. Whatever you want to call them, gargantuan novels have their weighty charms, especially now, as we're all looking for distracting rabbit holes to fall into.

To that end, Literary Hub has put together a list of 50 fine, contemporary novels that clock in at over 500 pages. Read 'em if you can hold them up.

Richard Powers, The Overstory (512 pages) Strap in for a 512-page book about trees. But of course it’s really about humanity—all literature is—and it’s weirdly engrossing. Though it lags a bit at the end when it succumbs to polemic, for the most part, Powers manages to entertain, inform, and inspire action in the most high profile work of climate fiction yet.

Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose (512 pages) A murder mystery concerning a labyrinthine library, and probably the only bestselling novel to be based on semiotics.

Tana French, The Witch Elm (528 pages) It’s not my favorite of French’s novels (that would be The Likeness, obviously, I’m not a crazy person), but it’s the only one that tips over the 500-page mark, and honestly, even my third favorite French ranks above most other people’s books. The Witch Elm is also perhaps her most fully realized, investigating not just a murder but privilege and society and the notion of memory—or sanity—itself. It’s very good.

Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (639 pages) Chabon’s magnum opus is a gloriously fun, wham-pow novel of heroes, friendship, magic, the Golden Age of Comics, and sure, okay, Hitler. Read the rest

The 2018 Locus Poll is open: choose your favorite science fiction of 2017!

Following the publication of its editorial board's long-list of the best science fiction of 2017, science fiction publishing trade-journal Locus now invites its readers to vote for their favorites in the annual Locus Award. I'm honored to have won this award in the past, and doubly honored to see my novel Walkaway on the short list, and in very excellent company indeed. Read the rest

The exploration and expansion of gender: the 2016 Tiptree Awards for fantasy and science fiction

The 2016 winners of the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award have been announced, top honors went to When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore, with further honors going to some of my favorite books of 2016: Seanan McGuire's Every Heart a Doorway, Ada Palmer's Too Like the Lightning, and Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky. Read the rest

Ten of 2016's most notable African science fiction and fantasy stories

James Mazi writes, "Wole Talabi, a Nigerian SF writer and editor who lives in Malaysia, has rounded up his ten favorite African science fiction and fantasy stories of 2016. This is a follow up to his list from 2015 and just like that list, the stories are wildly varied, from fun techno-thrillers set in Uganda to emotional universe-spanning stories of family." Read the rest

The ten best adventure novels of 1966

My friend Josh Glenn compiles terrific lists of genre novels from the mid-20th century. His latest is a list of the ten best adventure novels of 1966. Josh also includes the cover art of early editions of the books, which are always much better than the art on newer editions. I want to read every book in this list!

Thomas Pynchon’s postmodernist, apophenic* adventure The Crying of Lot 49. Has discontented California housewife Oedipa Maas uncovered a centuries-old conflict between two mail distribution companies? Or is she perhaps merely detecting signals where there is only noise? “The ordered swirl of houses and streets, from this high angle, sprang at her now with the same unexpected, astonishing clarity as the circuit card had. Though she knew even less about radios than about Southern Californians, there were to both outward patterns a hieroglyphic sense of concealed meaning, of an intent to communicate.” Fun fact: Pynchon’s fictional aerospace engineering company, Yoyodyne, is referenced in the movie The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.

1966 was a good year for other media besides books. Here's my review of a book called 1966! A Personal view of the Coolest Year in Pop Culture History.

*Thanks for teaching me a new word, Josh! (apophenia: The perception of or belief in connectedness among unrelated phenomena.) Read the rest