The Peshawar Lancers

December 16, 2008

Author: S. M. Stirling
Copyright: 2002
Publisher: ROC

Started: 12/16/08
Completed: 12/25/08

My brother Matt loaned me this book. It is an alternative-history novel based on the premise that a natural disaster in the latter half of the 19th Century interrupted history. The novel is set in a 21st century that is still using steam-based technology. It is a good adventure story and an interesting sorta-science-fiction story.

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Empire of Ivory

December 11, 2008

Author: Naomi Novik
Copyright: 2007
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Started: 12/11/08
Completed: 12/16/08

This is the fourth in the Tremeraire series that I have been reading the last few months. Reading this will catch me up on the whole series; a long story about fighting dragoons in the service of the English during the Napoleanic wars. Very good book.

Good Omens

December 4, 2008

Author: Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Copyright: 1990
Publisher: Harper

Started: 12/4/08
Completed: 12/11/08

Pratchett and Gaiman are two of my favorite authors. I have read this book before, but when I ran across a new paperback edition in the bookstore I decided to revisit. This is silly fantasy, with an English absurdism sensability. It is an “end of times” novel, but the angels and demons are not quite what you would expect.

Throne of Jade

November 28, 2008

Author: Naomi Novik
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: Harper

Started: 11/28/08
Completed: 12/4/08

My brother Matt loaned me this book. It is the second in the Tremeraire series, which he suggested to me in the first place. I’ve now read the third book, and the first (out of order) and the fourth is on my “to-read” shelf. This series assumes that there were dragons in the military arsenals of the combatant nations in the Napoleonic wars. Tremeraire is a dragon; a sentient creature who carries a captain and crew into battle. The series follows their story and examines the relationships among the crew and with the dragon.

His Majesty’s Dragon

October 30, 2008

Author: Naomi Novik
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Started: 10/30/08
Completed: 11/3/08

This is the first in the Tremeraire Series that my brother Matt pointed me toward. I started the series by reading the third in the series; I found that at the bookstore before finding this one at the library.

This is a great book. Probably better than the third, to be honest. But in any case, I’m on the lookout for the second book.

Stardust

October 28, 2008

Author: Neil Gaiman
Copyright: 1999
Publisher: Harper

Started: 10/27/08
Completed: 10/29/08

I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan and I loved the movie that was made from this novel a few years ago. So when I spotted this edition on the shelf in the “Science Fiction” section of my bookstore while I was looking for the dragon series I just tried, I had to grab it. It’s fast read, but great fun.

Black Powder War

October 20, 2008

Author: Naomi Novik
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Started: 10/20/08
Completed: 10/27/08

This is part of a series of novels recommended to me by my brother Matt, who shares some of my tastes in reading. The series assumes that the British military had access to dragons (flying dragons) duirng the Napoleonic wars. Matt is not normally a fan of fantasy, but has a keen eye for a well crafted historical or military novel and enjoys a good series as much as I do. This is the third in the series. I couldn’t find books one and two. But I wanted to give it a try.

And it turns out to be worth it. I will look forward to finding, and reading, the rest of this series.

The Little Book

October 6, 2008

Author: Seldon Edwards
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Dutton

Started: 10/6/08
Completed: 10/12/08

This is a time-travel book that the author worked on over some 30 years. I enjoy time-travel books both for the feeling of “being there” and for the twisted plot logic that they can bring. This is a very engaging novel. It is one of those that you hate to finish, because it has been such fun to be in this world.

Bloodsucking Fiends

August 21, 2008

Author: Christopher Moore
Copyright: 1995
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Started: 8/19/08
Completed: 8/22/08

This is an early book from one of my favorite authors. He writes dark, odd, very funny stuff. This is the ifirst part of a love story involving vampires. I have already read the sequal to this one and have been looking forward to catching back. When I saw this in a Boston bookstore I snatched it right up.

It was worth it. Now I need to go find that sequel and read it again.

On Stranger Tides

July 17, 2008

Author: Tim Powers
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Subterranean Press

Started: 7/17/08
Completed: 7/25/08

When I pulled this off the library shelf, all I saw was what looked like a goofy pirate tale with some supernatural overtones. It suggested escapism.It turned out to be a bit deeper than that; not a bad story at all. It provides a portrait of piracy in the Caribbean at the time of Blackbeard. There is a strong sorcery tie-in and plenty of action. Escapism, but fairly intelligent.