I read a lot. Any writer who doesn't read is at a huge disadvantage. Now, I will probably part ways with my brothers and sisters on this blog. I don't read much crime fiction. I like the unusual and quirky. The fantastical and in probable. In short, I want to get away from the crime fiction I write and the crime fact I live. So let me clue you into a few books off the beaten path and certainly not associated with crime fiction.
I just finished a book by the science fiction/fantasy imprint of the Hachette Book group. Red Hook only has a couple of books out, but one is named Hawk Quest by Robert Lyndon. It is a historical fiction based set
Now I have switched gears slightly and I'm reading a fantasy by Felix Gilman called the Rise of Ransom City, which is a sequel to his excellent the History Of The Half Made The World To put it simply the books cannot be classified or summarize. I just like them.
For real, old school science fiction, I love John Scalzi's series that started with the Old Man's War. Despite the awkward title, it is a military tale of war and regret in the far future. The sequels are all of the same high caliber with a new one just released.
Science fiction breeds loyal fans and attracts smart, discerning readers. Scalzi deserves the praise and success he had found.
A classic, which is required reading for many high school students, and has as many different covers as Seth Macfarland has animated shows is Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. I've noticed this is a particular favorite among some of my survivalist friends. In short, it is a simple tale of survival of the family outside of Orlando after a nuclear attack in the 1950s. No giant spiders or mutants, just an important tale told from an interesting perspective.
And finally, to prove I don't read just read fantasy, I'd like to point out the excellent historical novel, Cain at Gettysburg by Ralph Peters. Peters is a retired Army colonel and I can recall reading one of his novels about the future of warfare more than 20 years ago called War in 2020. But this novel about actual events with many real people makes you feel like you're part of the great battle that occurred in western Pennsylvania in the summer of 1862. I heard Colonel Peters speaking on book TV and he explained that nonfiction tells you about an event while fiction makes you experience that event. Good book, good writer. You can go wrong with that combination.
If these books tend to skew towards the Tor/Forge line you have to remember that they are one of my employers and I tend to get a lot of free books from them. That doesn't diminish my appreciation for books whether they're given to me or, (God forbid), I pay for them. I hope you have time this summer to try one of these gems.
What about you guys? Any hidden finds in the book world?
Until next time, which obviously I have no idea when that will be,
your loyal servant,