Monday, February 17, 2014

Two Thirds

This is not my usual programming-related blog post. I decided to blog about books I have been reading.

I'm a long time fan of the Honor Harrington Series, a military science fiction series that draws on the spirit of 17~19 century naval series such as Horatio Hornblower or Aubrey-Maturin (from which sprang the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World ) . These days, however, there are enough secondary stories in that universe that stories advancing the main plot are rather hard to come by. Though, on the other hand, one could say that the original story has finally concluded, and what's going on now is a new story.

For a bit, I tried to turn to a follow up on what is possibly my favorite fantasy trilogy of books, The Deed of Paksenarrion. Elizabeth Moon returned to the series with Oath of Fealty, followed by other books, but they pale in comparison with the original, which was a quite believable, and somewhat moving, story of the daughter of a sheep farmer on the back beyond who becomes a paladin.

So, in despair, I tried searching for other stuff. First I came upon The Kingkiller Chronicles, feeling somewhat like the last one to know of it (and if you didn't know of it you should immediately get The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear ). So, that's three books of which only two are written. This is fantasy, but, honestly, that's beside the point -- it is the prose and the attention to detail that make these books great reading.

Back to waiting, I looked around and found The Golden Threads Trilogy, a mix of fantasy and science fiction (though the latter mainly from the second book) story that's quite clever. I particularly love how everyone in the first book, Thread Slivers, has a different conception of what's going on and what other people want. It's highly amusing. The second book, Thread Strands, sadly decreases the fog of war factor, and leads to... well, I'll have to wait for the third book to get published to find out. Again.

As I waited, I noticed that the March Upcountry series by John Ringo was getting combo-treatment, with March Upcountry and March to the Sea being bundled in Empire of Man. It seems March to the Stars and We Few, the fourth and final book, will be out in a combo soon as well. Anyway, this is military science fiction pitting commandos against dinosaurs and spear-wielding aliens. What's not to like? :)

Now, after I re-read these books, I decided to search for other stuff by John Ringo, and came upon Black Tide Rising, a zombie series. This is one of the "realistic zombies" kind of series, where people aren't really zombies, just infected with a rabies-like virus. It tries to be realistic in the portrayal of how people survive and fight back as well, though its world is rather lighter than I feel is realistic. I don't mind though: I prefer more cheerful worlds, even in a zombie apocalypse, than what I think is realistic. :)

Anyway, I read Under a Graveyard Sky in a single day, then followed up with To Sail a Darkling Sea a little slower... but only because, damn!, that's it for now. And it's not even going to be a trilogy! As a bonus, the first book comes with a "zombie clearance playlist" -- nice! :)