• Dan

What I’ve been reading – February 2019 edition




Howdy,


So far 2019 has been a good year for reading – at least for me. Here are the highlights.


The Consuming Fire

Listened to this one on audible. What can I say, I’ve been a huge fan of Jon Scalzi since reading Old Man’s War. The Consuming Fire is the second book in the Interdependency Series that focuses more on politics than war. The sci-fi ideas in the book are interesting, the plot is fast-moving, and the characters are either despicable or likable. I’d highly recommend this series, especially to any budding sci-fi authors out there (Scalzi is consistently one of the best selling authors in the genre) or just plain fans of a good space opera.


A word of warning if you plan to listen to this on audible. I also listened to the first book in the series, The Collapsing Empire. It took me a while to get use to Wil Wheaton’s narration. At first, I found it rather aggravating, but I got used to it. While listening to The Consuming Fire, I found myself enjoying his narration.


Star Wars Life Debt

This is the second book in Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars series. I liked it. His action scenes are especially good. In the scenes called Interludes, he does a fantastic job quickly creating relatable characters and telling their story even though the characters are only around for one chapter. Sometimes his writing is a bit over the top. What I mean by that that his writing draws attention to itself. On several occasions, he refers to characters feeling like their appendages are various slabs of meat…the analogies didn’t work for me.


Overall, I think budding sci-fi authors would do well to read this book. The present tense narration makes for interesting contemplation and, as I mentioned before, the action scenes are top-notch.


Endurance

This book is about Scott Kelly’s year in space on the International Space Station. Highly recommended. Beyond just being a fascinating memoir, there are scads of details a sci-fi author might consider when writing about living in space.


Foundation

The first book in Isaac Asimov’s classic series made for entertaining reading. It shows its age around the edges with some of the tech…but, the way women are portrayed, when given any mention at all, harkens back to another time and is mildly off-putting. However, what I have to admire is how Asimov is able to put two characters in a room and create gripping scenes with conflict and world building while mostly only using dialogue. He was a master ensuring his characters have opposing agendas. For that reason alone, the book is worth studying.


© 2018 by Dan