Thus, as is my standard usage of my blog space at or near the beginning of the month, I present the listing of my January, 2018 reads.
Books Read in January, 2018
Seeing Red by Sandra Brown
Theater Knights I: The White Lake by Niklas Forreiter and Daniel Hessler (RPG)
November, 2017 Locus
Little Sisters of the Apocalypse by Kit Reed (r?)
GameTek: The Math and Science of Gaming by Geoff Engelstein
Bertram of Butter Cross by Jeffrey E. Barlough (r)
Girl Genius Book One: Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank by Phil & Kaja Foglio (Graphic Novel)
Myth Adventures! by Robert Asprin and Phil Foglio (Graphic Novel)
Theater Knights II: The Blue Tome by Niklas Forreiter and Daniel Hessler (RPG)
Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty
S.P.Q.R. IX: The Princess and the Pirates by John Maddox Roberts
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (r)
And that was the start of my reading for 2018.
And thus started my year of reading for 2017. I have to say that I was quite pleased at the number of books and other stuff that I read in January, as it seemed to be a slow reading month to start off the new year, though I obviously read more than I expected to. The books I enjoyed the most were:
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin - Oh, come on! Do I really have to write a review of this book that has something that's not been said about the book before? I will say that every re-read of the book allows me to see different nuances, and this time was no exception. Superb novel, can't recommend it enough.
Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty - I always find it difficult to review mystery novels, for fear of giving away too much. One of the things I maintain about good sf is that it's not about space ships, aliens, and lasers (or whatever). It's about humanity (or lack/differences thereof) and how people react to changes in society (be they tech, social, or environmental). One of the large can 'o worms in sf is cloning, and Six Wakes deals with a lot of the issues surrounding cloning, from a hindsight point of view. Set on a spaceship that is delivering colonists to a new world, the book opens with the clone crew being awoke into a literal house of blood and death, as their former selves' have been murdered. Add the loss of 25 years of memories (their mind maps being those from the day before the ship set out), and the basic whodunnit is set. The book has an atmosphere of paranoia as the clones try to figure out what happened and why. The book's current time is interspersed with the history of the clones, and are very relevant to what happened. This is top-notch science fiction and a heck of a good mystery, and I really liked this book.
S.P.Q.R. IX: The Princess and the Pirates by John Maddox Roberts - This book is the ninth book in the S.P.Q.R. series, a murder mystery series that follows the career of Decius Caecilius Metellus during the last days of the Roman Republic (this particular book occurs in 50 B.C., or as Roberts notes at the end of the book: the 703rd year of the city of Rome). The Metellus family are a prominent family, though on the decline. After spending two years as an aedile, Decius is tasked by his family (actually by the Senate, but it's a long story!) to go off to fight the pirates springing up in the Eastern Mediterranean. Needless to say, there is foul murder that occurs, and Decius encounters Cleopatra once more, now a precocious 16-year-old, who thinks she can help with the pirate matters. The story has some neat twists and the pirates are only part of what Decius finds. I love this series for its historical detail, and recommend this book (though it is a weaker one, despite the excellent plot, in the series overall to this point).
The rest of the books that I read in January, 2018 were all pretty good, and certainly enjoyed the two graphic novels as well, but the three above were the stand-outs for the month.
Overall, I managed to read 7 novels, 2 RPGs and RPG products, 1 magazines, 0 comics, and 2 graphic novels in January. Since this is the start of the year, it brings the year total in 2018 to a set of numbers that look like this: 7 books, 2 RPGs and RPG products, 1 magazines, 0 comics, and 2 graphic novels.
Anyway, thoughts and comments are always welcome. :)