I’d been eying Andy Weir’s The Martian for a while before I took the plunge and bought it. And boy, was it a good, fast-paced read! I finished it within 24 hours. As in: I started the book at midnight (I know, I know), stayed up till 2 am reading, sleepwalked through the next day, and finished it that evening (before midnight!).
My only nits are minor: occasionally the MC’s great voice slipped into teen girl–jarring!–and the language at times is cruder than I normally go for. Keep in mind that I’m Miss Prim-and-Proper (and always have been). YMMV.
I’m thrilled that the movie’s coming this fall. I’ve already informed my husband he has to read the book by then.
The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson is another Hugo nominee for Best Novel. It’s a huge book, the first of a sequel series. I was afraid I’d be lost, having never read the prequels, but it was easy to get caught up.
Short chapters, each told from the POV of a member of a large cast, helped move the story along at a good clip. The plot was neither complex nor technically demanding, and the workmanlike prose accessible. There were a few characters I particularly liked (Garrison and Orli) and several others I actively loathed. Fantasy elements like psychic powers, world trees, and elementals mingled freely with space ships and lasers. Still, it was a big book (did I mention that yet? *grin*), and I lost steam a time or two before I made it to the end.
Confession time: I’d never read any Jack Vance despite having heard high praise of his works. So when I saw The Jack Vance Treasury on sale, I grabbed it. It did not disappoint. I’m only halfway through (there are many stories) but I’ve read each through to the end so far. This is rare for me when it comes to collections and anthologies. Vance’s combination of style and storytelling hits a lot of my reader sweet spots.
Read any great speculative fiction lately? I’m always on the lookout for good reads!