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It’s always hard coming up with these list every year because I usually pick too many books to read and/or I end up reading different titles than ones I had originally planned on read. Having said that, I think it’s important to set goals and at least put some thought into what I want to read and what I would like to read. Also, it’s important to highlight the fact that I needd to read more as opposed to watching television or playing video games, and by coming up with a list, for me a anyways, it helps me me focus on at least attempting to achieve that goal.

Moreover, since I own a Kindle, a Nook, and a large collection of Hardcovers and paperbacks, I have tried to focus on picking and choosing titles from each format, which is why, in part, I picked the titles I did. I also picked titles based on series that I would like to continue, finish, and in some cases even start.

So without further adieu…

Fields of Fire by Marko Kloos

I have been sitting on this series of books for a number of years now, and last year (2018) I finally sat down and read the first four books in the series. Needless to say, I liked them, and intend to read the fifth book (Fields of Fire) and possible the sixth, Points of Impact.

 

VenusMercury by Ben Bova

I have been reading Ben Bova books for years – since I was in high school. I started with Mars and eventually read Return to Mars, both of which were decent reads. Over the years I have collected other titles in Bova’s Grand Tour series and have been meaning to read them. In a sense, reading Mercury and Venus is like starting at the beginning of the series.

 

Different Seasons by Stephen King

Like I have mentioned before, I am a huge Stephen King fan. Having said that, I am learning that I like short fiction by Stephen King as apposed to his longer works like It, which was kind of difficult to read and which I still haven’t finished yet, but might have to before the second movie comes out…

 

Green Mars and Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

I read Red Mars years ago and while I enjoyed it I never got around to reading the next two books because I got distracted by other things. Needless to say, it’s time to refocus and finish the series.

 

Depth by Lev A.C. Rosen and The Deep by Kick Cutter

These are two books by authors that I have never heard of before, but when I came across the titles the plots sounded interesting and fresh, so I figured what the heck. Again, Depth has been on my to-read list for a while so hopefully this year is the year I get it read.

 

Others

This is a pretty healthy list in of itself, but it is nowhere complete. I have also picked out a few books on writing that I would like to read as well as some Dragonlance books which I have been wanting to read since I was in high school and which have been gathering dust on bookshelves for years. But this is at least a starting point…

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Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

I remember reading the Heir to the Empire trilogy in high school, and probably more than any other book(s), it was these that first sparked my reading interest and has hook me ever since. Since reading these books I have read other Star Wars book and even some other Timothy Zahn books. Then came the day that I heard Disney was buying the rights to the franchise. Not only that, all the books and material that came outside the movies and television shows weren’t considered canon. What did this mean? Would those books disappear? Like I said I had read many of them but nowhere near ALL of them. Soon my concerns were put to rest when these works were simply re-labeled as “Legends.” Then came a new Thrawn book that appears to be part of the canon story line. Needless to say, I was extactic. Over the holiday week these book was on sale and I jumped at the opportunity to get it.

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

This books takes place in a Universe outside of the Old Man’s War books. Because of this I’ve been a little bit hesitant to read it since those books and that universe will be hard to beat, but considering how big of a Scalzi fan I am I figured I might as well give the book a chance.

Babylon’s Ashes by James S. A. Corey

Expanse Universe is that it takes place in a universe that science fictions epics rarely take place in – the near future when humanity has yet to venture out past our own Solar System. I have read the first two books in this series and will eventually make it to this one, but been warned this books are long, like Game of Thrones long.

Nobody reads unless they really enjoy it. It’s easier to sit down and watch a movie or play video games for endless hours. But more than the enjoyment of reading is the fond memories one has about books he/she has read in previous years. For me, it is those books that make me come back for more. Unfortunately, I have read my fare share of books that, for lack of a better word, sucked. But its these are the ones that didn’t and kept me coming back for more and fueled my desire to pick up a new book and start reading.

Having said that, and now that I have compiled at least a partial list of what I plan to read next year, here is a list of books that I would read again in a heartbeat. And book Gods willing, will read again someday.

  • West of Eden series by Harry Harrison. Lots of books people tell you about a book and that’s what prompts you to pick it up and start reading. This series was the only one that I can think of that nobody mentioned to me beforehand, I just came across them on my own (although to be far, I read these my sophomore year in high school so it could be I simply forgot that someone told me about them). To best describe these books, it would be like Clan of the Cave Bear meets Jurassic Park. A great trilogy of books that has stuck with me all these years.

  • Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I am a painfully slow reader and while this book isn’t huge it is five hundred pages plus. Having said that, I raced through this book from front to back in about three days. That is speed reading for me. I have never done that with any book before or since. I have always wanted to go back and read it hoping that it catches me and pulls me in like it did all those years ago when I read it the first time. FYI, this was made into a movie and if you’re really interested in reading the book or have seen the movie and not read the book, the movie was horrible and very different from the book.

  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton and The Landoliers by Stephen King. I lumped these two together because I have already read both these books twice and would love to read them again. Both King and Crichton are masters at story telling.

  • Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. Like I’ve mentioned before, no matter how much I like a book series it’s hard for me to finish one book and move right on to the next. With this trilogy of books that’s exactly what I did. Whenever a book or books captures you like that, it’s best to just give and go until your done. I read these books when there was only three in the series. Now there are six. None of the latter three come close to the first three, but after finishing the final book in the trilogy – The Last Colony – I remember wanting more.

