Friday, June 19, 2020

Summer Reading List 2020: The G

It's that time of year again (which of course you already know since we've been running these all week long). But ever since 2012, when I started our annual Summer Reading tradition, it's been the post series I've most looked forward to. After all, what's summer for if not sitting outside in the warm sun, beverage of choice in hand, and the pure joy of getting lost in other lives and worlds. So without further ado, here is my list of books for 2020 - a year that needs every last bit of joy there is.   

1. Hothouse, Brian Aldiss.

Aldiss wrote one of my favorite SF novels, Non-Stop, and one of my favorite short stories, "Supertoys Last All Summer Long." Hothouse is a far-future novel where a growing (i.e. dying) sun has triggered a massive vegetative bloom and humans are among the last fauna left. Hothouse promises to be very weird and unnerving. (Spoiler alert, as I'm 3/4 of the way through: it's very weird and unnerving.)

2. Children of Ruin, Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Time is one of the best SF books I've read in years - the kind of "hard SF" novel that used to win Hugo Awards, just without the dreary libertarianism. Children of Ruin is the sequel, which if reports are to be believed, picks up exactly where the first one left off.
3. The Mothman Prophecies, John Keel.

Do I believe in UFO visitations? No. Not really. Do I like the idea of UFOs, alien visitations and all that fun stuff? Hells yes. Also, this book will apparently melt your brain, so there's that too.

5. Your House Will Pay, Steph Cha.

Korean-American author Cha is one of the hottest names in crime fiction - I read Follow Her Home and found it to be a fresh new spin on the hardboiled detective formula. Your House Will Pay is much more ambitious, taking on the riots and racial tensions of 1990s Los Angeles.

5. The Vanished Birds, Simon Jimenez.

Paul DiFilippo recently called this a "touching, bold, surprising, gorgeous debut novel—a certain manner of postmodern space opera." I like everything about that description, so count me ready to blast off into the far future.

6. Pedal Crush: Stompbox Effects for Creative Music Making, Kim Bjørn.

My nerdliness stretches into many a domain, and the latest obsession is the wonderful world of boutique guitar pedals. These boxes, often handmade, can transform any sound in all kinds of wonderful ways. Plus they are just fun to look at. Cue a future We Rank 'Em that only Vance and I (and NOAF alum Philippe) will want to read...


POSTED BY: The G--purveyor of nerdliness, genre fanatic and Nerds of a
Feather founder/administrator, since 2012.