Books Read in September, 2017
The Dying Ship by Nils Karlen and Kosta Kostulas (RPG)
The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron
TORG: The Cassandra Files by Christopher Kubasik (RPG) (r)
The Dark Eye Quick-Start Rules by Unknown (RPG)
Monsters by Matthew McFarland with Jonathan McFarland (RPG)
August, 2017 Locus
Imagining Urban Futures: Cities in Science Fiction and What We Might Learn From Them by Carl Abbott
Wizard's Funeral by Kim Hunter (r)
September, 2017 Reader's Digest
Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss (r)
Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn
The Cyberpapacy Sourcebook by Jim Bambra (RPG) (r)
Jail Bait by Marilyn Todd
The Dark Eye (Roleplaying Game) Core Rules by Alex Spohr and Jens Ullrich (RPG)
Heroic Works 1: Witch's Dance by Dominic Hladek (RPG)
Heroic Works 2: A Goblin More or Less by Gudrun Schurer (RPG)
And those were my reads in the month of September. This was a decent month of reading, though I did read a lot of roleplaying games and rpg material in the month, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I got read in September.
The books I enjoyed the most were:
The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron - I've always liked good historical work, usually the older the better. But with this novel, I have to say that I also enjoy pre-historic books. :) This novel bounces back and forth between the story of Girl, the book's Neanderthal protagonist, and Rosamund Gale, an archaeologist excavating a groundbreaking site. While I love science, and there's some accurate (as far as I know) stuff here, the author made me appreciate my Neanderthal ancestors, but I also felt like I was being given an insight of actual events from 40,000 years ago. The parallels between Girl and Rose made the story feel more real, as through Rose, Girl became real. This is a novel that has a captivating story, that I think a lot of people will enjoy. Recommended.
Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn - First up, the basics. Polly Newton has a straightforward personal career goal: she wants to become a starship pilot, preferably as an intergalactic pilot, and take advantage of the new M Class drives being developed. However, her immediate plans are interrupted when her mother, the Mars Colony One director, announces that Polly and her twin brother, Charles, have been enrolled at the prestigious Earth-based Galileo Academy. Polly, having been born and raised on Mars as the third generation, post-colonization, has never stepped foot off-planet so moving to Earth for three years is a dreadful prospect, even if it might help her chances of getting into a pilot training program.
This stand-alone novel reminded me a lot of the Robert Heinlein juveniles; this is a good thing, 'cause I enjoyed reading those books. Told from Polly’s first person point of view as she struggles to adapt to her new environment on Earth. I’ve read a lot of science fiction where people living on Earth have to adjust to life in space, other planets, asteroid mining colonies, etc., but this is was a neat book that takes that concept and spins it on its head. (A notable exception being Heinlein's own Stranger in a Strange Land.) Polly must not only struggle with things we take for granted (such as the relatively high gravity of Earth, the concept of “outdoors”, the vastness of the oceans, etc.) but she must also cope with the prejudices of fellow students and teachers who regard Polly and Charles as outsiders and lesser people. She's an enjoyable character to read about, but the other main characters in the book are also fun to read about, and are more detailed than I expected them to be. While this is a stand-alone novel, it just screams for a sequel or two. I really hope that Carrie Vaughn considers writing more about Polly's and Charles's adventures. Highly recommended.
Those were the highlight reads among the books this past month, though I also enjoyed reading Jail Bait by Marilyn Todd and The Dark Eye (RPG) Core Rules book (that was a densely written work at 400+ pages) and the other books that I read this past month.
Overall, I managed to read 6 novels, 6 RPGs and RPG products, 2 magazines, 0 comics, and 0 graphic novels in September. This brings the year total for 2017 to a set of numbers that look like this: 73 books, 19 RPGs and RPG products, 64 magazines, 0 comics, and 0 graphic novels.
Anyway, thoughts and comments are always welcome. :)