Posted on October 30, 2015
Posted by John Scalzi
It’s the last book and ARC roundup for October, and this stack has at least a couple of surprising and unexpected titles in it. See anything you like? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve been wanting to read the Marian. (And I love coloring books.)
Overheard sometime in the not-too-distant future:
“Yes, hello, Child Protective Services? Some sick monster left the Game of Thrones coloring book at my daughter’s preschool. What’s the problem?!? Clearly you haven’t seen the picture of Jamie and Cersei on page 7!!! “
For those with human eyesight, the black one with the clocks is THE GREAT FORGETTING by James Renner.
Coloring books? O-kay….
The Census Taker sounds interesting. I don’t remember hearing anything about it… time to investigate.
Adults coloring in coloring books is the new thing…
Nice to see the Subterranean Press edition of The Martian!
According to Amazon, THE GAMES OF LIVES is the “#1 New Release in Teen & Young Adult Emotions & Feelings Fiction.”
To which I can only say: Ewrg.
OOOH! OOOH! Coloring books! Adult therapy…..
That “Martian” book is supposed to be pretty good, and I hear Hollywood might be interested in it.
The Martian was one of my best reads last year. So well done it felt like non-fiction.
Outlander coloring book? That’s going in my wife’s stocking, unless I can’t wait that long. Apparently they have Sherlock and Dr. Who coloring books coming up, too.
How are they just now sending out The Martian? Is it a special edition? Amazon lists what looks like a jillion different versions, but the only one that comes close to matching that cover is an unofficial “sidekick” companion. Bah.
That The Martian is one of those gorgeous (and expensive) Subterranean Press editions. They rarely have the first edition, but boy are their books wonderful.
Hm, must find out more about the China Mieville book.
I assume the Game of Thrones coloring book requires a dozen additional red crayons.
Monica, check out the Subterranean Press website, they’re coming out with a limited addition of the Mieville.
bah both versions of the martian are sold out.
I never thought of an ‘Outlander’ coloring book! Sounds like fun!
THE CENSUS TAKER is memoir, as Mieville writes about an early job he had. (Yes, I am joking.)
I am going to toss out a contrary opinion on “The Martian” – while the movie was OK (for the ‘space rescue’ plot, both “Apollo 13” and “Gravity” are much better), I am not sure why it ever got made, nor why the book is so popular. I found the writing to be generally poor and the plot mostly boring – I almost wasn’t able to finish it. Not the worst thing I’ve read, but not what I would call a great book or show a lot of enthusiasm for.
For those who really do like it – why? What makes it such a compelling story to you? I really want to know – it’s like one of those magic-eye posters that everyone can see but me…
As for the others – A new China Mieville book!
– and an Outlander coloring book!
The Martian. Not bad for a do it yourself self publishing thing.
@kurtbusiek: Thank you. I was just about to ask what that title was. :)
A new China? Cool!
The Martian was fantastic. Best book in a quite a while. Can’t understand why they’re sending it out now, though.
I can’t really explain why I enjoyed The Martian as much as I did. The competence porn was part of it, tagging along as a more or less physically normal guy with a truly badass intellect took on everything a hostile planet could throw at him. I’ve always enjoyed survival fiction, and this was a very interesting take on the idea.
The scientific detail was part of it. I don’t know enough to say how accurate it all was, but I don’t care because it was interesting as all hell. A lot of people complain about the amount of details, apparently, but I loved them. So did my wife, and that’s not usually her thing.
The writing style was part of it, but I really can’t articulate exactly what I liked. Parts of it reminded me of the Tom Clancy books I enjoyed – giving seemingly extraneous details that explain why things happened the way they did, such as the manufacturing process for the part of the habitat’s fabric walls that eventually failed.
The scale was part of it. Most of the story was tightly focused on just one guy, but he was alone on an entire planet millions of miles from home. The crew of the Ares were stuck in a tin can that was also millions of miles from home. The stuff on Earth spanned the entire planet, not just NASA headquarters.
The characters were a huge part of it. Mark Watney is just a great character, reacting to every setback with more exasperation than fear. The Ares crew were all interesting and all different, but still all willing to risk their lives and careers for a chance to save their friend. Rich Purnell is a steely-eyed missile man, and the rest of the NASA and JPL people were quietly heroic, working like demons to bring Mark home. Even characters we never actually see make a difference. One of my favorite bits was the Chinese engineers who figured out that their top-secret booster engine would be powerful enough to help the American rescue effort, then passed that information on to their bosses, who had to decide whether to offer to help or not.
Honestly, this is one of those books where I can’t understand people who don’t like it. Different strokes, though.
The Outlander coloring book!
Thanks Pater M – that helps me understand a little – though it doesn’t change my opinion.
Perhaps it just wasn’t to my taste…
Fond as I am of the Martian (Andy is a friend-of-friends, so I snapped it up), I don’t think I could get away with buying yet another copy…
PhilRM, thanks for the tip about Subterranean.
PeterM, thanks for sharing what you liked about The Martian. One thing you enjoyed, Watney reacting with exasperation more than fear, was the main thing that rang false to me right from the start of the book. Stranded on another planet, almost no hope of rescue, and instead of primal terror, he experiences (or at least, expresses) annoyance? That’s the Right Stuff taken to extremes! I found myself becoming much more engaged once other people find out that he is still alive.
Quick follow-up: my husband says I am not giving enough credit to astronaut training, and that it is indeed believable that Watney immediately goes into engineering mode rather than existential angst!
A man lies dreaming is one of the most original books I’ve recently read. I’ve been eagerly awaiting it’s arrival in the US. It immediately will go up in the staff favorites section in the store.
The Martian. Read the book, watch the movie. Both are triumphs of art. Both are equally excellent.
I think The Game of Lives by Dashner would be top on my list.
I feel the Game of Thrones colouring book should be sold with a complimentary pot of red paint.
The Martian is full of plenty of tasty technical competence, but it’s Watney’s snarky attitude that really sells the whole thing. And yes, Matt Damon nailed it.
Andy Weir was quite honest about Watney’s emotional state: he knows it’s highly unrealistic, and quite possibly the 2nd biggest unrealistic thing in the book (#1 being the sandstorm that sets everything up).
I loved it and I agree with the idea that I have a hard time explaining why, other than to say apparently I like “competance porn” full of optimism and snark. [and talk about perfect casting – Damon was perfect for that role]
It may be that the general trend towards “dark” stories has something to do with this. The Martian is really upbeat about… kind of everything.
Taunting the tauntable since 1998
John Scalzi, proprietor – JS
Athena Scalzi, editor/writer -AMS
About the site
What's the Big Idea? Authors explaining the the big ideas behind their latest works, in their own words. See the latest Big Ideas!
Authors/Editors/Publicists: for information on how to participate, click here.
Powered by WordPress.com.
Theme: Profile by Organic Themes.