2015 Reading on SCy-Fy


I read 85 books in 2015, fairly evenly divided between science fiction and fantasy. The photo shows an average mail day.

Science fiction was slightly ahead this year in part because of my push to read all of the first 24 books in the Gollancz SF Masterworks series; I blogged about that here.

My reading in 2015 concentrated a lot on reading and re-reading modern classics. Here are some highlights and low points:

BEST FANTASY NOVEL: A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA  by Ursula K. Le Guin. Seemingly effortless story-telling, with archetypes peeking through the originality.

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL: HYPERION by Dan Simmons. So many ideas, and a set of characters with great individual stories.

WORST NOVEL: ORYX AND CRAKE by Margaret Atwood. Unsympathetic characters weakened my resistance, then the child porn finished me off. I loved the Handmaid’s Tale, but for me Atwood really misfired with this one.

BEST SERIES: THE LATRO SERIES by Gene Wolfe. starting with Soldier of the Mist, a plausible way of fitting the ancient gods with the contemporary mind-set.

BEST NOVELLA: THE MIRACLE WORKERS  by Jack Vance. Middle Ages and magic from one of the masters.

BEST STORY: I, ROBOT by Isaac Asimov. Almost all of these stories could be individual winners. On this re-read, I saw much more philosophy in this than last time.

MOST OVER-RATED: THE FINAL EMPIRE by Brandon Sanderson. The characters spend so much time rolling their eyes, glaring and shrugging, that I almost lost sight of how silly this is. Almost. Strong competition in this category from Rothfuss and Abercrombie.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

THIS IMMORTAL by Roger Zelazny

THE STARS MY DESTINATION by Alfred Bester

THE EARTH ABIDES by George R. Stewart

CAMP CONCENTRATION by Thomas Disch

THE FEMALE MAN by Joanna Russ

 

14 thoughts on “2015 Reading on SCy-Fy

  1. Great list / rating, I agree pretty much about everything, with the exception of Atwood – haven’t read that one (yet). Hyperion and The Stars, My Destinations are among my top ten SF ever. I also didn’t know Camp Concentration – but now it’s firmly in my 2016 TBR list. Thanks!

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      1. I hated that sequel 🙂 Must check out the Latro series, but I have the book of the long sun on the TBR-pile as well. Will check out the 3 last books in your honorable mentions, all unknown titles/authors to me.

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  2. Latro is very different from Long Sun; I found Latro more accessible. If you are interested in ancient history, that series should be very satisfying.

    Earth Abides is the ancestor of post-apocalyptic fiction, but with a softer vision than much of that sub-genre has. Camp Concentration is intellectual dystopian fiction. The Female Man is difficult to categorize – feminist and satirical. All are science fiction classics and worth reading.

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  3. Hyperion was a big let down for me. I kept waiting for the Shrike to appear and was forced through flashback after flashback (which, while interesting, were not what I expected of the book).

    Also…. it might seem that one of those Kindle-things that amazon make might make your life simpler. Or at least make your postman’s life simpler.

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  4. You’ve read some really nice books. The Hyperion Cantos books were amazing, Simmons really made everything fit together so well in the end. He planned them out really well and made sure events linked up; it was impressive. I read Earthsea and unfortunately it just didn’t work for me; I don’t know if it was the writing style or ideas or something else. I was hoping to like it too, especially as my first ever Le Guin.

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  5. I’ve heard lots of good things about Hyperion so that’s one I would love to get round to. Oryx and Crake – I have a copy (in fact I’ve had it for years – probably bought new!) but have never read it, I’ve liked a few of her books but this one just never appealed to me as much for some reason.
    Lynn 😀

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