I read…a lot. Here’s where I ramble about books and printed media.
📚 twenty-six of 2020: Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore ⭐️⭐️⭐️
A smart aleck demon and its long-suffering keeper, quirky locals in a tourist town, and a touch of Lovecraft on the California coast. Entertaining and amusing, if not “laugh out loud” funny.
📚 twenty-five of 2020: Star Trek S.C.E.: Foundations by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dillmore ⭐️⭐️⭐️
A Trek “expanded universe” novel; three short stories and a framing story, all of Scotty’s interactions with the early S.C.E. and tying into TOS episodes.
📚 twenty-three of 2020: Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1968 Hugo Best Novel
A neat blending of western SF sensibilities with the Indian pantheon of gods; enjoyed this one more than I expected given that I didn’t much like Zelazny’s prior Hugo winner.
📚 twenty-two of 2020: Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp ⭐️⭐️⭐️
On its own, a fairly standard action thriller. But as the source material for Die Hard, it’s a fascinating artifact. Surprisingly similar, and all changes made for the film were for the better.
📚 twenty-one of 2020: Matter’s End by Gregory Benford ⭐️⭐️
An average collection of short stories, some of which show their age more than others—especially one that starts with a riff on Mormon missionaries and ends with what comes across as (unconscious?) Islamophobia.
📚 twenty of 2020: Starman by Alan Dean Foster ⭐️⭐️⭐️
A pleasant and easy adaptation of an 80s SF film that I remember enjoying when it came out. It’s another of the “benevolent alien meets paranoid humans” contact stories, but does it simply and well.
📚 nineteen of 2020: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1967 Hugo Best Novel
Once again, Heinlein has strong and interesting SF (the moon declaring independence) coupled with politics I don’t entirely go for and serious issues with women and sexism.
This year’s Hugo award nominees were announced today. For the most part, they’re all unknown to me, save the following:
Looks like of the textual nominees, the only one(s) I’ve read is Best Series nominee Tade Thompson’s The Wormwood Trilogy, courtesy of the final book’s nomination for the P.K. Dick award. I really enjoyed those, though!
I’ve seen 2/3 of the long form dramatic presentations, missing only Russian Doll S1 (the first couple episodes were fun, but didn’t get further through, for no particular reason) and Jordan Peele’s Us (which is on my “to watch” list).
Only seen one of the short form nominees, The Mandalorian‘s “Redemption”, but I couldn’t tell you which episode that was, so…🤷♂️.
📚 award announcement: This year’s Philip K. Dick Award ceremony is moving online! Join us this Friday, April 10, at 7 p.m. to hear readings from the nominated works and find out who wins this year’s award and special citation for best original paperback SF publication.
Book eighteen of 2020: Fantastic Voyage by Isaac Asimov ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Sure, the miniaturization process is basically magic, and the only woman in the story is treated abysmally, even for Asimov. But if you can cope with those, the concept and adventure is still a lot of fun.