One of the great things about writing for this blog is getting reading recommendations from my awesome co-conspirators, er...co-contributors. Way more than I can ever hope to keep up with, certainly, but this year a few have made my annual Summer Reading List.
That means that this year's list includes some works I've missed by a
couple of legendary writers, and some brand new works by folks that may
one day become legendary authors. We can hope, right?
S.C. Barrus contributed a guest post to Nerds of a Feather awhile back on Isometric Role-Playing Games. At the time, he was readying his steampunk novel Discovering Aberration
for publication. The summary reads like a Victorian-era Indiana Jones
adventure, and to me that sounds awesome. It's a big book, and I'm a man
with an unreasonable number of demands on my time, but this is at the
top of my to-read list this summer.
A friend of mine, comic book writer Mark Landry (bloodthirstycomic.com)
did the cover art for this, and showed it to me awhile back. I thought
it was awesome, and Mark told me I should read the book. He'd read it
multiple times throughout his time involved on the project, and spoke
very highly of it, so I was happy to get my little e-inkstained fingers
on it. With a female-centric story about the singularity, robots,
consciousness, and immortality-through-technology, it's got my
expectations high. And check out that cover!
Our intrepid monthly Adventures in Indie Publishing columnist D.E.S. Richard interviewed S.C. Harrison for this site and subsequently reviewed her horror collection Planks.
After reading the review, I immediately bought the Kindle edition...and
then didn't read it. But I intend to do so now! Usually I do a lot of
horror reading in the fall, not just because of Halloween, but because I
love fall and horror and the grey days and long nights have always made
the two feel compatible for me. But this year I'm bloodying up my
summer, and I've been promised in Planks a collection of interrelated short stories that do a masterful job of world-building.
When I read Lolita years ago, I had the annotated edition. Not
only did I love the book, but I found myself loving it all the more
since I had the ability through those annotations to see so much more of
what laid beyond the surface than I would have been able to grasp
without them. Nabokov had an unmatched gift for prose that continues to
astonish me. So how I have not managed to read Pale Fire — in
which a fictional scholar introduces, includes, and fully annotates the
final poem of a fictional poet — escapes me. That's three levels of
Nabokov. I just hope I can keep up.
I have read probably a half-dozen of Philip K. Dick's novels and a
handful of short stories, but never this one. To be honest, beyond
knowing that it's an alternate history where the Axis won WWII, I'm not
even really sure what it's about, and I don't care to investigate since
I'm willing to let myself be surprised by the journey he wants to take
me on. After all, V.A.L.I.S. isn't really about whatever the summary of the plot says it's about, anyway, and Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said starts off being about one thing and winds up being about something else entirely, so I'm just excited for the journey.
This is the only non-fiction book on my list this year, and another
entry in my bought-it-on-Kindle-didn't-read-it-yet file. Judy Dutton
spent time immersed in the competitive world of serious science fair
competitors (not me — I tried to make an automatic dog-walker like on The Jetsons
with some leftover carpet scraps), and these days I would so much
rather read about kids getting bent out of shape through science
competition and aspiration than out of sports competition and
aspiration. The book's a couple of years old now, but the kids are
probably still in their late-teens, and I for one am looking forward to
reading about those that may one day make all the wacky sci-fi shit in
lots of these other books I'm reading come true.
Posted by: Vance K — cult film aficionado, unapologetic lover of bad movies, and Nerds of a Feather contributor since 2012.