Thursday, December 24, 2015

Favorite Books of 2015

As I like to do every year, I'd like to briefly point out the best books I've read this year. This is not necessarily books that have been published this year, but rather books that I had the opportunity to read this year.

Unfortunately, this year has been very busy and I haven't been able to read much for the past few months. Over the full year, I've only read 14 books, one of them a novella. According to Goodreads, this was around 4800 pages, just over half of what I had read in 2014 (8000 pages over 20 books). A top 5 would be too much, so instead I present a top 3, though 2 are from the same author.

3. Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

You can rarely go wrong with a Brandon Sanderson book. Firefight is the sequel to Steelheart and deals again with a band of heroes trying to take out powerful supervillains. It's a very interesting world and this book in particular starts exploring a little closer into how these villains get their powers and their weaknesses.

2. The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu

The Three Body Problem is an incredible series that I'm glad has been translated into English. I describe it in more detail below, but this one in particular is the second book in the trilogy and introduced me to a very interesting, albeit dark, view of the universe that has completely changed how I view Earth-Alien contact.

1. The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu

There are many good books out there, but some are elevated to classic status and considered must-reads by fans of the genre. In science fiction, this includes things like Dune, A Fire Upon the Deep, or the many short stories and novels by the likes of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. The Three Body Problem series by Cixin Liu is a contender for becoming a classic of science fiction. It reads like a Clarke novel, introducing amazing hard-scifi concepts of astrophysics and particle physics all wrapped up in a story about first contact with an alien race. The implications of such contact are profound; I eagerly await the translation of the third and final novel in this trilogy (due early 2016). I will admit that other first contact stories now seem pale in comparison to the events that unfold in this series.

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