Friday, 27 September 2013

What I've been Reading

I have a pile of posts waiting for me to complete them, but little time so I thought I'd do a quick round up of what I've been reading (mostly on the way to work).

My main reading material at the moment is Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series, an epic fantasy series that's fascinating to read and has a host of brilliant ideas in it. The novels are well conceived and established (though it's a bit of a shock going from two very fat books to a much thinner third volume). There are a number of volumes in the house, since I've managed to convert Emma (she who is Fueled by Tea) to them soon after I'd finished Empire in Black and Gold). Em's raced ahead and has got 5 book under her belt to my three; I'm going slow because I don't want to burn out on them.

I'm a bit of an urban fantasy fan (though I'm picky with it) and recently discovered the Split Worlds trilogy by Emma Newman, which I love, and I'm getting book 3 tonight. Also on that front I discovered Tad Williams' Dirty Streets of Heaven, a noir tinged story set in the never ending cold war between Heaven and Hell. It was an interesting book, with a stronger mythos than I expected and pleasantly flawed characters on both sides. There was just enough nebulousness (is that a word - it should be) to cut any preachy feeling it might engendered and the feeling that the protagonists were down in the trenches whilst the Dukes and Archangels were living it large on the efforts of their subordinates gave it a true street level feel.

Charles Stross is a favourite author of mine but I'd never read the Merchant Princes. That's changed a little now as I've completed the Bloodline Feud. A good book but with an achingly slow start, once the book picks up it gets very interesting and has a lot of good ideas in it (I'm a sucker for world hopping stories though so that might just be me).

Currently I'm reading Gaie Sebold's Babylon Steel and finding it refreshingly mad. It's well written and has a good sense of place. It's urban fantasy in the sense that it takes place in a city, but apart from that I'd put it in a sort of sword and sorcery camp, with a liberal smear of sex to go with it. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out and will be getting the sequel.

Gaming wise I'm reading Numenera (well, I'm flipping through it and fiddling with bits of it but there's no point doing anything more than that until I'm in a position to run the game). It's a brilliant idea and draws on lots of SF I enjoy; though part of me wants to throw out the setting and do something more in line with Moorcock's Runestaff books.

Aside from that, I have three screenwriting books to be reading...

Next up is going to be book 4 of Shadows of the Apt and the start of the Sally Lockhart books by Philip Pullman.

What are you reading?


  1. Have you read any Benedict Jacka novels with Alex Verus?

  2. I'm not familiar with them, what are they about?

  3. Chris, I've picked up the first of them today - looking forward to reading it.