Posted on June 25, 2021
Posted by John Scalzi
Baen Books sent me a ton of stuff recently, so, guess what? It’s an (almost) Baen exclusive stack of new books and ARCs this week! Anything here catching your eye? Talk about it in the comments.
Doomsday Book is maybe my favourite novel of all time. Crushingly sad.
Yes Doomsday Book is excellent. I’m also looking forward to Cambias’ The Godel Operation.
Really need to get around to reading the Penric series one day. I love the world she created for it and the earlier stories.
Frank Chadwick, always! Wish that was a new one, great book. And of course, Penric is fun too.
I recently read “Penric’s Demon” and enjoyed that, so “Penric’s Travels” is catching my eye here.
Blood and Whispers. Sounds interesting. But it could also be there prednisone talking.
Catherine Asaro, Lois McMasters Bujold, and the Niven/Pournelle/Barnes look good to me…
Dafuq? Jerry’s been dead a few years now. I get the impression Niven has rented his name to ghost writers for a decade at least now
Barnes? I remember the first book I ever read of his. Paperback, mid 80’s early 90s. Cover was a white guy doing kung fu shit. Read the book the protagonist was black. About a year later learned Barnes himself was black.
I always wished I’d meet Barnes somewhere so I could buy him a beer and commiserate, but I don’t do cons (outside of Comic con that happens 20 miles from me)
New Lois McMasters Bujold; woohoo! I like the way you used a carpenter’s square or plumb bob to perfectly align the edges of all those books. Nicely done, sir.
I was intrigued by Cambias’ Big Idea post so, yeah, The Godel Operation is definitely catching my eye. And like the first commenters The Doomsday Book is one of my favourites of all genres.
Ooh, I’m going to go with the Connie Willis book, because of author recognition – nothing specific, more of an usually-intriguing-I-think association; and The Vanished Seas, totally based on the title.
“Starborn and Godsons”. IIRC, that’s the latest novel in the Avalon series. The first, Legacy of Heorot, is pretty good. The sequel was a read once and toss it. Haven’t bothered with any others.
Ah, Mamelukes. The final, posthumous, Janissaries book. Pournelle’s take on the Lord Kalvan book. Except Piper did it in 120 pages instead of 4 volumes. Might be worth a read.
For The Doomsday Book, I have memorized the last thing the protagonist ever records on her wrist spur: Such a beautiful prose poem. It echoes the spirituality of the book.
The first prose line I ever memorized was from the last chapter of James Clavell’s King Rat, when a son has a burning question: “And Peter Marlow knew, tormented, that the only man who could, perhaps, tell him, had died in freezing seas on the Murmansk run.”
I’m with Aaron – Chadwick first. Though that’s partly because he has so few books, and they are all great reads IMO.
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With the other commentators: DOOMSDAY BOOK, such a great book, such a heartbreaker.
Jim Cambias’s THE GODEL OPERATION. Full disclosure, he’s a friend and a fellow member of Cambridge SpecFic Writing Group.
And a book not in the stack–is this fair?–but I’m recommending everywhere, Natasha Pulley’s THE KINGDOMS.
I only know Steven Barnes from his admirable 1990s Outer Limits script “A Stitch in Time” (starring Michelle Forbes and Amanda Plummer, both perfectly cast).
I’m reading the Tim Powers–he always writes such strange stuff that sticks in my mind. The first book in that series was a love letter to the Los Angeles freeways. Also, the saving grace of math.
I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read from Steven Barnes (I had to check to make sure he wasn’t involved with Fallen Angels before I typed that) but I’m not particularly interested in any of the sequels to The Legacy Of Heorot.
I do get him confused with John Barnes, even though all I’ve read from him was Losers In Space, which is worth picking up if you want a story about really messed up teenagers that also goes into the math behind spaceship maneuvering.
The Penric series – come for the magic and mystery, stay for the exploding rats!
Also liked the doomsday book. Read it the first time back in high school and didn’t have the appreciation for it that I developed when I reread it 20 years later.
I am always amazed how each of the Oxford time traveler books has a different tone: To Say Nothing od the Dog is one of the funniest books I’ve read, and I thought Blackout/all clear really captured her admiration for the men and women who fought during WW2.
I only read Doomsday Book once. I thought that the parts in the 14th century were very good, but the bits in the 21st century were an unfunny attempt at screwball comedy.
My reading was many years ago, so my opinion might change on a second read.
I love Bujold’s Penric series. I’ve been getting them all from Audible and highly recommend them. The new Penric book is a collection of the novellas, with no new material, (the second such collection, if I recall correctly.)
Any fans of Miles Vorkosigan who haven’t explored Penric are missing out. Not that they’re identical, but they clearly share the same storytelling DNA.
Vanished Seas, Penric and Doomsday are my recs.
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