Showing posts from May, 2014

The logic of the to-be-read list

I’ve been thinking lately about how books get on my radar. I usually consider reading a book for one of three reasons: (Note, this is all regarding books by authors I’ve never tried before . Authors I follow, I already know whether I’m going to read their next one.) One: Proximity and Pretty Covers There have been times in my life, some not so long ago, in which the easiest way for an unknown book to end up on my list was for it to be available at my local library and have an interesting cover. That’s how I read Recursion and Illium and By the Mountain Bound when we lived in New York. It’s why I picked up books from the middle of these series before reading the first one: Lost Fleet , Mercy Thompson , Kris Longknife , probably others. It’s why I’ve read a great deal of odd/obscure stuff from the 90’s. The Winter of the World . King of Morning, Queen of Day . It’s probably how I started on Anne McCaffery and Mercedes Lackey. In the town where I grew up, I eventually read al

Cleopatra in Space: Volume One, Target Practice

One of several Mike Maihack prints on my wall! Cleopatra in Space: Volume One, Target Practice Mike Maihack, 2014 Premise: On her fifteenth birthday, Cleopatra skips out on her lessons to explore the city with a friend. She ends up finding more than she bargained for. In the far future, her appearance is prophesied, although no one will tell her what her role in the intergalactic war is supposed to be, and in the meantime, she still has to go to class. I’ve loved Mike Maihack’s art for some time now, and I enjoyed the early webcomic version of Cleopatra in Space, so I picked this up as soon as it hit store shelves. This is a charming volume. Cleo is fun, funny and sharp, there’s enough intriguing backstory to flesh out the concept but not so much to weigh down the story. The pace flies; I finished this book extremely quickly and then had to flip back through more slowly to enjoy the art. The art style is so effortless and stylized that it’s easy to miss all the little d

Fortune's Pawn

Fortune's Pawn Rachel Bach, 2013 Premise: Devi Morris is a merc with a goal: get into the most elite unit on her home planet. To do so before anyone else her age, she plans to get some bonus points spending a year pulling security duty on a ship known for trouble. But with a crew full of secrets, and even more trouble than Devi's got plasma shots, she may not make it out at all. I'm going to come out on one point first. This book has a lot in common with a lot of current urban fantasy. First person female narrator, mysterious love interest, action, drama. However, this book is superior, because it's in SPACE! I had heard nothing but good things going into this book, and I can see why. Devi is awesome. Kick-ass, naturally, funny and clever. Stubborn and bad-tempered too, prone to shooting first and maybe asking questions if the other guy pulls through. (Her anger is something I really connect with.) She's not at the start of her career; she's a pro