Books Blog: English Literature & Linguistics

2012 Hugo Award Nominees

Posted in Book News, Kindle, Listmania by Elliott Back on July 29th, 2012.

The nominees for the 2012 Hugo Awards just came out! To make this easy for myself, here’s a list with kindle links, Amazon ratings, the book covers, and a little snippet of summary:

Best Novel

Among Others by Jo Walton

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled–and her twin sister dead.

4/5 | Kindle | Paperback

A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balancebeset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her

3/5 | Kindle | Paperback

Deadline by Mira Grant

Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organisation he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn’t seem as fun when you’ve lost as much as he has. But when a researcher from the Centre for Disease Control fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun’s relieved to find a new purpose in life. Because this researcher comes bearing news: the monster who attacked them may be destroyed, but the conspiracy is far from dead. Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.

4.5/5 | Kindle | Paperback

Embassytown by China Miville

In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak. Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language.

4/5 | Kindle | Paperback

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

It’s been too long since we’ve had a really kickass space opera. LEVIATHAN WAKES is interplanetary adventure the way it ought to be written, the kind of SF that made me fall in love with the genre way back when, seasoned with a dollop of horror and a dash of noir.

4/5 | Kindle | Paperback

Best Novella

Countdown by Mira Grant

The year is 2014, the year everything changed. We cured cancer. We cured the common cold. We died. This is the story of how we rose.

4.5/5 | Kindle

The Ice Owl by Carolyn Ives Gilman

The Ice Owl tells a tale capturing that moment when we start to lose our childhoodwhen we start to realize that our parents and the grown-ups are just as flawed as we areeveryone struggling to deal with their own demons.

?/5 | Kindle | Paperback

Kiss Me Twice by Mary Robinette Kowal

As seen in Asimov’s, June 2011

?/5 | Kindle | Paperback

The Man Who Bridged the Mist by Kij Johnson

As seen in The Best Scifi/Fantasy 2012 / vol 6

?/5 | Kindle | Paperback

The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary by Ken Liu

As seen in Panverse 3

?/5 | Kindle | Paperback

Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente

Neva is dreaming. But she is not alone. A mysterious machine entity called Elefsis haunts her and the members of her family, back through the generations to her great-great grandmother-a gifted computer programmer who changed the world. Together Neva and Elefsis navigate their history and their future, an uneasy, unwilling symbiote. But what they discover in their dreamworld might change them forever . . .

5/5 | Kindle

Best Related Work

Note, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls, and Graham Sleight, Wicked Girls by Seanan McGuire, and Writing Excuses, Season 6 by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Jordan Sanderson do not appear in Kindle or paperback format.

Jar Jar Binks Must Die… and other Observations about Science Fiction Movies by Daniel M. Kimmel

In this collection of essays, he covers movies from Metropolis (1927), answering the absurd claim that the restoration of this silent classic negated its status as a science fiction film, to how Star Trek, Avatar, Moon, and District 9 may have made 2009 a “miracle year” for the genre.

5/5 | Kindle | Paperback

The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature by Jeff VanderMeer and S. J. Chambers

Steampunka grafting of Victorian aesthetic and punk rock attitude onto various forms of science-fiction cultureis a phenomenon that has come to influence film, literature, art, music, fashion, and more. The Steampunk Bible is the first compendium about the movement, tracing its roots in the works of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells through its most recent expression in movies such as Sherlock Holmes.

4/5 | Paperback

How fast do I read?

Posted in Language by Elliott Back on May 28th, 2012.

Staples put out this pretty awesome reading-speed test. I got about 800 wpm, which makes me faster than most of the general population, but slower than the amazing speed readers.

Source: Staples eReader Department.

Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance

Posted in Book News by Elliott Back on December 26th, 2011.

So Christopher Paolini’s final book in the Inheritance Cycle, self-titled Inheritance was released a month and a half ago. Reviews are not pretty:

  • Richard Marcus writes on Blog Critics that “Inheritance feels contrived and rather forced as the author tried to cram in answers to all the questions he had raised in the earlier books.”
  • Matt S on Amazon compares it to a “delicate souffl, rises to an epic climax before collapsing into a tasteless pile of goop.”
  • Dan on SFFWorld finds some parallels in “Paolini’s work… where do I begin? First of all, the plot, is it just me or is it identical to that of Star Wars episode VI: A New Hope?”

Since I’m moving soon and plan to toss any hardcopy Paolini sitting around my home, I won’t be buying this hardcover, nor paying a ridiculous $13.99 (same as hardcover!) for the kindle edition. Any readers braver than me, leave a review in the comments!

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