Top Ten Tuesday

Posted November 1, 2016 by Nicky in General / 6 Comments

This week’s theme is Top Ten Books if your bookclub likes ____. Well, I’ll go with sci-fi (or spec-fic more generally), surprising no one. (Except anyone who half expected me to do non-fiction again.)

Cover of The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell Cover of The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach Cover of Dark Run by Mike Brooks Cover of Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang Cover of The Gate to Women's Country by Sherri S. Tepper

  1. The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell. Prepare to have your heart and soul ripped to shreds. It sounds like crack: Jesuits in space! It isn’t. It’s really serious and profound and an amazing exploration of faith and where it might take people.
  2. The Carpet Makers, by Andreas Eschbach. The translation is actually really good, and the structure of this book is fascinating. Plenty to sink your teeth into.
  3. Dark Run, by Mike Brooks. This is rather lighter fare: basically Firefly if it did more than nod at diversity. (Come on, I love Firefly, but Simon and River Tam should’ve been played by Chinese actors, following the logic of the world-building.)
  4. Stories of Your Life and Others, by Ted Chiang. You can even get a book club cinema trip out of this one in the near future, with Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner in a film adaptation of one of the stories. There’s some really clever stuff here.
  5. The Gate to Women’s Country, by Sheri S. Tepper. RIP to the author, who died on the 22nd October of this year. I found this book really fascinating, and it’s an interesting exploration of gender roles.
  6. Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. I really love this whole trilogy (maybe a reread soon?), but it seems like it can be a bit like Marmite. Regardless, there should be plenty to dig your teeth into in a discussion.
  7. Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer. What’s going on in this book? Who knows, but there’s plenty to talk about and analyse. I’d read the whole trilogy, though, to get all the pieces of the puzzle…
  8. Remnant Population, by Elizabeth Moon. This book actually features an older protagonist, which is interesting, and it’s a fun exploration of two species meeting in a less-than-typical situation.
  9. The Broken Land, by Ian McDonald. I don’t know why other people didn’t enjoy this. Whether you see Israel and Palestine in it, or the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, it reflects reality and muses upon it in the best sort of way.
  10. Troika, by Alastair Reynolds. I stumbled across this novella in a library in Belgium, and hadn’t come across it before, despite enjoying the author’s work. It’s an interesting take on the Big Dumb Object trope. If your bookclub wanted to explore a major SF trope, this’d be a good pick, for my money.

Cover of Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie Cover of Annilation by Jeff VanderMeer Cover of Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon Cover of The Broken Land by Ian McDonald Cover of Troika by Alastair Reynolds

Looking forward to seeing other people’s lists this week — though it’s not like I need more new books…

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6 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday

  1. This is the genre that I am not nearly as familiar with as I would like to be. Out of the handful of sic fi books that I have read, they are among my most memorable, so I don’t know why I don’t pick it up more often. I will be sure to pick through a couple of these suggestions. Thanks for the list.
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    • Aw, thank you! I always worry it’ll bore people that I won’t just settle down to one genre/topic, but… there’s so much to read and so much to learn! How could I limit myself?

    • Ann Leckie’s books were great — my wife didn’t get into them, but I loved them. Vandermeer’s books can be very weird, but I enjoyed it a lot — though it reminded me of the Strugatsky brothers’ Roadside Picnic in terms of plot.

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