And I also read the Leviathan series - Leviathan, Behemoth, Goliath - by Scott Westerfeld. Mean Mr. Mustard recommended it. Young adult, but well worth the read. Puts The Hunger Games to shame in my opinion. Not nearly so whiny. And that's from someone with a predilection for dystopic literature (so I'd trend toward The Hunger Games). It's a steampunk alt history novel about WWI being fought between Darwinists, who manipulate life, and Clankers, who manipulate machines. The lines follow the political lines of WWI (Britain/Russia = Darwinists, Germany/Austria = Clankers, US/Japan = amalgam), but it's much more complicated than that. He does a great job of interspersing actual history with his steampunk vision. I've been harassing Eryn and my wife to read it with assurances that they'll love it.
I read this article, about what book introduced various authors to science fiction and fantasy. I'm interested to read The Wonderful Trip to the Mushroom Planet and Planetoid, The Riddle-Master of Hed, and The World of Tiers. I apologize with characteristic Minnesota niceness to Galen Dara, but no one should consider their intro to sci fi to be Anne McCaffrey and The Wheel of Time.
I think this article on alternative families in fantasy and science fiction only told me what not to read.
Which brings me to the icing on the cake. David Brin wrote a damn splendid write up of his favorite sci fi books. In categories. Huxley. Banks. Vinge. Heinlein. Bear. Asimov. Niven. Sheffield. Wilson. Gaiman. Mieville. Haldeman. Dick. Westerfeld! This is a f*ing fine list. The only immediate book that jumps to mind that I disagree with is Harry Turtledove's Great War Series. And to be honest, I don't know that it's a bad series. I only know I hated the first book of the World War series so much it still makes me angry. Mean Mr. Mustard can attest to that as I brought it up outside his workplace. The only book that ever made me angrier was a Hammer's Slammers book by David Drake a friend game me where the protagonist was rewarded for trying to rape a lesbian by having sex with her and her partner in the end for saving their lives. Ick. Anyway - Brin's list. Print it. Read all of them. It's the best list I've ever seen.
And finally, something for the not so scifi/fantasy inclined. Beyond Budgeting: How Managers Can Break Free From the Annual Performance Trap by Jeremy Hope and Robin Fraser. It comes to late for this year's review process, and I haven't read it yet, but it came highly recommended by the speakers at the Code Freeze Conference and it's on my Kindle (iPad).
And 30 Books Everyone in Software Business Should Read (and why). This is actually a very good list as far as software development lists go. Spolsky's books were important to me, and I still quote them and explain to people how the ideas in his books explain much of the software we work with every day at my workplace. I've read a number of the others on this list and I'm currently reading the Pragmatic Programmer. While developer books can quickly show their age, if you get past worrying about the specifics and focus on the generalities of what never changes, you gain some valuable insight.
- One more: 7 Literary Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Must Read.
- 102 Essential Sci Fi Books for Your Kindle (Wired)
- A Dozen of the Best from 2011 (Locus)