I’ve been spending a lot of my free time with my nose in book, mostly sci-fi and/or fantasy: here are the four or five most recent.
Unholy Night, by Seth Grahame-Smith
I’m not quite sure why Grahame-Smith gets the level of derision that he does. On the other hand, I haven’t read that zombie book, or the vampire one either. Unholy Night is a nice little plot-driven read involving a what-if scenario around the escape of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus from Herod’s wrath. A little bit of the supernatural shows up here and there, enough to keep it interesting.
The Other Wind, by Ursula K. Le Guin
This last (?) installment in the Earthsea series is by far the most boring, least stimulating, and ultimately dissatisfying of the lot. while I have tremendous respect for most of her oeuvre, this one is flat, a mere trifle.
Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
I’m late to the Gaiman party, and have also weirdly never read Terry Pratchett, but this one was entertaining; a comic look at the Antichrist, switched at birth and brought up in rural England, full of misgivings as the appointed time of the End of Days arrives.
Valis, by Philip K. Dick
This was an extremely hard book to read – Dick mixes in autobiographical elements throughout the fictional narrative of a man with a split personality who attempts to unravel the mystery of a religious encoded message that revealed itself to him in the early 1970’s. It’s emotionally exhausting and filled with more truth than one usually gets in fictional stories. Part of a trilogy, written toward the end of Dick’s life; I haven’t yet had the strength to pick up the other two.
The Family Trade, by Charles Stross
A thoroughly two-dimensional summertime page turner, rendered palatable only by Stross’ ability to build plausibility into the key plot device: a group of humans who can cross over into parallel worlds. A far remove from his masterpieces such as Accelerando and Palimpsest. Having said that, I’m in the mood for light summertime page turners, so I’ll likely continue on to The Hidden Family and beyond (I think there are four or five in the series).