I’m sure there are others, but many of these are books I read while in High School and really had an impact on me as a developing teenager. They set the stage for me in terms of my goals in life, and set me on a path to becoming a (want-to-be) writer. Hopefully there are still books in my future that have as much an impact on me as these books did.

starfist_1I’ve owned this book for a couple of years now, but only recently purchased it as a digital book. I don’t know much about it except that it’s science fiction and and probably (based on the cover) has space battles and lots of action. What can I say, I’m a sucker for these kinds of books, and the fact that there are several other books in the series, they must be half-way decent. That’s what I’m hoping, anyways.

caves_2Word has been swirling around for a few years now that Isaac Asimov‘s Foundation books are being made into a show for HBO‘s. Now comes word that Hollywood is looking to make another Asimov book, The Caves of Steel, into a movie. No word on who will star in the movie, but it does have a screen writer, Akiva Goldsman. Apparently this isn’t the first time this book has tried to make it’s way onto the big screen. Upon reading this news, I bought the ebook and will hopefully get around to reading it…soon…later this year…maybe. Read More

fire-iceFor me, one of the truly great things about the fantasy genre is the sense of history that has to be apart of every story, it seems, in order to make the world believable. Look at Tolkien’s book, The Sword of Shannara books, and The Game of Thrones books are there are hints, and sometimes even descriptive back story on the history and the nature of why things are the way there are in the story. This kind of story telling isn’t for everybody as many get bored and feel like they are in a history class as opposed to reading a book for fun. Not me, I gobble these book up whenever I can, which is why I was so delighted to find The World of Ice and Fire at the story one day, and for a reasonable price. Without thinking I put the book into my cart, instead of the usual debating on whether or not I should spend the money, and headed straight for the checkout. In The World of Ice and Fire there are not only descriptions of the ancient world of Westeros, but also a detailed history of the Targaryen kings, as well as some of the more important houses and characters, and even beautiful art work.

to_marry_medusaBeyond wedding planning which has taken up more time than I care to think about in the past year (especially the last two months), I have been able to sneak in some reading – but not much – and yet I have remained diligent in checking the kindle daily deals on Amazon, and as of the middle part of the summer, they have some great titles. I have also added some titles to my Kindle library that were not on sale, but great titles none the less.

The first notable addition is To Marry Medusa by Theodore Sturgeon. From the first time I read the description on Amazon I knew I was hooked – “First, Dan eats the spore, then, the spore eats Dan.”  I knew that this book was worth purchasing, and at a $1.99 you can’t go wrong.

icehengeNext is Icehenge by Kin Stanley Robinson. This book I had as a paperback edition but I was delighted to find it as a Kindle. The book surrounds the discovery of a Stonehenge-like construction on Pluto…only ten times the size. Yeah, you don’t need much more bait than that to pull me in…

Next I bought an assortment of Star Wars comics and science fiction collections that I hope will do their job in being quick and easy reads, considering my time in the past six months or so has been very limited. I have finished a few of the comics and while they weren’t great, they were horrible either. I have yet to read the science fiction anthologies, but as I have read many such anthologies in the past, I know they can be hit or miss, so I’ll just have to wait and see. Some of the recent titles purchased were Star Wars: Tales Volume 1-4, and The Year’s Best SF 7911.

On top of everything else, I have even managed to read 150 pages of John Scalzi‘s The Human Division.

TheSheepLookUpI bought this book on amazon just on a whim. I had heard of John Brunner before and I had even heard of his novel Stand on Zanzibar, but beyond the name I knew little about his work. And then just by coincidence I happen to read the entry about John Brunner in The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, and more specifically The Sheep Look Up and this is what I read: “The novel is a depressing warning of the foolishness of inaction.” The book deals with a coming human extinction as a result of rampant pollution, a scenario that is more and more real in our world everyday. Needless to say, I was intrigeed and quickly put this book on my list of possible books to read in the near future.

Niven-A Hole in Space (Futura, 1975)First I need to start off by saying that I’m a huge Larry Niven fan, even though there is much of his works that I have yet to read. So when a friend gave me A Hole in Space, I was thankful and very excited to read the back cover, as this was a book of his I had not heard of. The description on the back is of a story that is not unlike a story that I have had floating in the back of my mind – although I never put pen to paper regarding this idea, and now it looks like I never will since Niven has beat me to the punch by forty years. The back cover describes a cryogenically preserved human being that is brought by to life, not when a cure for his disease is found, but when his consciousnesses (or physical brain) is simply put into another body. But there is a catch: he must pilot “a star ship to eternity…”

space_travel_bova_lweisI have come to learn that it takes a lot of planning and…planning if you want to write a good story. Plot is a part of it, but so to is character development. And a good plot is built by character conflict however, many other characters go into writing a story, like knowing what in the hell you’re talking about. I have many science fiction ideas that I have floating around in my head, but not until I picked up this book did I realize that I know very little about space or even traveling in space, and I realized this only after I was reading just a few pages of the book, so I’m glad I picked it up and look forward to learning all the things that I thought I knew but I guess now I know I didn’t. Beyond that Ben Bova is one of my favorite authors and I look forward to reading this book because of that reason alone.

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