I’m quite proud of this list, as I think it’s got a nice mix of selections, and I’m pleased to see that it got a large response from the commentariat as well. (To whom it may concern: I didn’t mention Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber because the only Zelazny I’ve read is A Night in the Lonesome October.) And while I didn’t have the space to say this in the article itself, let me take the time here to advocate that everyone read the first ten Lord Peter Wimsey books in order, not just skipping straight to the Vane novels. You’re missing an absorbing arc of character development, some enjoyable mysteries and at least two stone cold classic novels if you don’t read all ten books.
I reviewed The Book Eaters, the debut novel by Sunyi Dean, for Strange Horizons earlier this month. There’s a lot going on in this book, and it’s definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year. Highly recommended, and I’ll be looking forward to Dean’s next book for sure.
My review of the first two books in this trilogy by Andrea Stewart went up at Strange Horizons yesterday. All in all they were a lot of fun, and I’ll be interested to see how Stewart ties everything together in the forthcoming The Bone Shard War.
At Strange Horizons. I’d like to add that I finally saw Eternals a few days after I turned in my portion, and I would undoubtedly have added it to the roundup if I’d seen it earlier. It isn’t quite as transcendent as The Green Knight and Dune, but it’s a great movie that does some really interesting things with the MCU (and with natural light, Kevin Feige wasn’t blowing smoke with that line). I’ve been enjoying the Kieron Gillen comic too, and I’m glad I read it beforehand since it did help me keep some of the characters straight. Ikaris is notably hotter and smarter in the movie, which is also interesting.
Happy New Year!
My review of Mark Oshiro’s recent YA novel Each of Us a Desert went up at Strange Horizons at the end of June. I really liked Oshiro’s first book Anger Is a Gift and their new MG book The Insiders is on my e-reader. This book is vivid, unusual, and a compelling read.
Strange Horizons is doing their annual Kickstarter in October this year; you can contribute to the magazine and its planned special issues until the end of the month, and I highly recommend doing so.
My review of Katherine Addison’s 2020 novel The Angel of the Crows went up on Strange Horizons last month. I really wanted to like this book, but there’s too much questionable stuff in the subtext for me to fully endorse it, even as a committed and lifelong fan of Sherlock Holmes.
My review of Star Trek: Lower Decks is now up at Strange Horizons. Fun fact: out of all the Trek shows past and present, this unlikely animated comedy has turned in what is easily the strongest first season of them all. I’m very much looking forward to more (and to Cetacean Ops, I hope!).
My review of Nino Cipri’s novella Finna is now up at Strange Horizons. Fun fact: I was assigned this review nearly a year ago, turned it in in…much later than intended because pandemic, and now the sequel Defekt is only a few months away. I intend to read it; I enjoyed this one a lot.
My section of the annual 2020 in review roundup has been up at Strange Horizons for a few weeks. With the inauguration behind us and Lunar New Year on the horizon, I finally feel like 2021 is here.
My review of Tim Maughan’s Infinite Detail (2019) is up at Strange Horizons. I’m very pleased with this review, and I think this is the rare case where a long delay (I pitched it in the fall of last year, things happened, I got the assignment just before the March lockdown, and then quarantine brain happened) has actually helped make the book’s strengths more appreciable. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend it highly.