Ah, October. What a busy, crazy month you've been. Things have just about normalized for me at home, but during this time I decided it was time to get to a few books I've been meaning to read for a while including a couple that have been on my shelves over a year. It also turned out to be a Steampunk heavy month, which I hadn't planned on.
92. A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge - How have I been able to call myself a Sci-Fi fan without having ever read this book? It's genius on so many different levels. Yes, it can be a bit long winded, but when I reflected there is nothing that should have been cut as it all adds to the texture of the future Vinge creates. From the pack-mind beings to the omnipresent beings inhabiting the far reaches of space this is book that succeeds in seeding our thoughts about the possibilities of the mind and the future. Highly recommended and a surefire can't miss if you're a Sci-Fi fan.
93. Ganymede by Cherie Priest - This is my favorite book in the series since Boneshaker. I might be a bit biased on this one though as I'm a big fan of New Orleans and much of the story takes place there. Unlike the first 3 Clockwork Century stories that standalone well for maximum effect I wouldn't start here as there are many connections between previous books including some pretty main characters. Highly recommend series.
94. Planesrunner by Ian McDonald - Part of Pyr's YA debut season. Much of this ground has been tread upon by the likes of Gaiman and Reeves (Interworld) and Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass) yet McDonald brings his own sensibilities and more international flair into the fold that enlivens the story and characters. I especially appreciated the use of a variant of the thieves cant and how each world has its own personality. There is even a slight Steampunk bent on one main world, which makes more sense technologically than explanations in most other Steampunk reads. This is definitely much more accessible than McDonald's adult work. Recommended and my niece will certainly be getting a copy.
95. Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann & Janet Lee - It is no wonder that this graphic novel is an Eisner winner as the story and gorgeous art will take you away to a city inhabited by children living below ground and automatons living above ground while men with hats fall from the sky. Yes it is an odd one. I was greatly reminded of The City of Ember in that the people of the city have forgotten their history only with a much more magical edge. Highly recommended.
96. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire - This year has been something of a dry spell for me in the Urban Fantasy area. There have certainly been some solid reads - Awakenings, Low Town, and Hammered to name a few - but none have wholly captured me like McGuire's debut which is now a couple years old. I'm quite smitten with Toby Daye the half-breed fairy protagonist detective. Awesome world building and use of traditional fairy mythology in a different way. The first person detective angle is pulled off quite well. Highly recommended. I'm hopeful the rest in the series holds up so well.
97. Locke and Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez - Hill continues to awe me with his writing abilities and his first crack at a comic series is simply amazing. It is dark, magical, and endearing all at the same time.
98. Locke and Key: Head Games by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez - This is the point in the story where things get weird and the magical keys start showing up more and more.
99. Theft of Swords: The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan - The start to a very enjoyable Sword & Sorcery series coming out in Omnibus format very soon. The Crown Conspiracy is the first book in this omnibus and I'm already and the second. Review to come.
Although, October is one of the worst reading months for me numbers-wise it had to be one of the most solid months reading-wise. Every book was well worth the time I put into it. Out of everything A Fire Upon the Deep is as good, if not better, than I hoped. It is without a doubt a Sci-Fi classic. Rosemary and Rue scratched the UF itched I had and Theft of Swords was good old-fashion fun. And this isn't even getting into how great Locke and Key and Return of the Dapper Men were. So yeah, if you check out any of the above you shouldn't be disappointed.
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