It was an awesome year of adventures and stories. I enjoyed pretty much all of these books. Now, I am organizing these based on reading them this year, they may have come out well before 2021 (but some are fresh this year too!)
FAVORITE BOOK I READ THIS YEAR
My Review: 5-stars
Vinge created a science fiction masterpiece that struck me to my core with A Deepness in the Sky. This loose prequel to one of my other favorite books, A Fire Upon the Deep, is both haunting and meaningful. I went into Deepness completely blind (as I had with Fire) and found it to be yet another one of my favorite reads. The Emergents are terrifyingly casual about brainwashing victims to use as human-computers, some with menial, wasted tasks. There are some deeply disturbing images involving Qiwi and her mother’s fate, so I want to mention it as a trigger warning. Throughout its length, the characters clutch onto hope that they will one day prevail, and it’s something to respect as a reader. I will miss these characters, and the world Vinge has made for them. If you enjoyed Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time recently, you may want to pick up Deepness In the Sky, which I even consider the grand-daddy to Children of Time. Both involve humans working sidelong with a race of developing spider civilizations. Deepness is a great, haunting, important book. A masterpiece.
MY TOP 5 BOOKS THIS YEAR
Honorable Mentions: Transference by B.T. Keaton and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Quick thoughts about each one: A Deepness in the Sky- Haunting and unique, I read this book at the perfect time in my life and in modern history. I won’t be forgetting this one.
To Be Taught, If Fortunate- The imagination of Becky Chambers is always a delight. I loved the crew in this book, and the various worlds they visit. She made a planet hopping adventure a personal journey with a thought provoking ending. Great stuff.
Jati’s Wager- The second of the Wind Tide novels by Jonathan Nevair. This is my most recent read, and I enjoyed it immensly. Jati is such a powerful character, and Ailo’s journey is enthralling. I look forward to No Song, But Silence.
Bloodlines- I loved this book. It’s a pulpy kind of cyberpunk-horror-dark fantasy-scifi vibe I didn’t know I needed in my life. Tom “Doc” Holliday is an awesome character, and he is surrounded by equally great characters. I had a great time listening to the audiobook for this, and I look forward to Pieces of Eight.
Piranesi- I have never read a book like this before. It was strange, eerie, charming, and unique. I loved every moment of it, and the way the plot develops just kept me jumping back to it for more. Excellent book.
Transference- B.T.Keaton has crafted one of the coolest and most original scifi books with Transference. I could never guess where it was going to go next, and it always surprised me in the best ways possible. I hope to see Keaton follow this up, I love the universe he made here. It’s winning awards and it deserves them! Great story here!
House of Leaves- I’m super late to the party on this one, but I finally showed up. It’s great and weird and I almost forgot how to read afterward but I loved it. It even kept me up at night a few times, which is hard for a book to envoke in me. Weird shit man!
Some indie author love! Yes my book is included (I read it like 40 times while editing, it stays), but it’s got great company here. Each one of these is a recommended from me! Show these authors some love and check out some unique and exciting stories you wouldn’t find elsewhere!
My TBR sort of gets tackled in whatever order I feel after I finish a book. So here’s some scattershot books I intend to read soon!
CURRENTLY READING: Imaginary Friend – Stephen Chbosky Ancillary Justice – Ann Lecke
TO BE READ:
No Song, But Silence – Jonathan Nevair
Pieces of Eight- Peter Hartog
The Living Waters – Dan Fitzgerald
Qualityland – Marc-Uwe Kling
Nophek Gloss – Essa Hansen
Children of the Sky – Vernor Vinge
Gateway – Frederik Pohl
I look forward to more adventures in 2022. I hope everyone has a great holiday season!