Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Favorite Books of 2014

As I do every year, I'd like to summarize my top books I read this year. These are books I read this year and not necessarily ones that were published this year. Despite the fact I read a lot, I'm actually finding that I average only about 20 books or so in a year. This is due to a variety of reasons, including being busy with other things and the length of some of those books. As such, it becomes difficult to pick the best few among a short list. Nevertheless, here we go.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Short Story Review: The Wandering Earth by Liu Cixin

Science fiction is at its best with short stories. This medium is just long enough to present the basic outlines of the setting, but short enough to pack an emotional punch. The Wandering Earth by Liu Cixin was an amazing sci-fi the likes of which I haven't read in a long long time.While I usually review novels or novellas only, this deserves a mention on this blog.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Book Review: The City Stained Red by Sam Sykes

I bought this book because Sam Sykes told me to on twitter:
"Hey, this cereal says there's a free prize inside!"
*children cheer as they empty cereal box*
*my disembodied head rolls out*
Buy my book
* @scalzi at book signing*
"Who am I making this out--"
Buy my book.
*he looks up*
*fan is me*
*whole line is me*
*looks down*
*book is me*
*family at beach*
"Look, a shell. If you hold it up to your ear, you can hear the ocean."
*child does so*
*hears my voice*
Buy my book
Sam Sykes is hilarious on Twitter and I recommend following him even if you don't read his books. Every so often he would come up with a crazy/weird/surreal twitter-length story ending with "Buy my book." He probably has hundreds of these. I wonder if anyone managed to collect all of them? These gags were funny and served to constantly remind me to buy his book. In the end, I bought the book and I don't regret it one bit.

Continue on to read my (mostly) spoiler-free review. ("Mostly" because a few minor points are mentioned).