The Free Lunch - Spider Robinson
What an odd little book. One part Heinlein juvenile, one part Dreampark, one part Spider Robinson's usual. All in a good way, but . . . I'm not really sure what to do with it.
Hunting Party - Elizabeth Moon
Sporting Chance - Elizabeth Moon
Winning Colors - Elizabeth Moon
Once a Hero - Elizabeth Moon
Rules of Engagement - Elizabeth Moon
Brain candy time.
Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America - Thomas Fleming
High Fidelity - Nick Hornsby
Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date - Robert X. Cringley
The Final Encyclopedia - Gordon Dickson
Little, Big - John Crowley
Dorsai! - Gordon Dickson
Letters to a Young Contrarian - Christopher Hitchens
The Penguin History of Europe - J. M. Roberts
Common Sense / The Rights of Man - Thomas Paine
A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket
Oh, this really is very good. The voice is perfect.
Schismatrix Plus - Bruce Sterling
As I noted somewhere else recently, 20 Evocations is one of the finest short stories I've ever read . . . if you read it after Schismatriz and all the related stories. Maybe it's a coda, not a story.
Islands in the Net - Bruce Sterling
Eeesh. This dates fast, in much of the tech. The politics less so, in some ways. It's harder to read about the terrorism as well--but I don't think Sterling meant it lightly at the time. And he does, truly, seem to believe (hope?) that the banal, hokey, irritating globalists are the best hope for humanity in the end. I find it hard to disagree.
All Tomorrow's Parties - William Gibson
I really, really, really wish the bridge existed. It'd make San Francisco even more San Francisco than it is.
Idoru - William Gibson
He's repeating himself--just a little--here, but we'll forgive him that for giving us the toecutter and the fans.
Virtual Light - William Gibson
Seeing more of Delany's influence this time around, in the discussion of crime, sex, and drugs being the interface between classes and the aside about AIDS studies.
Mona Lisa Overdrive - William Gibson
Probably the best book. But what does it mean that he takes us right back to where he left us at the end of Neuromancer? I've never been able to figure that out, whether it was planning or him writing himself out of a corner and back into room for a few sequels.
Count Zero - William Gibson
See now, when he ends it back on Rudy's farm, I figure that's his idea of home.
Neuromancer - William Gibson
I'm prepping to see No Maps for These Territories. Man, can Mr. Gibson write. Neuromancer was released in 1984. When's the next real shot across the bow going to come?
Icehenge - Kim Stanley Robinson
In some ways this works (now) as a counterpoint to the Mars series--instead of Mars becoming the center of humanistic revolution in the solar system, it becomes the epitome of repression. But it's really more about history (although he shows how political repression can use history rather effectively) and memory, two of his favorite subjects.
Cyteen : The Vindication - C.J. Cherryh
Boy, I'll bet this would have made more sense if I'd read the first two parts of the trilogy first.
Skinfolk - Nalo Hopkinson
Newton's Cannon - J. Gregory Keyes
The Garden of Iden - Kage Baker
Mendoza in Hollywood - Kage Baker
The Stone Canal - Ken MacLeod
Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace - Lawrence Lessig
John Adams - David McCullough
Perdido Street Station - China Mieville
Blue Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
The Human Front - Ken MacLeod
Green Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
The Years of Rice and Salt - Kim Stanley Robinson
Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
Magician's Ward - Patricia C. Wrede
The Elegant Universe : Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory - Brian Greene
Perpetuity Blues and Other Stories - Neal Barrett, Jr.
The Curse of Chalion - Lois McMaster Bujold
First straight-up fantasy novel I've read in a long while that was actually gripping and didn't insult my intelligence once. I was mildly grumpy when I had heard that Bujold was working on this rather than the next much-needed hit of Vorkosigan-crack. I officially rescind my grump.
The Pickup Artist - Terry Bisson
Um. This gets loosely grouped in the dystopia pile, probably closer to Fahrenheit 451 than 1984. The conceit is a beaut--a world in which it has been decided that a. there are too many works of art which means that b. new artists don't have as much room to compete so logically the correct remedy is to c. systematrically eliminate all of the old art, artist by artist. It seems to be at least partly a commentary on the world of science-fiction fandom, but I'm not positive--the artists that actually figure in the book tend to be either sf authors or country singers, but that may just be a reflection of the author's tastes. There's a lot of weird in this book, but it doesn't seem to actually do anything with any of it.
Deciding What's News: A Study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek, and Time - Herberst Gans p. 277
Mary Shelley - Miranda Seymour
This took me a loooong time to read--cost me a whole $5 in library fines, it did. I put it down for a long while after Percy Shelley's death . . . reading the aftermath was too painful. Seymour is a very comprehensive biographer and a good writer, but this is not exactly a light read even for Mary Shelley fans. There's definitely a lot of meat in here, particularly with respect to Mary's complicated relationships with her friends through the years and her recurring bouts of depression (as well as the connection between her depression and her mother's--a link spotted, at the time, only by her father, who warned her about the problem repeatedly). These are, I think correctly, given more attention than the various known and possible romantic entanglements (other than with Percy, of course). Mary seems to have constantly demanded but rarely found strong, close, intimate, long-lasting friendships. Seymour is careful to show, however, that Mary's social situation was rarely quite as dire as she portrayed it in her worst moments--and anyone who's had unshakeable feelings of loneliness can identify with her in these moments.
Moving Violations : War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence - John Hockenberry
Winterlong - Elizabeth Hand