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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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Last year (2017), like most, I wasn’t exactly happy with the amount that I read. But hey, that’s how it goes – life often gets in the way and goals get pushed to the side. I was happy, however, that I finally read Dune. It had been on my list for a few years.

I must say, when it comes to this years reading list that I am a bit confused – or, maybe uncertain is a better word – on what to read. I have started way to many series and feel like I should focus and finish a few of them out before moving on to something that involves reading another new series. A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin is one such book that is on my list to read this year. Should I stop there? Or should a power read straight on through and continue my Game of Thrones journey by immediately starting A Feast for Crows? Like I said, I’m not sure. I love the Martin books but often, when I finishing any book I like to mix things up and move onto a new book and/or new author. Plus these books are often over a thousand pages…It makes me feel exhausted just thinking about it.

Green Mars is another such book series. I read Red Mars when I was in college, so it has been years – years! – since I read it, but I still I remember lots of the detail about that book, which is always a clue to me that I really enjoyed reading it. That’s not to say that I couldn’t go back and read it again and realize that I missed or forgot a lot of things.

Mars Life by Ben Bova is yet another. I read the first two books – Mars and Return to Mars – years ago. More then that, however, is that these series of books are only a part of a broader arc of books known as The Grand Tour series of which there are MercuryVenus, and Saturn just to name a few. Some of them I have read – and not in order – while still some are at home on my book shelf waiting to be read.

Finally, there are the Han Solo Adventures books by Brian Daily. While I realize that the books that came before Disney acquired the rights for Star Wars are now labeled as non-canon, that doesn’t mean the books aren’t still worth reading. And with the new movie coming out, what better way then to get hyped up by reading something from the Star Wars universe even if it isn’t relevant to the upcoming movie?

Hopefully there will be more books added to this list, and hopefully in the coming year I can do a better job and get off my ass and reading a little more. This could easily be accomplished by putting down my XBox one controller and picking up my Kindle instead. Small steps…small steps.

foundation_2A few years ago I was excited at hearing that HBO was adapting the Foundation series into a television series. I hadn’t read Foundation at that time but I had read enough of Asimov’s other works to know it was most likely great, especially considering how people held it in such high regard. But as time past and still no television series, it became clear that there was a problem. And then, after a few more years I had forgotten there there was even talk about bringing the books to television. Which brings me to today and more news that a Foundation television series is in the works. Like so many other books that I have read that are supposedly being made into a television series, I will believe it when I actually see trailers and/or the shows themselves. In short, don’t hold your breath.

Even though I think the question Enrico Fermi asked his colleges that day in the lunch room while working on the Manhattan Project was a rhetorical one, the Fermi Paradox is one of my favorite topics of discussion and makes for great science fiction ideas. Here are some video that I have come across in recent weeks that do a good job of tackling these subjects.

foundationEvery year I come up with a list of books that I would like to read. This year is a little different as I have finally put pen to paper and organized which books are at the top of my list. The list is rather large, but I least I have all these books together and which format the books are in so they are easy to reference when it comes time to start reading a new book.

For example, I have been meaning to read the Foundation trilogy for a while now, and with the series/Movie looming on the horizon, this is the year to start. For those books on my list I have organized them in which order they should be read and in which format I have them – nook, Kindle, Hardback, Paperback, etc.

This list also helps me keep a list of not only which books are in a series and how that series should be read, but I know which books in said series I have already read. Sounds silly, I know, I mean everyone should know which books they have already read, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. Take my Jack McDevitt books for example. The first book of his that I read was Chindi even though The Engines of God and Deepsix came first in that series. But that was several years ago. The book Omega of his is next on my list to read. Also with McDevitt books, you have two character series that he writes in: The Priscilla Hutchins and the Alex Benedict series.it

This makes things easier for me as I find it difficult to keep track of what I would like to read next, since my house is filled with books making is distracting; but also, since Science Fiction and Fantasy books all seem to come in trilogies or larger, it’s easy to sometimes forget where I am in my reading.

What I am reading at the moment is The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, neither Science Fiction or Fantasy, but still a book that I have heard nothing but good things about and have been trying to find the time to read for years. Another reason for the list. Also on the list of things to at least try and read this year are A Clash of Kings by George R. R. MartinThe Shining and The Dead Zone by Stephen KingCaliban’s War by James S. A. Corey; and Write-A-Thon by Rochelle Melander.

duneThere will be more to that list as I also like reading history and true crime books as well, but for now that’s what I’ve been up to and/or ready.

I am also trying to make an effort to finish books that I have started reading. There have been more than a few books that I have started in the past few years – last year especially – that I have started and then not finished, and thus have to start again. The Sword of Shannara is one such book that springs to mine, which is a shame because it was a book I got about 150 pages into and really enjoyed, but then got side tracked with other life emergencies.

CJ4CQIkVEAEaAnwEven though Pluto has been downgraded from planet to dwarf planet, Pluto has nothing but love for the New Horizons space probe as it makes its flyby.

star-wars-trilogyMore details are being learned about that 2018 movie in pre-production. It is now know that this film will be a anthology film based around the Han Solo character. What’s interesting about this is that means that in the next four years we will see three new Star Wars films. Furthermore, if you go to the Star Wars Wikipedia page there is a hint that a film anthology centered around Boba Fett’s character is also in the works.

Planet-PlutoLooking back at just the previous year in space exploration and news, it is amazing how far we have come. In the past year we have landed a probe on a comet and now we are about to get the first look at Pluto, a planet that everybody knows exists but has thus far been nothing more than a distant planet with unknown features and geology (and I don’t care who disagrees with me, Pluto is still a planet in my mind). But having said that, it baffles me how far we could have been but aren’t. Forty-six year ago we landed a man on the Moon, and while I was still almost a decade away from being born at that point, I think many felt that it was only a matter of time before he had Moon bases, and/or permanent humans settles on either the Moon or in space, and, who knows, maybe even a man expedition to Mars. Looking back, almost half a century later, almost none of that has happened. So really, should we be amazed by how far we have come, or should we be amazed by far we could have been if we applied ourselves properly? Or maybe we should be amazed by how far we still have yet to go?

Are we alone? Is there life elsewhere in the universe? I don’t know, but it’s very possible that within our lifetime we could answer both those questions. Even more surprising still is the fact that we might not have to search very far away in order to find it.

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